Three years of mistakes costs tax payers more than £1 million
10 June 2009

Misfuelling is costing the British police more than £300,000 a year, according to a new report.

Official statistics reveal that over the course of three years, police forces have put the wrong fuel in their cars on 4709 occasions. That's an average of four cars damaged per day, and the mistakes are estimated to cost around £6500 a week. Over the three year test period, that equates to more than £1 million.

London's Metropolitan police force was among the worst offenders, paying £194,212 in damage over three years. In one year the force misfuelled on almost one in every 1000 fills.

The evidence came to light when a group called the TaxPayers' Alliance demanded the information under the Freedom of Information act. It asked 52 forces for the figures, and eight forces rejected the request, and four more didn't respond.

TaxPayers' Alliance chief Matthew Elliott said: "Every car damaged is thousands of pounds diverted away from the fight against crime. One would hope our police were more on the ball."

One police force does appear to have tackled the problem, however.

Humberside's force has had only one misfuel, at a cost of £51. It has an all-gas fleet.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?