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How far can you drive once your fuel warning light comes on?

How far can you drive once your fuel warning light comes on?

8th July, 2022

Most drivers will have experienced that queasy feeling you get then your fuel light comes on – especially if you’re miles away from the next service station.

No one ever sets out on a journey with the intention of running out of fuel, but it does happen and it immediately begs the question: how many miles can you go before you grind to a halt?

Your warning light illuminates when fuel levels reach around at 10% to 15% of a tank’s capacity.

However, there’s no set answer to exactly how far your car will run before you end up stranded, as different cars cover different distances using the same amount of fuel.

Road conditions, gear choice and tyre pressure are just some of the factors that also affect distance.

According to data based on information submitted by independent drivers on* , these UK top-selling cars can travel these distances once their fuel light comes on:

Car(Miles left)

Ford Fiesta(37 miles)

Vauxhall Corsa(36 miles)

Ford Focus(41 miles)

VW Golf(44 miles)

Nissan Qashqai(43 miles)

VW Polo(42 miles)

Vauxhall Astra(30 miles)

Audi A3(43 miles)

Mini Cooper(44 miles)

BMW 3 Series(44 miles)

Many newer cars display the approximate number of miles you can travel until empty – but, beware and try not to risk it. Make plans to get to a service station as soon as you can.

If the worst does happen, you should find a safe place to pull over and turn on your hazard lights.

If you find yourself on the motorway, remember to exit your car from the door furthest from traffic, walk away from the hard shoulder and out of the way of other vehicles to remain safe.

Walking to a service or petrol station isn’t recommended; instead, ask a friend or family member to meet you with a jerry can of fuel instead.

While running out of fuel isn’t illegal in itself, any careless or dangerous driving that results from it could see you punished by law. For example, you could receive a penalty of £100 and three points on your licence if you are forced to stop in the road and cause an obstruction.

In cases where your empty fuel tank leads to an accident, as well as putting yourself and other road users at extreme risk, you could be taken to court, or issued with 9 points and an unlimited fine.

As always, drive carefully and stay safe.

* By clicking this link, you will be redirected to away from our website.

* Please note that the above information has been gathered through secondary research. The information provided is not based on our opinion. You should seek further guidance and information before making an informed decision.

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