It was nine years ago when we first produced an article about contaminated fuel here on

Since then, a great many people have used our comments section to report incidences of contaminated fuel and  share their experiences. As such, we thought it was high time we gave the article an update and provided some advice.

A steady stream of contaminated fuel stories continue to hit the news, but there are also more isolated incidents that seem to go unreported, as our comments section suggests

If you think you’ve been affected by contaminated fuel – perhaps because your car starts to judder and feel unresponsive, there are some important steps you should take.

  1. Stop driving the vehicle as soon as you can so that if the fuel is contaminated, it doesn’t do any more damage to your engine.
  2. Contact a local garage or main dealer and seek their confirmation that contaminated fuel is the cause of your problems. If so, arrange for them to take a sample of fuel from the vehicle. You will probably have to pay for this initially, but can potentially claim for it further down the line.
  3. Document everything that happens, including noting all related expenses.
  4. Contact the retailer where you purchased the fuel in the first instance.
  5. If you need help dealing with any claim, make use of your local trading standards office or Consumer Direct.
  6. Don’t let contaminated fuel sit in your tank for too long. You will need to arrange for your tank to be drained and the fuel disposed of.
  7. Check with your insurance company with regard to how they can help you; You may be in luck if you have accidental damage coverage.

Contaminated Fuel: The Number One Precaution!

A key precaution that will really help you if you one day fall victim to contaminated fuel is to always keep your fuel receipts. If you ever end up in a compensation battle, that tiny piece of paper has the potential to make your life so much easier.

We’ve carried over the many past comments from the older version of this article. We are happy to let the comments section act as a forum so your can reach out to see if fellow drivers have experienced issues at the same garage(s). However, please note you are responsible for your own posts, so please ensure you are confident of the facts before singling out any particular garage.


If you pull away from a petrol station and suddenly get a sinking feeling that something’s wrong with your car, don’t immediately assume contaminated fuel is the issue. You may have in fact have been one of the 150,000 drivers each year who inadvertently fill their car with the wrong fuel.

So, retrace your steps and see if this might have been the case; check your receipt as well – if it says diesel and you use unleaded, you may be in a spot of bother. It’s at this point that you’ll hope you added misfuelling cover to your car insurance policy – or even took out a dedicated policy to protect yourself against such an incident. Either way, it’s time to call a local garage – you should never try to drive a car that’s been misfuelled OR filled with contaminated fuel.

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