Mis-fuelling the cause of over 3,000 rescue calls in 2009 - Green Flag

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During 2009, rapid breakdown cover experts Green Flag received over 3,000 rescue calls related to fuel. With petrol prices hitting a record high, some motorists are leaving it until the last minute to fill up and often run out before they reach the pump.

Mis-fuelling can be expensive. If you have a diesel and a petrol vehicle in your household, be extra vigilant.

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Another fuel related incident on the increase is mis-fuelling. Motorists are facing expensive repair bills if they drive off the forecourt with petrol instead of diesel.

Dan Robinson, head of breakdown cover experts Green Flag, said: “Mis-fuelling can be expensive. If you have a diesel and a petrol vehicle in your household, be extra vigilant. Filling up on autopilot could be costly. Diesel used to be the cheaper option for motorists, but recently the cost of diesel has risen above petrol, so work out which would be better for your individual situation.

“Remember that convenience costs and you will pay a premium to use motorway petrol stations. It is a good idea to use price comparison tools, like http://www.petrolprices.com, and sign up to email alerts to find the cheapest fuel in your area. Try to become a member of all the reward schemes, keep an eye out for supermarket petrol offers when you spend a certain amount in store and consider using a cashback credit card for all your fuel purchases.”

Green Flag tips on how to improve fuel efficiency

Your car:

  •     Reduce unnecessary weight – if there are still items for the charity shop in the boot – take them out! Only buy as much fuel as you need, think F1 – the more fuel on board, the more weight the vehicle is carrying around. Unnecessary equipment such as roof carriers, trailers, tow hitches will use more fuel too.
  •     Check all tyres have the correct amount of air, too much or too little can be unsafe and can affect fuel efficiency.
  •     Be slick: Reduce external drag by improving the aerodynamics. Keep windows closed and lose the roof rack.
  •     Make sure the vehicle is serviced regularly to ensure that it is running in top condition.

You and how you drive:

  •     Think boy racer, then do the opposite: Drive smoothly, with anticipation; avoid braking, keep the revs down and use the right gear. Lift off the accelerator as often as possible.
  •     Turn off air conditioning – though it is better than open windows on motorways. In the winter, the heating will also take power away from the engine making it less efficient.
  •     Stay at or below the speed limit and use cruise control on long drives.
  •     Plan a journey and avoid traffic jams. Switch off the engine when stationary. Use the Green Flag iPhone app for free traffic updates and visit our website for our free route planner.
  •     Tempted by a hybrid or a new ‘fuel efficient car’? If the driver is not prepared to change their ways then it will not make a lot of difference.
  •     In an emergency, if the vehicle does run out of fuel – call Green Flag!

Notes to Editors

Green Flag

With over 30 years experience, Green Flag provides customers with rapid breakdown cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Customers have access to a national network of thousands of independent recovery agents in the UK and mainland Europe.

Green Flag arrives within a national average of less than 30 minutes and its team of expert mechanics repairs 86% of vehicles at the roadside (based on 837,962 Green Flag call outs, Jan ’09 - Dec '09) - you'll be back on the road before you know it.

Green Flag is part of RBS Insurance, the second largest general insurer in the UK and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Customers can find out more about Green Flag products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 1557, connecting via the Green Flag Rescue Me Application, or visiting http://www.greenflag.com

Green Flag Motoring Assistance breakdown cover is underwritten by Direct Line Insurance plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered office: 3 Edridge Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1AG. Registered in England No. 1810801. FSA registered No. 202684. The Financial Services Authority's Register can be accessed through http://www.fsa.gov.uk

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