RAC launches specialist misfuelling patrols

Article date: 1 September 2010

A specialist patrol team has been launched by RAC to aid the 400-plus1 motorists who accidentally put the wrong fuel in their car on a daily basis and make the expensive mistake of misfuelling.

RAC Fuel Patrol is a service available to both RAC members and non-members that aims to get drivers back on the road faster after misfuelling. The patrol vans are fitted with specialist equipment to extract the contaminated fuel and flush the fuel system on the spot with motorists driving away, on average, 40 minutes after the Patrol arrives at the scene.

However, if motorists do run the engine the damage could be a lot more costly to put right as well as keeping the vehicle off the road for at least a day and the vehicle would need to be towed to a garage to assess the extent of the damage.

A recent study by the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) reported an estimated 150,000 misfuelling cases per year, which generate approximately 7.5 million litres of contaminated fuel annually2.

A number of RAC Fuel Patrols are currently operating in London, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Buckinghamshire, the South West, Liverpool, the South Coast and part of the West Midlands. The service will continue to expand over the next few months to cover additional misfuelling hot spots.

David Bizley, RAC’s technical director, says: “Misfuelling is a common and costly issue –every three and a half minutes a motorist makes this simple but expensive error.  RAC Fuel Patrols are now able to drain and flush misfuelled vehicles at the roadside to get motorists back on their way more quickly.

“However, if the engine has been started the damage can be devastating, with repair costs of anything up to £6,000, depending on the vehicle model, but RAC Fuel Patrols are also able to recover vehicles to a garage using their rapid deployment trailer.  In addition to resolving misfuelling call-outs, RAC Fuel Patrols can attend other breakdowns – a service unique to RAC.”

Motorists can contact RAC Fuel Patrol by calling 0800 051 7845.  The service is not included as part of a breakdown policy, but is available as a pay-on-use service to both RAC members and non-members for £175 and £190 respectively.

Furthermore, motorists can eradicate the risk of misfuelling with FuelSure, a device specifically designed to prevent this costly blunder. By physically preventing the insertion of the smaller diameter petrol pump nozzle, the adaptor replaces the existing fuel cap and has the potential to help the 11.4 million diesel drivers in the UK3. FuelSure, which is the brainchild of inventor, engineer and RAC Patrol Phil Cartwright, is available from the newly-launched RAC webshop (www.racshop.co.uk/), RAC Patrols and recovery specialists for £29.95.                       

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RAC Press office contact:
Vicki Burn on 01603 684224/ 07800 692909 or
Heather Price-Longden at Staniforth on 0161 919 8010/ 07966 652056

Notes to editors

1. Figure based on the finding by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) which found that 150,000 drivers misfuel annually, resulting in a daily average of 400 cases - 10 May 2010 www.biba.org.uk

2. Based on an average tank capacity of 50 litres

3. A study carried out by BIBA to highlight the dangers uninsured motorists can face - 10 May 2010 www.biba.org.uk

About RAC

With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs.

RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its members and has been ranked first for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates' UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last four years and the top-named service organisation in the July 2009, January 2010 and July 2010 UK Customer Satisfaction Index from the Institute of Customer Service.

RAC Insurance has also been awarded the Best Overall Vehicle Insurance Provider 2009/10 by themoneypages.com

RAC is part of Aviva, the world's sixth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.rac.co.uk/press-centre/

*based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

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