In a current TV ad for the ubiquitous Max Beezley congratulates his audience ironically for putting together a lovely CV then filing it away where no one will see it. “Genius!” he observes with evident contempt.

Could this be the start of a vogue for ads mocking the stupidity of their target audience? If so, is right on the money, warning motorists not to put the wrong kind of fuel in their cars.

Things can go wrong with your car if you do, warns Will Thomas, confused head of motor insurance.

“Accidents do happen,” he notes ruefully, adding that “drivers realising they have done this should notify a breakdown company or local garage immediately. Above all they must not drive the vehicle,” he explains with a commendable economy of punctuation.

There’s “no hard and fast rule” he observes – paraphrasing the memorably self-defeating declaration of that bloke who takes on Butch Cassidy in a short-lived “knife” fight – but not all insurance providers cover misfuelling.

If you think you may be stupid or easily confused, he suggests, it’s probably a good idea to check with you insurer before you stick any nozzles where they’re not meant to go.


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