Motorists have been waiting in long lines across Merseyside this weekend amid fears of petrol shortages.

People have reported long waiting lines in Belle Vale, Southport and parts of Wirral as BP said some garages were experiencing shortages.

Although Asda told the ECHO that they are 'not currently seeing any fuel supply issues' some drivers are already panic buying fuel at garages.

READ MORE:Traffic delays and huge queues as people rush to get petrol

The shortage has been blamed on a lack of HGV drivers which has led to delays in getting petrol to garages, with some even closing as stocks run low.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has not ruled out deploying the army to forecourts or relaxing rules to ease the shortage of drivers.

The government are advising motorists to buy petrol as they would normally and avoid panic buying, as prices increase due to the limited supply available.

The latest petrol prices posted by the RAC state that unleaded currently costs 135.90 pence per litre (PPL), super unleaded is currently costing 148.23 PPL, while diesel is priced at 137.62 PPL, as prices continue to fluctuate amidst the driver shortage.

Gordon Balmer from the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), said: "Cases of complete forecourt stock-outs have been rare so the resilience of retail fuels is not in question, which is good news for motorists."

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has followed this up by reassuring that refineries had "plenty of petrol", but suggested they might have to call on the army to help deliver petrol to garages if the crisis worsens.

However, he added that "technicalities" could hinder military personnel in switching to driving civilian vehicles.

The UK is estimated to be 100,000 HGV drivers short because of the impacts of Brexit and the pandemic, and with Tesco announcing it is closing petrol stations due to the shortage, there are fears panic buying could kick in.

Officials have advised however that drivers should not be storing petrol at home because of how dangerous it is, and that they should continue to buy petrol as they would.

For a reminder, here are the important laws drivers need to know if they intend to store petrol at home.

Can you store petrol at home?

The rules vary based on the type of jerry can you may be using.

For example, a metal jerry can will hold 10 litres, and motorists are allowed two metal cans in total; a combined 20 litres of petrol.

You are legally prevented to store 20 litres in just one container, meaning you must have two if you wish to carry 20 litres.

Plastic cans however only hold five litres, limiting you to just 10 litres if you only have two plastic jerry cans.

Again, the same principal applies in that you can only have five litres per can.

If you want to combine both plastic and metal, then you can store 30 litres maximum, and it must be a combination of: 2 x 10 litre metal cans & 2 x 5 litre plastic cans.

Every can you use must have a sign or writing on them that states the liquid being carried is highly flammable.

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How do you obtain petrol from your local garage?

This is where the laws become unclear, as it isn't set out in writing as to how much you can legally keep in your car.

The advice to police comes from the fire brigade, and the AA have also voiced their discouragement from storing petrol.

Officials deem the practice to be "incredibly, incredibly dangerous" and are "desperately worried" about Brits storing petrol and diesel during the shortage crisis.

How should I store fuel at home?

The maximum quantity you can store at home is 30 litres legally; a law which dates back as far as 1929.

The Health and Safety Executive however have strict rules on where it can be stored in the home due to the fact that petrol can be highly flammable.

Laws state it must be kept in:

  1. A shed
  2. A garage
  3. Outside no more than six metres from your house - e.g at the end of your driveway

Officials at the AA recommend people that they "shouldn't even contemplate storing it at all", however if you stick to the laws, then you won't be falling foul of the rules around storing petrol.

The Road Haulage Association's Rod McKenzie spoke on BBC Breakfast about how more drivers were leaving the profession each week than joining it.

He said: "It's as simple as this: everything we get in Britain comes on the back of a truck.

"So if there is a shortage of HGV drivers - and there is by 100,000 - then it is inevitable that we are not going to get all the things we want when we want them."

"It is not a case of running out - and people should not panic buy," he added.