The day you pass your driving test is definitely an exciting one; finally, you get to rip up the “L” plates and enjoy the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. However, driving comes with a few tasks that your driving tutor won’t necessarily have covered with you – like filling up at the petrol station.
The first time you fill up can be pretty daunting, even embarrassing – and you certainly don’t want to make a potentially costly mistake like putting the wrong fuel in your car – but if you brush up on the essentials before you go, nobody will know that you’ve never done this before!
Things to Know
Before you pull into the petrol station, there are a few things you need to know.
Firstly, does your car take petrol or diesel? It may be written inside the cover to your fuel cap, but it will definitely be in your car’s handbook if you don’t know. This is an important question, as putting the wrong fuel in can cause costly damage!
Secondly, which side is the fuel cap on? You want to pull up so that the pump’s on the correct side, otherwise getting the fuel into the tank is a bit more difficult than it needs to be! (Some fuel pumps will stretch, but it’s really not worth the hassle!)
Thirdly, how do you open the fuel cap on your car? Some vehicles have a lever inside the car, others are opened with the car keys. Knowing in advance saves you from building up an impatient queue of motorists behind you!
Fourthly, do you have enough money? It can be pretty shocking when you realise just how much it costs to fill up your tank – so make sure you know what’s in your wallet, and stop well before the pump gets there. Don’t try to run it right up to the exact amount you have, as it’s difficult to be precise.
What to Do
Pull up beside the fuel pump, making sure it’s on the correct side for your fuel cap.
Turn off the engine (very, very important!) and open the fuel cap.
Choose the right pump; diesel is usually labelled in black and petrol in green. Make sure you check the names on the pumps, as some stations will have more than one type of each, and you need the most suitable one for your car.
Lift the pump handle and insert the nozzle into the fuel cap. Squeeze the trigger and the fuel will start to flow. Keep an eye on the counter so that you can stop in time. You don’t need to worry about overfilling your tank, as the pump will automatically cut out.
Unless you’re at a station which takes payment at the pump, you’ll need to make a note of which pump you’ve used, lock your car, and go in to make payment. All you need to do is tell the person at the till which pump you want to pay for, and then pay as usual.
If you should accidentally put the wrong fuel in your car, don’t panic! Don’t start the car, and give us a call on 0800 6349827 – we’ll soon get you going again!