If you put the wrong fuel in your car, draining, cleaning and accidental damage can be costly. Car insurance and breakdown cover may help you get it sorted out
Misfuelling means putting the wrong fuel in your car.
It's a suprisingly common error, but fortunately some car insurance policies will help you pay to put this costly mistake right.
Misfuelling cover means that your insurance policy will pay out for draining and cleaning the fuel tank at the filling station, or after being towed to a garage.
It can reimburse some, or all, of the cost of the contaminated fuel wasted by the incident.
However, in most cases misfuelling cover won’t pay up if you’ve driven your car any significant distance with the wrong fuel, as most insurers would consider this negligent.
Only 8% of the policies could provide misfuelling cover as an optional extra, so you might not be able to add it to your cover, even if you want to.
Misfuelling cover will normally only pay for the draining and cleaning of your tank at the point of misfuelling.
If you’ve driven away and caused further engine problems, you’ll need to check whether you’re covered under the accidental damage section of your policy.
Of the 349 policies we checked on Defaqto, all offered accidental damage cover but 55% contained a misfuelling exclusion clause.
Some insurers refuse to pay anything at all for misfuelling under accidental damage while others cover the cost of repairing damage caused but wouldn’t pay to have your fuel tank drained and cleaned.
You’ll need to check your policy documents carefully, including the accidental damage section, to find out exactly what is and isn’t included.
“While misfuelling is a common error, you can’t assume you’ll automatically be insured for it under your car insurance or breakdown cover”
Matt Oliver, motoring expert at GoCompare
If you’ve filled up with the wrong fuel, don’t start the engine - it could damage your car even more
Last checked 29 April 2020