E10 has arrived

A new eco-friendly fuel is starting to appear at filling stations and the good news is that all petrol vehicles built after 2011 can use the new E10 fuel which will be the UK’s new standard grade of unleaded petrol.

There are a few exceptions but there is a quick and easy way  to confirm your car is compatible with the fuel on the government’s own official E10 online checker – just pop in the make of your car and the website will confirm if your car can use the fuel.

If you own a Ford for example, the website will confirm that E10 is cleared for use in all petrol Ford models sold in Europe since 1992 except for the Ford Mondeo 1.8 SCI 2003 to 2007 and this model should continue to use E5.

And if you drive a Kia the website confirms that all petrol Kia cars can use E10 fuel.

Although most cars will be able to use the fuel it is not compatible with around 600,000 older models. The advice for those with cars unable to use the E10 fuel is to use E5 super unleaded.

 

If you do fill up with E10 by mistake there should be no lasting damage although it may be poor at starting and a little rough running. Once you have used a third of a tank fill up with the correct fuel.

The RAC’s head of policy Nicholas Lyes says those who cannot use E10 will have to pay a premium for super unleaded fuel.

“Drivers who will continue to rely on E5 will also need to make sure the filling station they are visiting stocks the fuel in the first place, or risk running out of fuel and having to call on their breakdown provider,” he said.

“Owners of classic cars need to be careful not to accidentally top up with E10 and then leave it sat unused in the tank for long periods, something which can lead to expensive damage to plastics, metals and seals.”

The new fuel has more ethanol that the current unleaded fuel it is replacing. The UK has been using E5 which has 5% ethanol – the new petrol has 10% ethanol and its introduction is part of plans to cut carbon emissions.

It is estimated that the introduction of E10 could cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year which is the equivalent of removing 350,000 cars off the road.