Halfords Autocentres Advice Centre

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Holding Icon Jul 2014 | Fuelish Behaviour Costs Over 60 Million Pound a Year

Jul 2014 | Fuelish Behaviour Costs Over 60 Million Pound a Year

British motorists are unnecessarily paying out over 60 million a year in wasted fuel, repairs and follow-on costs after mistakenly putting the wrong fuel in their cars at the pump.

New figures from Halfords Autocentres reveal that, as many as 123,000 vehicles a year in the UK suffer a 'mis-fuelling mishap' - in many cases leaving them with a hefty bill from 500 to over 3000.

Whilst the rising cost of motoring means that 47% of drivers spend most of their disposable income on motoring, in the last 12 months a motorist has put the wrong fuel in their car approximately once every 4 minutes.

Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres explains: "Diesel powered cars now make up almost 50% of cars sold in the UK and have become more refined to cater for customers used to quieter petrol-powered cars who are making a switch to more economical diesels in order to keep their motoring costs down.

"Our garages see significantly more mis-fuelling cases during March and September - the peak months for new car purchases - than any other, which is largely made up of new vehicle owners who aren't yet used to driving a diesel and have consequently made a mistake at the pump."

The cost of wasted fuel and repairs alone ranges from 200 up to 2,500 in severe cases where rectifying the mistake involves replacing fuel filters, diesel pumps and diesel particulate filters. However, this can be the tip of the iceberg once roadside recovery or garage call-out fees (100-150), refilling the tank (100), not to mention lost work or leisure time, extra transport costs and the inconvenience involved (approx. 150) are added.

Rory Carlin added: "Our advice to any motorist who realises that they have put the wrong fuel in their car at the pump is not to attempt to drive off. If you have already driven away before realising your mistake, stop as soon as it is safe to do so because circulating the incorrect fuel can cause further unnecessary engine damage.

"Of course the best thing would be not to do it in the first place and Halfords stores sell 'Diesel Only' stickers which costs less than two pounds and might just jog your memory in time to save you thousands."

If you've accidentally put the wrong fuel in your car, book a Fuel Drain at your local Halfords Autocentre and our qualified technicians will be happy to help.