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 along the A131, between Great Notley and Great Leighs, when smoke began coming from the bonnet.

The 23-year-old, who was driving home to Chelmsford, left 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 said: "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 terrifying really."

Firefighter Steve Wintrip said the blaze was not suspicious - and believed it was down to a mechanical malfunction.