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Will your insurer pay out if you put the wrong fuel in your car?

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16/08/2021
Misfuelling can ruin your engine completely and cost thousands of pounds to fix.

But if you think your insurer will foot the bill you may be in for a surprise as car insurers have been removing cover for this type of damage from policies in recent years.

Research from Defaqto, a financial information business, found more than half (55 per cent) of policies will not pay out for misfuelling, up from 48 per cent in 2016.

However, breakdown providers are more likely to include it.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of breakdown products now include cover towards the costs of recovering a car that had been mis-fuelled, up from 54 per cent five years ago.

Michael Powell, consumer motor expert at Defaqto, said: “There are few things more annoying than realising you have put the wrong fuel in a car, but finding that your insurer won’t cover the damage is definitely one of them. It is easy to put the wrong fuel in your car by mistake, particularly if you haven’t driven much during lockdown or are driving a car you’re not used to.”

What to do if you misfuel

-If you realise you have put the wrong fuel in and need to move your car at a busy petrol station, push it out of the way and do not start the engine.
-Call your motor breakdown provider as they may be able to recover your car to a local repairer.
-If you are being towed to a repairer by your breakdown provider, check to see if cover is provided towards the cost of removing the fuel, as some products do.
-Check if the repairer draining the tank can supply you with the right fuel, so you can be on your way as soon as the car is ready.

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