Risk factors that can cause misfuelling are particularly applicable to business drivers, the AA has said.

According to figures from the motoring organisation, 59% of callouts it received to deal with petrol being put in diesel cars or vice versa came from business drivers, compared with 41% from consumers 

The AA, which offers a Fuel Assist service to deal with misfuelling incidents, says drivers often blame their mistake on being preoccupied, driving an unfamiliar car or visiting an unfamiliar filling station.

It says these are especially applicable to drivers of company-owned or operational vehicles, who may be rushing between appointments to deliver goods or to secure business sales, and to those using a pool car, when the fuel type of the loan vehicle may differ from their own.

Business drivers also tend to cover longer distances than the general motorist and are more likely to use a wide range of filling stations along unfamiliar driving routes.

AA data shows that a refuelling mistake occurs once every three minutes across the UK, with the error costing between £500 and £3,000 to rectify.

Cars should not be started once a mistake has been made as this may damage the engine.

Donald MacSporran, the AA’s manufacturer services director, said: “Misfuelling can potentially cost businesses thousands of pounds in repair costs, not to mention time in lost revenue while drivers wait for their vehicle to be fixed.”