UK fuel set to change - What is E10 Petrol?

The fuel available at most petrol pumps will soon be changing. Currently, the UK uses a standard petrol called E5, which is made of up to 5% bioethanol.


The E10 petrol, as you may have already guessed, is made of up to 10% bioethanol and is being introduced by the government to help reduce CO2 emissions.

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E10 Petrol - UK's new standard fuel

The government stated following their consultations, "switching to E10 would reduce the CO2 emissions from a petrol vehicle by around 2% (in addition to the 2% savings we already achieve from the current use of E5).


This, combined with an increase to overall renewable fuel targets, could cut overall transport CO2 emissions by a further 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking around 350,000 cars off the road."

When is the fuel changing?

The change will happen over summer 2021, with many petrol stations already planning a change date. The legislation comes into effect in September 2021, so there isn't much time for the switchover.


E10 - Is it bad for my car?

In short, no. Most modern cars are compatible with the new petrol and you will not likely notice a difference. All petrol vehicles manufactured after 2011 are compatible. Whilst those made before 2002 and 2011 should be, its worth checking if your vehicle is happy with the new fuel. You can use the governments online checker by clicking here.

If your vehicle was manufactured before 2002 however, it is recommended that you do not use the new fuel. This is due to some of the vehicle components being susceptible to wear due to the 5% increase of bioethanol in E10, compared to E5. The RAC has estimated that UK-wide, there are 600,000 cars that will not be compatible with the new E10 fuel.


The higher-grade 'super' or 'premium' petrol, will remain as E5 to help protect vehicles that are not compatible.


If you fill up an incompatible car with E10 fuel, it should be fine as a one-off, but will need to be refuelled with the correct fuel next time.



Will it cost more?

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Classic Cars are not compatible with E10

A question on many motorists' minds. We're often frustrated with the seemingly ever-increasing fuel prices but there's good news here (or at least not bad news). Whilst E10 is replacing E5 petrol and will become the UK standard, there is no plan to increase it's cost to the consumer.


RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The switch to E10 petrol is clearly good news for the environment and will not affect the vast majority of the UK’s 33m car drivers although some may see the number of miles they get from a tank go down as research suggests E10 is potentially slightly less efficient. Vehicle owners who find their pride and joy is not compatible with E10 will see an increase in their at-pump fuel costs, as they will have to rely on the 'super' grade fuel.

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