Yo-yo oil prices are once again sending a shiver down the spine of UK drivers who are running their fuel gauges on red.

One in five drivers have recently run out of fuel or driven on fumes, with 22% saying this was because a £20 or £30 refill does not go as far as it did. Those most likely to be caught out are younger drivers, with nearly half saying they had run their tanks dry or close to, the latest AA Populus Panel survey of 12,000 drivers reveals.

Although 58 per cent of drivers take the chance of running on or near red before next filling up, the declining number of fuel stations has helped to make running dry more likely.

Drivers running on fumes need to remember that a breakdown in the middle of nowhere could turn out more costly than a few litres of fuel - particularly if a car is towed away to a safer location by a road authority firm, costing as much as £150.

AA patrol of the year, Andy Taylor, said: "Running out of fuel can be dangerous as drivers never know when they will stop - it’s often on unsafe locations like hills, roundabouts or, worse still, in moving traffic on the motorway. It can cause damage too, especially in diesel cars, as the diesel helps lubricate the fuel pump".

Call me controversial, but what sort of driver refuses to check the fuel gauge or more to the point refuses to acknowledge the warning light or red indicator. Incompetent springs to mind.

Jackie Violet - Female First