Is your filler cap now on the left or right?

You will have already noticed when you change your car that the filler cap is not always in the same place. But how exactly does this happen? And how can you easily find out where your filler cap is while you are still driving? The latter can be very convenient with a new car when you are just driving up to the petrol station. After all, you’d rather not go back to moving your car while everyone is watching ūüėČ .

Why is the filler cap located precisely there?

The reason why a filler cap is located on the left or right side is due to the origin of the brand. If the brand comes from a country where the steering wheel is on the left, the filler cap is usually on the right. The reason for this was safety and convenience. In Europe, with the steering wheel on the left, the cap was on the right. This ensured that you could usually fill up quietly on the side where there was no traffic racing by. It also ensured that when swinging open your driver’s door, you wouldn’t bang against the pump with the door. Finally, they also looked at the direction of driving. In cars where people drive on the right, it is easier to also turn right and drive straight to the pump.

Now that rule has since become somewhat outdated with the globalisation of the car industry and new insights. On the one hand, not only the origin of the brand is considered, but also the sales market, and there are now some brands that cooperate internationally and use the chassis in multiple locations.

Inflows at filling stations

But on the other hand, it also looked at inflows at petrol stations. You can still find them here and there in Belgium, but a lot more in other countries. Smaller stations with only 1 pump and 1 driving direction. If every car in Belgium were required to have the fuel cap on the right-hand side, this would mean that the pump would often only be used 50% of the time. By putting the fuel cap on the left side in some brands, this makes it easier for people to refuel on the other side of the pump and that ensures 100% utilisation of the pump and less long waiting times. Some brands even used to use this as an extra selling point when buying a new car.

So how can you find out about if your filler cap is on the left or the right?

The first one is a trick most people already know. On most cars you can look at your fuel gauge and find a little arrow. If the arrow points to the right, you can also find the filler cap on the right. So you can easily position the car correctly so that the pump is also on the right. And vice versa too, of course. If it points to the left you can find the filler cap on your left.