May 29, 2024

What is misfuelling insurance?

By Nathaniel Dalby

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Every driver has heard horror stories of accidentally putting diesel in a petrol car and vice versa. The truth is, misfuelling can happen to anyone, and is estimated to affect around 150,000 drivers every year in the UK (Allianz, 2023). That’s why misfuelling insurance has become something many drivers look for.

While you might think that making this kind of mistake is rare enough to not need specific coverage, it’s worth being aware of your options should the worst happen.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what misfuelling insurance is, how to pick the coverage that’s right for you and where you can find a suitable policy.

Read on or jump to a specific section:

What is misfuelling insurance and do I need it?

Misfuelling insurance is a type of coverage that protects you in the event you fill your vehicle with the wrong type of fuel.

Some drivers believe that, if this happens, all you need to do is call a breakdown service provider and have them drain the tank. However, putting the wrong fuel in your car can damage your engine and fuel system in a way that can be costly to fix.

This is where misfuelling insurance can help, as it covers the cost of any additional damage that has been caused to your car, as well as covering the drain and flush of your tank.

What should I do if I’ve misfuelled?

If you’ve misfuelled at the pump, make sure you do not start the car. This is one of the common causes of engine damage during misfuelling.

If you’ve already started driving before realising, stop at the nearest safe place. If you’re still at the petrol station, let them know what’s happened.

You’ll then need to contact your breakdown cover provider or insurer, who will then send someone to drain the tank and replace the fuel, or take you to the nearest petrol station.

Misfuelling insurance
Man calling his car insurance after having a vehicle breakdown on the road

Also see: What should I do if I put the wrong fuel in my car?

Does car insurance cover misfuelling?

It’s common for insurance policies to offer misfuelling cover as either an add-on or part of a comprehensive package.

Before you begin shopping around for a policy, it’s worth checking with your insurance provider to see if this is covered in your current policy. If not, you may be able to add it straight away or take it as part of your renewal (bear in mind that this will include an additional premium).

If you have a breakdown cover provider separate from your insurer, you might be covered for tank drainage, though these services won’t cover the repair cost if your engine is damaged. Again, it’s important to check your policy to be sure.

Also see: Does car insurance cover misfuelling?

Choosing the right misfuelling insurance policy for you

If you’ve recently switched from a diesel to petrol car, it’s easy to fuel up while on autopilot, and mistakes can happen.

If you’re concerned about misfuelling in the future, make sure you get an insurance policy which includes this type of coverage when purchasing a new car or renewing your cover.

With electric vehicles becoming more and more popular in the UK, misfuelling is unlikely to be a problem many will face in the future. New petrol and diesel cars and vans will no longer be solid after 2035, and if you already own an EV, it’s obviously not something you need to worry about.

Until then, though, it’s a problem that drivers should keep in mind when getting coverage (even if you have a hybrid!).

Misfuelling insurance
Person lifting fuel pump to fill fuel in car

Where can I get misfuelling insurance?

As we mentioned earlier, some insurance companies offer misfuelling coverage as an optional extra, especially on breakdown policies.

Don’t assume that you’re covered and make sure you read the policy document thoroughly before settling. And just like any type of insurance, there will be some restrictions.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for breakdown insurance that offers misfuelling cover too, Save More Money’s comprehensive coverage could be the right choice. You’ll get misfuelling cover of up to £250 and up to 10 litres of the correct fuel.


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