The number of cars breaking down on Britain's roads after running out of petrol has risen by 14 per cent, according to two insurance companies.
The AA reported an average 450 call-outs per week and said it was on course for 23,000 this year. Its competitor Green Flag also said it has seen an increase.
Both blamed the rise on the soaring cost of fuel, which has increased by more than 30p a litre over the past five years.
Rob Williams, a 28-year-old lorry driver from South Wales who has run out of fuel twice recently, told the BBC: "The car was starting to cough and splutter, it finally gave over as I was pulling into the hard shoulder."
He admitted his 4x4 was a "gas guzzler", saying: "It's near enough impossible to top it up to a full tank. It would cost me around £100 and three years ago that was about £70."