E10 petrol: What is it? Why are petrol stations selling it? How to check if your car is compatible

From September 1, 2021, standard petrol will be changed to E10 in England, Scotland and Wales - here is everything you need to know about it.

Shell petrol station. (Pic credit: Diane Allen)

The new petrol will be sold in all petrol stations from September 1 in Great Britain, and will be introduced in Northern Ireland in 2022.

What is E10 petrol?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This new petrol consists of up to 10 per cent renewable ethanol, while the standard petrol in the UK currently consists of five per cent renewable ethanol, also known as E5.

E10 is already sold around the world including across Europe, Australia and the US. According to the gov.co.uk website, it has been the reference fuel against which new cars are tested for emissions and performance since 2016.

Why is E10 useful?

The percentage of renewable ethanol aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions related to petrol vehicles and help to challenge climate change.

The combination of petrol and 10 per cent renewable ethanol means less fossil fuel is required, which will help reduce carbon emissions.

The implementation of E10 petrol could cut vehicle CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year, which is equal to taking 350,000 cars off the road, or the entire population of cars in North Yorkshire.

However, using E10 can slightly decrease fuel economy. There may be a one per cent cut, but this is not likely to be obvious for everyday driving.

How to check if your vehicle is compatible with E10?

If you have a vehicle that was manufactured before 2011 or you ride a motorcycle, you can check to see if it is compatible with E10 by clicking on this link.

Roughly 95 per cent of petrol-fueled vehicles on the road are compatible with E10 petrol and this percentage is consistently rising.

Most cars made since the late 1990s are compatible with E10. However, these vehicles may not be approved for E10 petrol:

Classic, older cars

Some specific models, especially those from the early 2000s

Some mopeds, especially those with an engine size of 50cc or under.

If your vehicle brand or model is not listed, refer to your manual or consult with your vehicle or equipment manufacturer.

What to do if your vehicle is not compatible with E10?

You can carry on using E5 petrol in the ‘super’ grade (97+ octane), which will still be available at various larger petrol stations, however, make sure you check the label before filling up.