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What Is E10 Petrol?

We help explain the switch to the new standard petrol

You may not have been aware, but petrol stations across the UK have been using E5 unleaded petrol as the standard unleaded option for many years. In a bid to lower the nation's carbon footprint, the UK Government has ruled that E10 petrol should now be the standard option available at petrol stations across the land. England, Scotland and Wales already have E10 introduced and Northern Ireland is due to adopt it during 2022.

What's the difference between E5 and E10 petrol?

E5 petrol contains up to 5% renewable bio-ethanol, but E10 petrol contains up to 10% renewable ethanol which, it is hoped, will help to reduce the CO2 emissions associated with petrol vehicles.

What impact will the introduction of E10 have on the environment?

You may ask, 'why is E10 petrol being introduced?' The introduction of E10 to replace E5 could cut transport carbon dioxide emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year. By blending petrol with renewable ethanol, less fossil fuel is needed at source, therefore also helping reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources. Overall CO2 emissions should see a reduction, however it is expected there will be little impact on emissions associated with air quality and public health. As ethanol is less energy-dense than petrol, more is needed to produce the same power, so the carbon figure goes down but fuel consumption increases slightly. It is still hoped that, overall, the effect will be better for the environment.

What will using E10 fuel mean for me?

The change to E10 applies only to petrol cars and not diesel. All cars built since 2011 will be compatible with E10. If you have an older vehicle, or are in any doubt, then use the Government's fuel checker link below to verify if your vehicle can use E10 petrol.

Fuel Compatibility Checker

If your petrol vehicle is not compatible with E10, then you will still be able to use E5 by filling up with 'super' grade (97+octane) petrol. The fuel pump should clearly display E10 or E5 on the nozzle or pump. Vehicles most likely to be incompatible are classic cars, specific models from the early 2000's and some mopeds particularly with a 50cc engine or smaller. On your vehicle, those manufactured after 2019 should have an E10 label near the fuel filler flap.

Using E10 fuel does not affect clean air zone, or ULEZ use; that is determined by the vehicle's Euro emissions standard, not the fuel used.

What are the down sides to using E10?

E10 petrol can slightly reduce fuel economy by about 1% according to government estimates.

Will E10 petrol damage my car?

Using E10 petrol in a non-compatible vehicle on a one-off occasion is not harmful, however prolonged use may cause harm and is not recommended. You should not need to drain the tank, such as with putting petrol into a diesel engine, for example.

If your vehicle is compatible with E10, you can mix E10 and E5 - that is, to top up with E5 or to fill if E10 is not available.

Is E10 petrol more expensive than E5?

In theory, as E10 is now the standard petrol it is no more expensive than E5 was when standard. However, now that E5 has become super unleaded it will likely be more expensive than standard. The government predicts a 1% reduction in fuel economy with the introduction of E10 as standard as you will need to use slightly more of it to get the same power.

Can I get E10 when driving abroad?

E10 petrol is already used widely across Europe, the USA and Australia. It has been the reference fuel for testing new cars for emissions and performance since 2016.

We hope this blog has helped answer some of your questions around the introduction of the new E10 fuel. We wish you many miles of happy motoring. Should you have any further questions, please get in touch and we'll try to help.

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