New E10 Unleaded Petrol - What You Should Know

Published Date: 23rd Aug 2021

A new cleaner E10 unleaded petrol will be available from September, and you may have already seen the new ‘E10’ badges on pumps, as petrol stations prepare for the roll out.

E5 vs E10 Unleaded

E10 Petrol Pump

While the standard unleaded petrol (E5) you will have been putting in your car contains 5% bio-ethanol, E10 contains up to 10% bio-ethanol and is less damaging to the environment. The government has estimated that the switch could reduce the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere by three quarters of a megaton (750,000 tons), the equivalent of taking over 300,000 unleaded fuelled cars off the roads they claim.

Will My Unleaded Car Be Compatible with E10?

According to an AA Technical Specialist Over 98% of petrol cars in the UK should run on E10, but some classic cars, older models and motorcycles shouldn’t use it. If you are in any doubt at all you should consult a specialist.

Most cars manufactured after 2001 should be compatible and all cars built after 2011 should be OK according to AA guidelines. You can check the government website here to see if your vehicle is compatible with E10 fuel.

How is E10 More Environmentally Friendly?

As we mentioned. the standard unleaded you have been putting in your car is called E5 and it contains 5% bio-ethanol (ethanol produced from plants like corn and sugar cane), E10 contains 10% plant produced ethanol, meaning less fossil fuel is used.

The basic principle is during production of bio-ethanol, CO2 absorption takes place from the plants grown/used in the process, this partially offsets the CO2 emissions that will later be emitted during combustion and thus reduces the overall environmental impact.

What If I Put E10 In An Incompatible Car?

According to the RAC if you put E10 into an incompatible vehicle it may not be a disaster. It could cause some engine knocking; the vehicle may not run as smooth as it normally does and there could be some issues cold starting the vehicle. You should top up with the correct fuel, when the tank is around a third to half full.