The advice comes from Lex Vehicle Leasing, which runs a fleet of 123,000 vehicles and records 20 misfuelling incidents among its customers every month.
Lex believes modern common rail diesel engines are the biggest problem. The cost of replacing damaged parts, such as fuel pumps, injectors, rail, line filters and tanks can cost several thousand pounds.
The company says each misfuel directly hits the fleet department’s budget even if the car is on contract hire as the cause is driver error. It is now urging fleets to follow the lead of rental companies, which label the car’s fuel filler cap with the relevant fuel type.
In March this year Fleet News, in conjunction with fleet and fuel management company Arval, launched the FuelWise campaign to help fleet decision-makers deal with the impending change to the way firms deal with fuel. The European Sixth Directive states that VAT on fuel can only be reclaimed if the purchase is made by a VAT-registered company so, if an individual purchases the fuel using a private card or cash, the employer cannot reclaim VAT.
Estimates have varied, but in a worst-case scenario, the cost to the fleet industry could be £1.32 billion.