Why it pays to be careful when filling up your fuel tank

Petrol1It’s a driver’s nightmare, but a surprisingly high number of Brits admit to putting the wrong fuel in their vehicles at the pump.

According to the AA, an estimated 133,000 people put the wrong fuel in their car every year, and they list plenty of different reasons for doing so.

A quarter of people blame the error on being preoccupied, while 13% say that using a new car that is different to what they are used to is to blame.

Worryingly, 11% said that using a hire car led to the mistake and 9% said it was down to refilling at a petrol station they did not regularly use.

Other excuses included being distracted at the fuel pump or on driving a partner’s vehicle, although the AA also revealed that business drivers are most likely to make an error.

The roadside recovery company said that in one month in 2017, 60% of call outs for its Fuel Assist service were from business customers.

They suggest that the quick pace of business life, including the need to rush between delivery appointments or meetings is often to blame.

Those using pool vehicles for business can mean that they drive cars that require a different type of fuel each day too, as well as covering more mileage on roads they do not know well.

However, it’s the mistakes among those hiring vehicles that provide cause for concern, as the costs associated with misfuelling can quickly add up.

The Director of manufacturer services at the AA, Donald MacSporran, explained that misfuelling can potential cost thousands of pounds to fix, while the vehicle will be taken off the road while the repairs are carried out.

This can reduce business or car hire fleets, with the AA reporting that an error at the pumps occurs every three minutes in the UK, costing between £500 and £3,000 to put right.

Data from West Midlands Police meanwhile reveals 300 misfuelling incidents in 2017 that cost drivers more than £53,000.

If you are hiring a vehicle, the type of fuel needed should be clearly displayed on the filler cap and in the paperwork for the car. However, you should also double check with the rental company if you are unsure.

You may also want to consider car hire excess insurance which covers the excess you would need to pay should your vehicle be damaged or stolen.

This can provide peace of mind during your trip and costs less than you may think.

Date Created: 11 May 2018

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