Motorists urged not to panic buy as there is no shortage of fuel

Motorists have been reassured that there is no shortage of fuel at UK forecourts as industry leaders urge drivers not to refuel outside of their normal times.

It comes as hundreds of images have been uploaded to social media showing massive queues outside forecourts.

The rush was triggered by news that a small number of BP and Tesco petrol stations had been forced to close as a shortage of HGV drivers meant they could not be restocked in time.

Queues outside Tesco fuel station, Portsmouth Fratton
Drivers were queuing around the block outside the Tesco fuelling station next to Fratton Park stadium, Portsmouth. (Blackball Media)

Edmund King, president of breakdown and recovery service the AA, said that ‘there is no shortage of fuel and thousands of forecourts are operating normally with just a few suffering temporary supply chain problems’.

He added: “Fridays and the weekend always tend to be busier on forecourts as drivers either combine filling up with shopping runs, prepare for weekend trips or refuel for the start of the new working week.

“Drivers should not fill up outside their normal routines because, even if the occasional petrol station is temporarily closed, others just down the road will be open.

“It is now clear that there have been occasional delays over recent weeks that have been managed with hardly anyone noticing. This was a manageable problem.”

Although fuel is still in good supply, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams has warned that price rises could be on the horizon.

He said: “The supply issues affecting a small number of petrol forecourts shouldn’t impact the prices drivers pay to fill up.

“But unfortunately the price of oil, which has the biggest influence on what drivers pay at the pumps, is continuing to rise at the moment.

“This may lead to fuel prices going up in the coming days which would be yet more bad news for drivers as a litre of unleaded is already over 21p a litre more expensive than a year ago.”