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I've driven off without paying for diesel. What to do?

Started by TobyTransit, March 15, 2022, 10:16:33 AM

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Pretty much as per the title, I've been working down in Cornwall and drove home late last night. Filled up somewhere on route and got chatting to the guy filling up next to me about the boat he was towing, there wasn't anyone else about so we chatted for a good 5 minutes I think. Anyway distracted by that I've then got back in and driven home but thinking about it, I didn't go in and pay for the fuel which was about £90.

Now the problem I have is I don't know where the petrol station was, it was my first time in Cornwall and I wasn't really paying attention to the route as it was late when we left.

I've disposed of the evidence by driving the 450 miles back home lol but seriously, I still have that often lost thing called honesty and I want to pay! What's the best course of action now? The police have said they can't help without the name of the station and to just wait until they contact me.

Call the plod in Cornwall, explain what happened, and give your details so they can contact you if a report with your reg comes in.

Meanwhile, trace your steps and phone the stations
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Also I'd suggest getting it on record that you have been proactive in contacting the plod, I'm no expert but this could be the difference between being accused of theft vs it being recognised as an innocent mistake
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Disposed of the evidence lol

I can't imagine plod will be that interested at the moment although its definitely a good idea to try, 101 will allow you to contact a specific force as SDA has the right idea to contact the county involved. From what I understand though (which is limited tbf) but unless you intentionally drove off, ie at pace or with obscured plates, the police aren't too keen to get involved and the garage have to request details from DVLA rather then the police.

You can guarantee all UK garages will have decent CCTV these days though so that WILL happen, its just how long DVLA take to process it which is a couple of weeks from what I believe.

There aren't that many filling stations in Cornwall though and, given it sounds like you were quite late, even less 24/7 ones. Can you not remember which brand it was? That's another alternative which would be to contact the head office for that brand and explain it to them.
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March 15, 2022, 07:38:59 PM #4 Last Edit: March 15, 2022, 07:44:04 PM by brianh Reason: add info
You will probabbly find that you will have issues filling up at some point soon - most likely having to pay first as the forecourt ANPR cameras have triggered your number plate would be my guess. Depends where it was.

If you have location history on your phone, it might be worth checking out https://timeline.google.com/ with the same account if its Android to see if you can work out where you stopped.

You might be able to pay over the phone with a possible admin charge applied on top depending who it was.

I've only had the problem once, when driving for a company out of a different branch in their vehicle and expecting them to have a BP fuel card (like the rest of their company). Pulled in, filled up, pulled the fuel card out of the holder to discover it was a Shell one and not accepted there. Had to fill out a form and get work to sort it out :)

The few times I've driven down there, there are very few late night services - if you know what road you used that might help you narrow it down somewhat, Streetview might narrow it down further as you can take a look around to see if it looks like you have the right place?

The only services like you'd get on a motorway, are the ones called Cornish gateway services https://www.cornwall-services.com , which are off a junction with a large car park. Its a BP forecourt if thats any help there. If its a garage at the side of the road you have somewhat more options, in which case see if you can narrow it down to a brand at least?

Great thinking Brian! Managed to find the garage using Google history, rang them up and they were really understanding. All paid now so happy days!

Thank you for the update and thanks also to Brian for his genius suggestion!
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

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