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12th May 2016

£400k bill for bobbies

Police cars have been filled up with the wrong fuel 2,147 times since 2011, costing £378m to repair.

A freedom of information request from AutoExpress found that the Metropolitan Police Force had accrued by far the biggest bill at £167,118, with Kent the next most wasteful with £25,629 spent on repairing vehicles that had been topped up with the wrong fuel.

However, police officers are hardly the only ones guilty, with up to 150,000 cases recorded in the UK each year. That’s the equivalent of one every 210 seconds.

AA spokesman Luke Bosdet told AutoExpress, ‘It’s an annoying and avoidable mistake that will take a vehicle off the road and place an extra burden on stretched resources.

‘But it shows that police officers are human like the rest of us. Stress and pre-occupied minds are often the cause of misfuelling mistakes, which fleet managers can try to beat with fuel-tank labelling and reminders.’

Petrol in a diesel car is the most common mistake, and also the most serious as diesel acts as a lubricant while petrol does the opposite job. Enough of it pumped through the car can ultimately ruin the engine.

Some helpful tips to avoid the problem include: Don’t just rely on the colour of the hose or nozzle, but check the label; leave reminders if you’re in a new car; try not refuel when rushed or stressed.


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