RAA: Misfuelling Costs Australian Motorists $10 Million Each Year Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Oct, 16 2013 | 5 Comments

Many of us will know someone who has accidently filled a car's tank with the wrong fuel type, and a new study has revealed the full cost that 'small' mistake to Australian motorists.

South Australia’s peak motoring group the RAA has calculated that Australians spend around $10 million each year on the aftermath caused by misfuelling.

On average, around 7,500 incidents of mis-fuelling occur in Australia each year, with 600 of those occurring in SA.

By far the most common mistake is motorists filling diesel tanks with petrol, with the cost of rectifying the situation dependant on when the refueller noticed their error.

For those that noticed before they started the engine, the cost is around $468 on average to flush the fuel system and change the filters, not to mention the wasted fuel.

However, driving away from the service station with the wrong fuel is another matter entirely, as major repairs from the resulting damage can range from $4000 to $17,000 depending on the vehicle, with the average repair costing $7000.

RAA’s Mark Borlace reminded drivers to pay careful attention at service stations before reaching for the nozzle.

"On average, 83 percent of vehicles that experience mis-fuelling require minor repairs, with the remaining 17 percent needing major repairs,” Mr Borlace said.

"Some people may be able to claim for the damage under some insurance policies, but the majority of these costs would be out-of-pocket expenses for the affected motorists."

To combat misfuelling, the RAA is calling for more consistent labelling between service stations, with the varying colours of fuel nozzles containing the same fuel product being of particular concern.

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