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Male drivers more prone to fuel mishaps

Ever filled up your car with the wrong fuel or run out completely, having made a mistake in your calculations? There’s a good chance you are a bloke.

One in five brits say they have run out of fuel on at least one occasion, according to RAC data. Men were more likely to play ‘fuel roulette’, with 61 per cent admitting they had run out of fuel at least once, compared with 39 per cent of women.

Men were also more likely to make the same mistake twice, at 6 per cent compared with 4 per cent of females. 13 per cent of men, meanwhile, admitted to putting the wrong fuel in the car, compared with 8 per cent of women. 

The RAC said it attends 30,000 ‘misfuellings’ every year, which would extrapolate to 130,000 instances in the UK. Assuming for a second it costs £200 to one incident, stupidity costs motorists £40 million a year – £25 million of which is down to men.

22,000 ‘out of fuel’ incidents – equating to 100,000 UK motorists – were attended by the RAC in 2013.

Before the male species starts flogging itself for being inferior, the RAC data fails to take into account the fact men tend to drive more miles per year. Or maybe, just maybe, we are just more stupid at the forecourt. 

“Both running out of fuel and misfuelling can be costly mistakes. Running out of fuel can result in motorists being stranded in dangerous places on the road and misfuelling can be very expensive, particularly if a vehicle suffers damage as a result of the wrong fuel being sent around the system,” RAC technical director David Bizley commented. 

“Perhaps men are more willing to take unnecessary risks, but ultimately it is a false economy if damage is caused as a result of regularly running low on fuel, or perhaps it is simply that the average annual mileage of male drivers is significantly higher than their female equivalents,” he added. 

Put diesel in a petrol car or vice-versa? Ensure you do not twist the key in the ignition as that will circulate the rogue fuel in the car. Tell the petrol station you’ve made a mistake and call up a specialist who can rectify the problem.

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