Each time the wrong fuel is added, the very expensive fuel has to be drained, and in many cases engines have to be repaired. According to the Mirror, one force, The Met, had four times as expensive a problem as any other group, with £194,212 in damage ($316k USD) over three years. In one year alone, the pump-challenged bunch had 287 erroneous re-fuels from its 6,500 unit fleet at a taxpayer cost of £84,992 ($138k USD). That's a mis-fuel rate of .09%.
A group called TaxPayers' Alliance demanded fueling info under the Freedom of Information act from 52 forces in the UK. Eight forces rejected the request, and four more didn't respond. The public action group pored over data over a four month period to come up with the staggering sum of bungled fill-ups.
TaxPayers' Alliance chief Matthew Elliott doesn't mince words when talking about the size and scope of the fuel problem. "Every car damaged is thousands of pounds diverted away from the fight against crime. One would hope our police were more on the ball." One would hope.
To combat the expensive fuel mix-up issue, North Wales placed yellow stickers labeled 'DIESEL' back in 2006, but that didn't stop officers from pumping petrol on 39 different occasions. Many forces have stated that they've tried many things to combat the problem, but apparently only one solution has worked. Humberside has had only one mis-fuel, at a cost of £51. They have an all-gas fleet, which they say saves £250,000 a year. Hmmm....
[Source: U.K. Mirror]