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British motorists are spending £150 million on repairs each year after putting the wrong type of fuel in their car.
A study found the country's drivers mistakenly put either petrol or diesel once every 105 seconds, resulting in 300,000 vehicles a year needing repaired because of such errors.
The research, which was conducted by Halfords Autocentres, estimated that using the wrong kind of fuel can cost UK motorists and car insurance policy holders anything between £500 and £3,000 to fix the damage to the engine.
Rory Carlin, a spokesman for Halfords, told The Daily Mail that, "We saw a noticeable increase in mis-fuelling during March and September - the peak months for new car purchase - which could be attributed to new owners.
"If you put the wrong fuel in the car, do not attempt to drive off as this will circulate it and could cause more unnecessary damage."
Experts believe the growing number of people switching from petrol engines to more fuel-efficient diesel cars has also helped to increase the frequency of this mis-fuelling mistake.
There have been a growing number of high-profile cases involving the wrong fuel in recent years, most notably in May when a fuel tanker driver filled a forecourt unleaded storage tank with diesel in Salford. This resulted in the petrol station having to close and then paying out £14,000 in damages to 44 car owners whose vehicles needed repaired.
Drivers who fill their tank with the wrong fuel are advised to leave their engine turned off and phone a garage or breakdown company immediately. Typically the entire system will have to be drained to remove any contaminated fuel.
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