This paper demonstrates the development of a simple chemical kinetics model designed for autoignition of n-dodecane in air using Bayesian inference with a model-error representation. The model error, i.e. intrinsic discrepancy from a high-fidelity benchmark model, is represented by allowing additional variability in selected parameters. Subsequently, we quantify predictive uncertainties in the results of autoignition simulations of homogeneous reactors at realistic diesel engine conditions. We demonstrate that these predictive error bars capture model error as well. The uncertainty propagation is performed using non-intrusive spectral projection that can also be used in principle with larger scale computations, such as large eddy simulation. While the present calibration is performed to match a skeletal mechanism, it can be done with equal success using experimental data only (e.g. shock-tube measurements). Since our method captures the error associated with structural model simplifications, we believe that the optimised model could then lead to better qualified predictions of autoignition delay time in high-fidelity large eddy simulations than the existing detailed mechanisms. This methodology provides a way to reduce the cost of reaction kinetics in simulations systematically, while quantifying the accuracy of predictions of important target quantities.