Top tips of how British drivers can avoid becoming victims of the French fuel shortage have been issued.
They come from Footman James’ breakdown cover provider Axa Assistance ahead of the holiday season and the Euro 2016 tournament being staged there.
The advice could prevent motorists from running out of petrol or at least minimise the damage.
Some French local councils have imposed fuel-buying restrictions.
This follows workers blockading fuel depots in protest against controversial changes to the country’s labour laws.
This led to six out of eight French oil refineries being disrupted last week.
Some forecourts may have no kinds of certain fuel in stock, while others may have imposed fuel rationing.
Axa Assistance recommends that drivers check relevant websites before motorists set off, and one in particular. A handy website called Mon-essence.fr helps drivers work out which stations do and do not have petrol or diesel available. Data from its mobile app’s users have helped it plot the map.
It also says that motorists should fill up their tank full before crossing the Channel.
Motorists may have to be prepared to drive from A to B via C, D and even Z if they want to find regular working petrol stations, Axa Assistance says. So they should consider alternative routes.
Things to keep in mind
Drivers are being advised to take enough water and food to keep them going should they run out of diesel or petrol, especially with the warmer weather bringing the threat of dehydration.
Axa Assistance also urges them to have a Plan B. This means researching whether drivers could undertake their journey using other transport methods.
What Axa Assistance has pledged to its customers
It will be able to do its utmost to ferry drivers to the closest garage possible. What it cannot promise is that the garage will have fuel available.
But it will go on offering breakdown assistance throughout France wherever possible. Axa’s own breakdown vehicles may be subject to the same shortages themselves.
It won’t be able to guarantee keeping to the prompt schedules that its customers have become used to. Nor will it take cars abandoned because of a lack of fuel back to Britain where drivers and passengers have already returned themselves.