Petrol station chaos worsened by drivers filling up with wrong fuel 7 months ago

Petrol station chaos worsened by drivers filling up with wrong fuel

It goes from bad to worse

As if the ongoing fear of fuel shortages and panic-buying habits weren't concerning enough, hundreds of panicking motorists are thought to have filled up their cars up with the wrong kind of fuel.


The news comes directly from breakdown services such as AA, who revealed on Monday (September 27) that they have attended around 250 cases of people putting diesel in petrol tanks and vice versa over the weekend.

For added context, they usually already attend around 20-25 incidents per day, with a dedicated fleet of specialist “fuel assist” mechanics. These easily avoidable mistakes have only been adding to the already massive queues at stations.

Queue outside a petrol station Credit: Getty

Misfuelling is highly dangerous for vehicles and can cause significant and irreparable damage to cars. Motorists are advised to not switch on the ignition once they realise their mistake.

Furthermore, these additional breakdowns could potentially block the already crowded forecourts. Drivers who have made this mistake also need to have their tanks fully drained in order to rid their vehicles of both the wrong fuel and the supply that was already in the tank.

The AA's president, Edmund King, warned that: “Drivers also need to be careful because this weekend we have seen a dramatic rise in misfuelling compared to last weekend. This in turn unnecessarily reduces the fuel available as the whole tank has to be drained before refilling with the correct fuel.”


He once again called on drivers to avoid filling up until necessary, noting that: “For the vast majority of drivers there is no need to rush to the pumps [...] There is no need to top up ‘just in case’.”

Fuel delivery being made Credit: Getty

Speaking to BBC Breakfast over the weekend, King reiterated that is not a lack of supply that is causing the problem but rather the lack of HGV drivers, adding that it's the people “going out and filling up when they don’t really need to” that are causing the queues and added chaos.

He went on to say: “If you think about it, 30 million cars out there, if they’ve all got half a tank [and] if they all rush out to fill up the rest of the tank and the tank is about 60 litres, that will put a strain on the system. The good news is you can only really fill up once – you’ve got to use the fuel, so this should be a short-term thing”.

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