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Motorists urged to top up tanks

2nd December 2010 Print is urging motorists to top up their tanks and consider breakdown cover for any journeys this weekend as petrol retailers warn that supplies could run out.

The RMI Independent Petrol Retailers Association ("RMI Petrol"), which represents two thirds of the 9,000 petrol forecourt sites in the UK, advises that its members across the east of the country from Scotland down to Kent are seeing fuel shortages at the pumps.

The snow and exceptionally cold weather has disrupted the fuel supply chain such that up to 500 independent petrol retailers are threatened with running out of petrol, and especially diesel by the weekend. Particularly badly impacted are filling stations in rural areas away from the main trunk roads.

Will Thomas, head of motor at, says: "Hoping for the best in extreme weather conditions like this is a highway to nowhere for anyone who needs the use of a vehicle. With the added risk of running out of petrol, motorists need to consider the consequences of going without cover.

"Not only could they face a long wait in the cold, but they also stand to pay charges that run into hundreds of pounds for roadside repair and recovery. Drivers should also take into account the associated benefits that a breakdown policy would offer such as an overnight stay; alternative travel and car hire cover.

"In terms of breakdown policies, one size does not fit all; there are different levels of cover available. To get the most suitable product it is important to understand where, how often and the distance that is being driven. Motorists should not make assumptions about the level of cover that is included but at the same time avoid paying for benefits they will not use. Using a comparison site to shop around is the best way to find the right deal at the best price."'s guide to breakdown cover.

Roadside Assistance
Typically covers you for up to 1 hour labour at the side of the road to try and fix the vehicle (parts would have to be paid for if fitted)

Roadside Recovery
Includes Roadside assistance + recovery to a garage typically within a 10 mile radius (additional costs if more than 10 miles) Excludes distances less than one mile from the policyholder's home.

Roadside Recovery UK
Covers you anywhere in mainland Great Britain and typically allows you to be recovered to a garage of your choice or your final destination. Excludes distances less than one mile from the policyholder's home.

European cover
Cover whilst in mainland Europe and is valid for up to 30 consecutive days in any one instance and no more than 90 days per year.

Home Help
Typically can be added to Roadside recovery, UK recovery and European Cover. This allows you to call for assistance within a mile radius of your home. (tends to be used for flat batteries or tyres)

Other Policy Benefits

Alternative Travel
Alternative travel will be provided for your onward journey

Car Hire
A replacement car will be provided whilst yours is being repaired

Overnight accommodation will be provided if your car cannot be repaired in a reasonable time

Relief Driver
Provides breakdown cover for a relief driver if you are too ill to drive

Provides Recovery if you are too ill to drive

Type of cover

You can get 4 types of cover

Vehicle based cover (most Common)
covers the car and anyone who is insured to drive the vehicle

Personal cover
Covers the individual and any vehicle they are insured to drive

Couple cover
Discount for couples taking out joint policies (can be multi-vehicle)

For more information, visit