I did something unfathomably stupid the other day.

I took my daughter to visit what could be her next school. We parked, and with the engine off, we got out, and I locked the car using the keyfob as we left. When I half-noticed that the indicator lights hadn’t flashed to show the car was locked, I put it down to an over-active imagination, mainly because we were a little pushed for time.

Having toured the school, we came back an hour later, and not only did the indicator lights not flash again, but the engine was running.

It didn’t take long to work out I hadn’t turned off the ignition, and that when we’d parked, the fuel-saving auto stop/start system had kicked in, and I’d mistakenly thought a silent engine was a switched-off engine. I was fortunate the car was still there, although a thief wouldn’t have had much joy once they’d run out of fuel or turned off the ignition because they couldn’t restart the CX-3 without the keyfob.

But my lucky escape has raised a question, which is, why did the engine presumably continue idling and, ironically, fritter away fuel? I’ve sat in a parked car – with the engine off – countless times with the radio on while waiting for the kids to finish an activity, only for the power to shut down and require switching on again, and yet nothing happened in this case.

I’ve since tried to replicate the incident but, thankfully, haven’t been able to as the engine shuts down when the keyfob is pressed. We’ll have to put what happened down to some weird aberration.

Mazda CX-3 1.5D 105 SE-L Nav

Mileage 6387
P11D price £20,940
Forecast/actual cost per mile 44.5p/45.1p
Our average consumption 56.3mpg
Official combined consumption 70.6mpg