The contaminated petrol was traced to an Essex refinery and price increases are likely as some supermarket chains seek new supplies. Oil companies have been accused of cashing in on the problem but they say any increases will be the result of market conditions.
Fleet managers have been told to instruct drivers to keep their receipts if they believe their car has been damaged by the contaminated fuel.
Fleet and fuel management company Arval offered advice to drivers seeking to claim for damages.
Helen Martin, fuel product manager, said: ‘Drivers in the south-east affected by the fuel problems caused by contamination will most probably have to provide evidence of individual transactions at specific service stations to claim damages.
‘This information can be obtained in the form of a receipt or from your fuel card provider, as fuel cards enable the collation of a wide range of data, including the type of fuel, volume, when and where it was purchased and the mileage of the vehicle.
This information could be used to support any possible claim.
‘Company car drivers experiencing problems should in the first instance contact their vehicle provider for advice.’
A spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) attempted to alleviate concerns over the quality of fuel sold in the UK and said the problem affected sensors in some car fuel systems.
He said: ‘Remember, all fuel sold in the UK is produced to internationally agreed quality standards and problems like this are very rare.
‘Because these sensor units very rarely fail, no one had lots of them sitting on shelves.
The sudden rush used all the available ‘ready use’ stocks and carmakers are working flat out to get replacements to their dealers.’