This morning on the way to work the fuel needle in the car was so low that I bottled it and pulled into the local Tesco to fill up. Normally I fill the tank at the Shell station along the road from us, but being too eager to get home the night before meant I couldn’t be bothered with the diversion and decided to gamble on being able to get to and from work on what was left. But when it came to it, I didn’t want to risk it. I don’t know how much of an idiot I’d feel if I ever let the car run out of petrol, but I don’t want to find out if I can avoid it, either.
So I found myself queueing with all the other commuters, some filling their tanks to the brim while the driver behind tapped his steering wheel impatiently, others just there for a splash and dash – ?5 worth and off they went. When my turn came I decided that ?10 of fuel would get me through until late next week – just enough to last until pay day when I’d treat the car to its tank of Optimax. I used to treat the car to Optimax all the time, but with prices rising swiftly over the last year it only gets the good stuff every third fill now.
I realised that while I’d been pondering the petrol prices the guage had crept past ten. Shit. I paused, before noticing that it was reasonably cheap petrol; ?82.9 a litre is about the cheapest around here right now. Given that cheapness, I decided to carry on all the way up to ?20 – a good two weeks worth at that price. Once paid up and back in the car I began to realise just why the stuff was so cheap – I had hardly any acceleration – it felt not only like I had left the handbrake on, but like I’d also removed the gearbox.