It appears the total sum from all of Britain’s police forces wasted on repairing cars that had been filled with the wrong fuel is the equivalent of £390,061.

That might not mean too much in the context of the enormous budget the police receives, but it still gives away a worrying statistic: each day, at least one officer puts the wrong fuel into his patrol car. 2,147 such incidents have been registered since 2011, showing that these fumbles are anything but isolated.

Stress and pre-occupied minds are the most common excuses invoked, but the reality is that refueling a car isn’t something that requires that much of your brain activity. You just need to remember one thing and apply it when at the pump by picking the right nozzle.

Carmakers and those who design the pumps even tried to make it hard for something like this to happen by building the diesel nozzle larger than the gasoline filler neck, so it’s impossible to fit it in. However difficult it may be, it would seem the stressed and preoccupied officers managed to find a way of succeeding, even though these cases are less frequent than pouring petrol in a diesel car.

The amplitude of the damage done to the car depends on which type of fuel was mismatched, and also on whether the engine was switched on after the cock-up. According to AutoExpress, the average cost of the repairs was on average £181.68 per police car, with the worst offender being the Metropolitan Police, which accounts for nearly half of the total costs involved.

The AA says that on a national level, one person is putting the wrong type of fuel into their car every three and a half minutes. That translates to a total of 411 cases per day, so the apparently entitled rage at the officer’s lack of attention is in fact out of place, as it is in line with the rest of the nation’s habits.

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