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We’ve all seen the headlines over the past week about fuel shortages and a lack of qualified HGV drivers to get the fuel back to the pumps, but are we really in a crisis?

Does the UK Have a Fuel Shortage?

Last weekend a lot of fuel stations were having to put up out of fuel signs on their pumps because of panic buying caused by media coverage of an expected fuel shortage.

The supply chain was unable to keep up with the increased demand and shortages were seen in garages across the UK.

However, this appears to be a short-term impact from hundreds of people panic buying to ensure they don’t run out of fuel in the upcoming weeks. We are already seeing temporary shortages ease with stations getting their regular deliveries and replenishing their supply.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the situation, but we expect there will continue to be short-term shortages as buyers panic purchase, and we advise you not to do this.

Longer term, suppliers and the government are working together to ensure that the UK does not continue to have these issues and drivers are able to remain mobile.

What About a HGV Driver Shortage?

The UK has had a shortage of HGV drivers for the majority of this year and the general public has on the whole not been impacted by this, except at times where people are panic buying. For example when the shelves were empty in supermarkets for a short time this summer, or now with fuel stations.

Limits on HGV drivers’ hours have been increased since July, going up to 10 hours per working day and on two of those days an extra hour up to 11.

Although the increase to HGV working hours is not a long term fix to the workforce shortage, the government is working to get a more permanent solution in place, and it is helping when the demand is at a more normal level.

Car Lease Special Offers Top Tips for Filling Up

We’ve put together our top five recommendations to help keep the fuel flowing for you and others.

  1. Don’t fill up unless you need to – panic buying adds to the problem
  2. Try to keep your fuel above a quarter of a tank – and fill up when you reach this point to avoid being caught out by temporary shortages
  3. Only fill up with what you need, don’t over fill your tank or fill up numerous containers as this might mean more fuel for you but it means less for other drivers
  4. Check out our article on how to make the most of your fuel
  5. Only drive when you need to, and if you want to reduce your fuel consumption you might want to consider carpooling or public transport

Some drivers are also taking this shortage as a sign that with traditional fuel supply issues now’s the time to make the jump to an electric vehicle (EV). If you want to learn more about electric vehicles then check out our comprehensive guides to EVs and hybrids here or head over to our electric offers page to see the current top offers

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