E10 petrol explained: What is it and will it work in your car?

1 September 2021, 14:44 | Updated: 1 September 2021, 17:53

By Sophie Barnett

A new eco-petrol, named E10, is being rolled out at UK petrol stations from Wednesday to help cut carbon emissions in a move to a "greener transport future".

The cleaner form of petrol is being introduced at filling stations across the UK in replace of the current E5, which is considered the 'normal' unleaded fuel.

What is E10?

It is a cleaner form of petrol, which has a bioethanol mix of 10 per cent.

Bioethanol is a type of renewable fuel and it will be the standard offering at petrol stations under the government's plans to cut carbon emissions.

What is it replacing?

Previously in the UK we would only use the 'normal' E5 petrol, which has just 5 per cent bioethanol.

Why is a higher ethanol content better?

A higher ethanol content cuts emissions, and is said to be the same as taking 350,000 cars off the road.

It helps reduce CO2 emissions that harm the environment.

E10 is already being used around the world, including across Europe, Australia and the US.

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E10, a cleaner form of petrol, is being introduced at filling stations across Britain from Wednesday.
E10, a cleaner form of petrol, is being introduced at filling stations across Britain from Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

Will all cars be compatible with E10?

No - any vehicles built before 2002 will not be designed with E10 in mind, and could be damaged by using it.

Premium pumps will still offer E5, however it will be much more costly to top up your vehicle.

Ninety-five per cent of petrol cars licensed for use on Britain's roads are compatible with E10, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

You can find out whether your car is compatible by visiting the DfT website. You will need to know the vehicle's manufacturer to use the service.

How much will it cost?

E10 petrol will not be any more expensive than the E5 unleaded fuel it's replacing but it will increase the cost of filling up for owners of those cars that can't use E10, as they will be forced to use super-unleaded fuel instead.

When will it arrive where you live?

E10 is being rolled out at UK petrol stations from Wednesday, while it is set to be introduced in Northern Ireland in early 2022.

Why is it important?

The DfT admitted that E10 can "marginally" reduce fuel economy but it insisted the impact is "almost unnoticeable to most drivers when making every day journeys".

It stated that the rollout of E10 could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year which is the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off of UK roads.

Are people aware of the change?

An RAC survey of 1,450 UK drivers suggested that 27 per cent of motorists are yet to check whether their car is compatible with the new fuel.

The firm's head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: "E10 petrol has already started appearing on forecourts to replace the old E5 blend, and that process will continue at pace in the coming weeks.

"But while the vast majority of drivers of petrol cars aren't affected, a sizeable minority will be and the only way to be sure is to use the official online checker."