There will have been many situations when you have found yourself on your own with your child and had to think about leaving them for a split second or two.

This could include being at a petrol station, whether it’s getting petrol for an emergency, filling up the tank for a family day out or needing to run into the shop for some road trip snacks.

Sometimes, you might have been the only adult in the car with a child and been unsure of what to do when paying for petrol.

There have been many discussions about the safety and legality of leaving your child alone in a car at a petrol station but is it illegal?

Can you leave your child alone in the car whilst paying for petrol?

According to the UK government website, there is no written law against leaving your child unsupervised in a car.

There is also no legal age required when it comes to leaving your child alone, however, it is an offence to leave a child alone if it places them at risk, reports the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

The charity says children under 12 are “rarely mature enough” to be left alone for a long period of time, while children under 16 should not be left alone overnight.

They also report babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone.

A spokesperson for the NSPCC previously told Newsquest that leaving young children alone does “carry risks.”

They advised: “When left alone in a vehicle, young children can very quickly start to get anxious and distressed.

“Even if they’re sleeping peacefully when you leave they could well wake up and get very upset when you’re not there to look after them.

"They would not be able to protect themselves in an emergency and may even try to leave the vehicle to find you.

“As children become older, parents need to exercise their own judgement about whether they can be briefly left in a car.

"If they can see the vehicle the whole time it may be okay, depending on your child’s maturity.

"However, every child is different and every parent needs to make their own decision on whether their child is ready to be left in this scenario.”