Misfuelling Cover

from ReduceMyExcess

By , 13 March 2024

Misfuelling Cover: Insurance for Wrong Fuel in Rental Cars

We have all been there: you are filling up your hire car, you have a lapse in concentration, and suddenly you find that you have added the wrong fuel.

This can also happen when hiring a car in another country, as not all petrol stations abroad look and work like the ones in the UK, so it can be very easy to make such a mistake!

When we say you are not alone if you have ever added the wrong fuel, we really mean it - with WhatCar? stating that one person misfuels their car every three and a half minutes in the UK.

To help you avoid any problems at the car hire desk or unfair charges, continue reading to find out what misfuelling is, how our misfuelling insurance cover protects you and what the exclusions are.

What is misfuelling?

Misfuelling is the act of putting the wrong type of fuel in your car. Putting petrol into a diesel car, or vice-versa, would be an example of misfuelling.

What is misfuelling insurance for hire cars?

Misfuelling insurance will reimburse the costs of adding the wrong fuel to your hire car.

A car hire excess insurance policy from ReduceMyExcess includes misfuelling cover to eliminate any potential worry and to ensure that you are covered for any accidental damage caused to your hire car if you put in the wrong fuel - which can cause serious damage and lead to expensive repair costs.

Am I insured if I put the wrong fuel in my hire car?

Misfuelling cover will reimburse the cost (up to £1,000) of having to call out an engineer to drain your hire car’s fuel tank and get you back on the road again.

What should I do if I have added the wrong fuel to my hire car?

When you have misfuelled your hire car, the most important thing to remember is that you must not start it.

Attempting to drive could cause significant damage to the hire car’s engine.

If you have already started driving and realised your mistake, you must find a safe place to pull over and turn the engine off.

As soon as you have realised what you have done, you need to contact your car hire company, who can help arrange for an engineer to come out and assist you.

Your fuel tank will need to be fully drained before you can drive the car again.

Ensure you keep a record of all the costs you incurred, including notes, invoices, and charges, as you can claim this money back once you have returned your hire car and the rental period has ended.

What are the exclusions?

While it can be tempting to skim over your excess car hire insurance policy, it is important that you fully understand the points outlined should you need to make a claim.

Adding the wrong fuel to your hire car will see you receive a reimbursement of costs up to £1,000.

However, we cannot cover any claims for:

If you will be hiring a van for the course of your trip, you can make sure you are covered with our excess van policy.

Additional drivers will also be covered for misfuelling, as long as they were named on your car rental agreement beforehand.

Tips to avoid adding the wrong fuel

If you are concerned about adding the wrong fuel to your hire car or if it is something you have done before, here are a few ways you can prevent it from happening again:

How can putting petrol in a diesel hire car or vice versa damage the engine?

Filling up a diesel-powered car with petrol can cause significant damage to your hire car, resulting in a very expensive mistake.

The first and most important thing to remember after misfuelling your hire car is to limit the amount of damage caused by not starting your car.

Starting your car allows the petrol to circulate the fuel system, dissolving the lubricating properties of the diesel and causing friction, damaging your fuel lines, pumps, and filters.

If you have already started your car and are on the road, you must find a safe place to stop, turn off the engine and remove your keys from the ignition to prevent any further damage.

However, while adding diesel into your petrol hire car is not as serious, it can still cause a lot of potential damage if it is not dealt with effectively.

When diesel gets into your fuel system, it will coat the car’s spark plugs and essentially form a clog.

Tell-tale signs that you have added the wrong fuel to your car include:

If you realised you have misfuelled your hire car, it is always best to contact your hire car company who can arrange for an engineer to come out and drain the car’s fuel system so you can get back on the road again.

What happens if I misfuel with E10 fuel?

From 2011 if you add E10 fuel to your petrol-powered car, there is no need to panic, as your hire car will still run.

GOV.UK states that all petrol cars built and sold from 2011 must be compatible with E10 fuel.

However, if your hire car is an older model, fuelling with E10 fuel will have the same impact as fuelling with unleaded petrol and your fuel tank will need to be drained.

This is because ethanol is corrosive and can cause damage to the seals, plastics, and metals within your fuel system.

If your hire car is not compatible with E10 fuel, you are not alone as Fuel Card Services states that around 60,000 cars on UK roads are incompatible with E10 fuel.

Unlike filling a diesel car with petrol or vice versa, there is no need to drain the fuel tank.

Instead, you just need to fill up your hire car with E5 (97+ octane) petrol the next time your car needs a top up.

Your hire car’s engine will not suffer from damage after using a single tank of E10 fuel.

If you continue to use E10 fuel in a non-compatible hire car, your hire car will see significant damage and corrosion to the vehicle’s metals, gaskets, and rubber seals.

Before filling up your hire car, it is always best to check if it is E10 compliant.

Final thoughts

Misfuelling a car can be a stressful experience for anyone, but planning ahead and knowing you are fully covered by your insurance can provide that extra bit of reassurance.

Always remember you can decrease your chances of misfuelling your car by avoiding distractions, paying close attention, and asking for help when you need it.

For any further questions around misfuelling, get in touch with our friendly customer service team, who are happy to answer any questions you may have, using our contact us form.