The AA has been inundated with calls from anxious motorists as petrol stations run dry in some parts of the UK.

The AA warns motorists who hoard fuel in petrol cans in their garages and garden sheds that they risk creating a "bomb next door" for their neighbours and are breaking the law.

Illegal and dangerous stockpiling of car fuel contravenes the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928, which allows the public to store up to 15 litres (3 gallons) of fuel in suitable and clearly-marked containers in the shed or garage for private use. Anything more requires a licence. Breaking the law may result in a £5000 fine. Businesses that store petrol in large quantities without local authority permission face an unlimited fine.

The AA advises drivers to top up their tanks when they can, but not to waste petrol through excessive queuing or travel long distances on spec. Phoning petrol stations, particularly if they are out of your local area, is advisable.

The AA is also warning owners of catalytic converter-equipped cars not to attempt to fill up with Lead Replacement Petrol (Four Star) as it could cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage.