RAC Patrol invents misfuelling prevention device to benefit 11.4 million UK diesel drivers

Article date: 7 June 2010

RAC today launches FuelSure, a device designed to prevent those disastrous moments when you realise you've just put petrol into your diesel vehicle - an expensive mistake made by more than 400 drivers every day.

FuelSure is the brainchild of inventor, engineer and RAC Patrol Phil Cartwright. It's easy to fit and can be used on over 80% of diesel cars and light commercial vehicles on UK roads.

It's taken Phil three years to perfect his device, which is manufactured in his home town in Yorkshire, and is now ready for worldwide sales.

A recent study by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) found that of the 150,000 misfuelling cases per year, 95% are caused by drivers putting petrol into their diesel vehicles due to the wider diesel filler neck and narrower unleaded nozzle1.

FuelSure prevents the insertion of the smaller diameter petrol pump nozzle and removes the need to screw and unscrew the existing fuel cap. It has the potential to help the 11.4 million diesel drivers in the UK2.

Every three-and-a-half minutes a motorist misfuels3, generating approximately 7.5 million litres of contaminated fuel annually4 and costing drivers anything from £300 to over £5,000 for individual repairs. The disposal of this waste fuel, coupled with CO2 emissions generated by towing misfuelled vehicles, also has a devastating effect on the environment.

Phil said: “I set out to design a solution that was tough, foolproof, easy-to-use and replaced the normal fuel cap, and am extremely satisfied with the result. 

“After careful evaluation, technical experts at RAC agree it’s the only product that comes complete with a range of filler neck adaptors in the pack, fits over 80% of cars and light commercial vehicles on UK roads, and can easily be fitted by anyone in a matter of seconds.” 

Gary Wrightson-Heyworth, RAC technical service development manager, says: “FuelSure is a truly innovative product. It differs from similar products available as it physically prevents misfuelling - you need to have the diesel nozzle in your hand to remove the fuel cap. RAC fully supports this device and we are currently in the process of rolling it out to all of our roadside patrols and recovery specialists to make available to our members.” 

FuelSure costs £29.95 and is available from RAC Patrols and recovery specialists, as well as selected Halfords stores.


For further information please contact:
Vicki Burn on 01603 684224/07800 692909, Erik Nelson on 01603 682264/07989 427086 or Heather Price-Longden at Staniforth on 0161 919 8010. 

Background on FuelSure

  • FuelSure has potential sales to 11.4 million diesel drivers in the UK
    • FuelSure prevents the insertion of the petrol nozzle
    • Eliminates the need for handling of the filler cap on removal
    • Maintains the original features of the filler system
    • Eliminates the need to ‘stow’ the filler cap
    • Allows ‘normal’ insertion of the pump nozzle into the tank
    • Protects paint work adjacent to the filler area from damage from cap
    • Provides positive single action locking of cap illuminating rotary action
    • Eliminates rotary action when removing the device
    • Requires no tools or equipment for installation
    • Fits a wide range of vehicles and is easily transferable
    • Is highly resistant to damage or wear
    • Requires no batteries, maintenance or adjustments during its life

Notes to editors

[1] A study carried out by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) to highlight the dangers uninsured motorists can face - 10 May 2010 www.biba.org.uk

2 Department for Transport, 2009 Transport Statistics study, www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/tsgb/2009edition/sectionninevehicles.pdf (Link is no longer active)

3 150,000 drivers misfuelling annually results in a daily average of 400 cases, divided by the number of minutes per day 

4 Based on an average tank capacity of 50 litres

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 motorist's needs.

RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its members and has been ranked first for customer satisfaction by JD Power and Associates' UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last four years and the top-named service organisation in the July 2009 and January 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

Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Aviva UK Insurance.  Aviva is the UK's largest insurer with a market share of around 15%.

RAC is part of Aviva, the world's fifth largest insurance group, which operates in 28 countries.

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


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