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Stressed business drivers misfuelling company vehicles, says AA

Fuel pumps, petrol station pumps.

Business drivers are putting the wrong fuel in company-owned vehicles when under stress or in an unfamiliar location, says the AA.

The roadside recovery company said 60% of its Fuel Assist service call-outs came from its business customers in one month last year.

Approximately 133,000 people fill their car with the wrong fuel each year, according to the AA. A quarter of these drivers attribute their mistake to being preoccupied, 13% on driving a new car that used a different fuel, 12% on driving a partner’s vehicle, 11% on using a hire car, 9% on filling up at an unfamiliar petrol station, and 7% on distraction while fuelling.

These factors, it claims, are especially applicable to drivers of company-owned or operational vehicles, who may be rushing between appointments to deliver goods or to secure business sales.

Furthermore, it says they apply to those using a pool car, for whom the fuel type of the loan vehicle may differ from their own.

Business drivers also tend to cover longer distances than the general motorist and are more likely to use a wide range of filling stations across unfamiliar driving routes.

“Misfuelling can potentially costs businesses thousands of pounds in repair costs, not to mention time in lost revenue while drivers wait for their vehicle to be fixed,” said Donald MacSporran, director, manufacturer services at the AA.

West Midlands Police recently disclosed nearly 300 incidents of misfuelling in 2017, costing more than £53,000 in repairs.

The AA’s own data also shows that a refuelling mishap occurs once every three minutes across the UK’s petrol pumps, with the error costing drivers between £500 and £3,000.

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