RAC to help, but at a price!
A recent study by the British Insurance Brokers Association found that there are around 150,000 cases of drivers putting the wrong fuel in their car each year and that’s one every three-and-a-half minutes.
I know none of us would be silly enough to do that, but just in case, the RAC have launched a new service that will be available to both RAC members and even those of us that are not members of the RAC.
You would think with different colour pumps at the petrol stations and more and more cars only having filler necks that fit certain pumps, that this number would be far lower, but you have to feel for the drivers who’s heart must just sink when they realise what they’ve done. The driver might not know it at the time, but it’s something that’s going to inconvenience them hugely and if they are unlucky, it will really cause damage to their engine and could cost them a considerable amount of money to put right, with the RAC saying in the worst case scenario could cost up to £6,000.
So before we look at what the RAC are offering, just remember one thing if you do make the mistake of putting the wrong fuel in, “Do not under any circumstances start the vehicle” get someone to help you push it off the pumps to somewhere its not in the way, then you can panic! Starting the car will mean that your cars fuel pump will suck up loads of the wrong fuel and pump it into your engine, possibly turning the repair from a minor one to a major one and cost you loads of money in the process.
Because of the amount of drivers that make the mistake of putting the wrong fuel in, virtually every garage across the UK is becoming experienced at sorting the problem out and putting things right, so there is plenty of support out there. By way of example, the RAC have just introduced a new service which is open to both RAC members and non-members and they claim they can get you back on the road pretty quickly and it’s called “RAC Fuel Patrol” (maybe it should be called ‘fool patrol’)
RAC Fuel Patrol’s are currently operating in London, Nottinghamshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, the south west, Liverpool, the south coast and parts of the West Midlands. This however is just a start, as the RAC say the service will continue to expand over the next few months to look after other misfueling hot spots.
The RAC service does the same job that a garage would, if you towed your car to them, but with the RAC service, they come to you, and can drain and flush your engine by the side of the road, but if that’s not possible, they can also recover your vehicle to a garage, using their rapid deployment trailer.
Now for the crunch! Even if everything goes well and you are a member of the RAC, this service is going to set you back a cool £175 and if you’re not a member, that goes up to £190 and that’s without any complications, and in addition you have to add to that the cost of your tank of fuel, which has to be thrown away. So whilst the new RAC service is good, it’s not cheap and indeed, you might well find that a local garage that would handle the job more cheaply, so they may well be worth ringing, but I guess it depends on the time of day you have your little mishap.
There are a number of devices which it’s claimed, prevent the possibility of this happening, such as the FuelSure device, but frankly, why don’t you just go outside now and stick a huge great label on the inside of your vehicles filler cap, which says, Petrol or Diesel, concentrate on what you are doing when you go to fill up and hopefully, you will never be caught out by what after all is a very simple, but very expensive mistake. Simples!