Queues are forming outside petrol stations across the country as drivers struggle to fill up their vehicles.

A shortage of HGV drivers and a flurry of panic buying has led to some forecourts having to close due to a lack of fuel.

The government is now being called on to ensure that healthcare staff and other key workers have priority access.

Driving with a low tank of fuel can be dangerous for the vehicle and for other road users if you break down.

Here are the laws around driving with too little fuel and how it could land you with a fine, as reported by Essex Live.

According to the RAC, most vehicles have around 10 to 15 per cent of a tank of fuel left once the petrol light comes on.

Once you run even lower, it starts to flash. If this happens you may be at risk of breaking down.

Running out of fuel isn’t illegal in itself, but any careless or dangerous driving that results from it could see you punished by law.

If you end up having to stop and that causes an obstruction to other road users, you could receive a penalty of £100 and three points on your driving licence.

If your empty fuel tank leads to a road traffic collision, then you could be issued with an unlimited fine, which could run up to around £5,000, and nine points on your licence.

Running out of fuel on a motorway could be very dangerous, and drivers are advised not to travel on a motorway if they are low on fuel.

If you do and run out while on a motorway, you should pull over onto the hard shoulder and call for breakdown help, the RAC says.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, told the Daily Express: “We have very little sympathy for drivers who run out of fuel on the motorway.

"There is no excuse for entering a motorway with low fuel or if you know something is wrong with your car.

"A breakdown puts you and your passengers at very high risk – many fatal crashes on a motorway involve a stationary vehicle.

"The hard shoulder, where it exists, is a very dangerous place to be with HGVs often weaving off course and crossing the solid white line.

"If you have to be rescued you are also putting the recovery operator at risk and if you don’t have breakdown cover you could pay several hundred pounds for emergency fuel or towing to a safe place."

Not only is running out of fuel dangerous in case of a breakdown, it could also damage your car.

Debris can be picked up from the bottom of your engine and cause damage to the fuel filter, pump, and catalytic converter.

If your fuel pump becomes dry it could cost you £200 to repair, reveals Confused.com, while the cost of replacing a catalytic converter can range from around £200 to more than £1,000.