Do you know that feeling of sickness you get when you put the wrong fuel in your car? It may make you feel just a little bit better when you learn that police misfuelled vehicles almost 300 times last year.
What’s more, the misfuelling gaffes cost police forces up and down the country in excess of £50,000 in repairs.
33 police forces admitted misfuelling vehicles
Of the UK’s 45 police forces, 33 admitted paying out for repairs to police vehicles after misfuelling 2017 at an average cost of £178 a time, according to details released after a Freedom of Information request.
West Midlands Police misfuelled vehicles on most occasions, their 66 cock-ups costing a total of £3,737.
The Met Police misfuelled vehicles 49 times which cost £17,589.57 in repairs, while north of the border, Police Scotland had 16 incidents which cost £2,004.92.
Number of misfuelled vehicles “staggering”
John O’Connell from pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “It’s staggering that such a simple mistake is being made almost daily.
“This careless attitude shows a lack of respect for those same taxpayers who both pay their wages and are forced to pay for the repairs.
“Millions of people manage this task with their own cars by taking a modicum of care – police officers should extend the same courtesy to their vehicles.”
West Midlands Police fleet manager Gary Mallett said mistakes increased after 2013 when the force moved away from internal fuel sites and fuel keys to external fuel stations in a cost-cutting exercise.
Number of misfuelled vehicles is “tiny proportion”
A spokesman for the Met said that since 2008 its vehicles had been refuelled 1.5 million times and mistakes represented “a tiny proportion”.
The spokesman added: “The MPS operates a mixed fleet of both petrol and diesel vehicles with a gradual move towards more petrol, hybrid and electric vehicles. Overall, the misfuelling rate is decreasing year on year.
“We ensure that every vehicle has a clear indication of which fuel is required on fuel flaps and vehicle log books.
As misfuelling is clearly so easy to do, it’s good to know that you can cover yourself in the event of a misfuelling accident for just £12.99 with a policy from Adrian Flux.