An urgent warning has been issued to all drivers heading to a McDonald's drive-thru.

While hundreds of fast-food branches across the country have reopened for delivery and drive-thru, motorists have been alerted to be aware of a major mistake that could cost them their licences and result in a £1,000 fine.

What is the mistake that drivers shouldn't make?

Those who use their phones while the engine is on will be breaking the law. The rule applies even if you're on private land.

Mobile phone laws published by the RAC highlight event if the engine is running, the phone should be nowhere near the hands of the driver.

This applies even if engine has 'start-stop' technology and comes to a halt automatically in order to save fuel.

A spokesperson from the RAC said: “Every driver should always ensure they are parked and have their engine switched off before using a handheld phone – anything else could land them in trouble, even if they are in a car park, drive-thru or petrol forecourt.”

What is the penalty for being caught with a mobile phone behind the wheel?

Those caught using a handheld device while driving will be issued with six penalty points and a £200 fine.

So, for those who have passed their driving test in the last two years - the fine means they will automatically lose their licence.

In cases deemed to be extreme by police, offending motorists may also be taken to court - where they could be banned from driving and get a maximum fine of £1,000. The fine increases to £2,500 for those driving a bus or a lorry.

How can I avoid this mistake?

Drivers should not pay by phone for their orders when queueing for a drive-thu - passengers should do this instead.

For those driving on their own, or in cases when you can only use your phone to pay - motorists should ensure their engine is switched off when making the payment.

What other rules are their for drive-thru users?

Those without a car have also been told they cannot walk through their drive-thru's.

A spokesman from McDonald's posted on Twitter: "You cannot walk through our drive-thru's due to health and safety risks."

Who can use the drive thru's?

The company has said that pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists cannot use the drive-thru, but cars, vans, motorbikes and road-legal mobility scooters can.