A DRIVER had a lucky escape after his car burst into flames just seconds after he got out.

Andy Gale was driving his Citroen Saxo home along the A131 between Great Notley and Great Leighs when smoke began coming from the bonnet.

He exited the dual carriageway at the next roundabout and pulled over in Main Road, Great Leighs.

Just seconds later, the £1,500 car was engulfed in flames and thick smoke billowed into the air.

Mr Gale, 23, said: “I was on the dual carriageway and it started to smoke so I got off and maybe 30 seconds after I got out it burst into flames and then all these people stopped.

“It was a terrifying really. I’m still shaking.”

Mr Gale, who grew up in Braintree, was on his way to his home in Chelmsford from a garage, where his car had undergone repairs, when the terrifying episode unfolded at about 6pm on Thursday.

The former White Court Primary School pupil said: “They did the coil about a week and a half ago and then today all they changed was an oil cap.

“I don’t know what’s happened.

“It’s quite shocking really. It was taken to a garage and later that day it was on fire.”

One fire crew from Braintree were called and quickly put out the blaze as stunned motorists looked on.

Incident commander Steve Wintrip confirmed the fire was not suspicious and believed to be down to a mechanical malfunction.