GovWire

Detailed guide: E10 petrol explained

Department For Transport

February 25
00:15 2021

Summary

During summer 2021, the standard (or Premium) petrol grade in the UK will become E10.

E10 petrol contains up to 10% renewable ethanol, which is added to reduce CO2 emissions and help tackle climate change.

E10 petrol is compatible with almost all (95%) petrol-powered vehicles on the road today, including all cars built since 2011.

Check your vehicle is compatible with E10 petrol

You can check if your car, motorbike or moped can use E10 petrol by using our E10 compatibility checker.

If your vehicle or equipment is not compatible with E10 fuel, you will still be able to use E5 by purchasing the Super grade petrol from most filling stations.

Filling stations will clearly label petrol as either E10 or E5.

The change in fuel only applies to petrol; diesel fuel will not be changing.

About E10 petrol

E10 means petrol contains up to 10% renewable ethanol. To date, petrol in the UK has contained up to 5% renewable ethanol (known as E5).

E10 petrol is already widely used around the world, including across Europe, the US and Australia. It has also been the reference fuel against which new cars are tested for emissions and performance since 2016.

Emissions and air quality

The main benefit of E10 petrol is that it reduces overall levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide)-based vehicle emissions. By blending the fuel with up to 10% renewable ethanol, less fossil fuel is needed, helping us protect the environment and meet climate change targets.

Its introduction at UK forecourts could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road, or all the cars in North Yorkshire. Producing ethanol also results in valuable by-products, including animal feed and stored CO2.

Please note that there is a difference between emissions that contribute to climate change (greenhouse gases such as CO2), and those that are a concern for air quality and public health (including particulates, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hydrocarbons).

Fuels like E10 petrol are generally introduced to reduce overall CO2 emissions and have little impact on air quality.

Using E10 fuel will not affect whether you are able to drive in, or have to pay to enter, a clean air zone (CAZ), low emission zone (LEZ) or ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ); this is determined by your cars Euro emissions standard and not by the fuel used.

Fuel economy

Using E10 petrol can slightly reduce fuel economy (the number of miles you are able to drive on a gallon of fuel). You may see around a 1% reduction, which is unlikely to be noticeable in everyday driving.

Other factors such as your driving style, or driving with under-inflated tyres or a roof rack fitted have a much more significant impact on fuel economy.

Compatibility

Vehicles

Almost all petrol-powered vehicles on the road are compatible with E10 petrol. At present, around 95% are approved for use with E10 and this is increasing all the time.

All new cars manufactured since 2011 are compatible with E10 fuel, and most cars and motorbikes manufactured since the late 1990s are also approved by manufacturers to use E10.

The following vehicles, however, may not be compatible with E10 fuel:

  • classic, cherished and older vehicles
  • some specific models, particularly those from the early 2000s
  • some mopeds, particularly those with an engine size of 50cc or under

You can check whether your vehicle is approved to use E10 petrol using our E10 compatibility checker, which covers cars, motorbikes and mopeds.

Start now

If your brand is not listed, consult your manual, or contact your vehicle or equipment manufacturer. If in doubt, wed recommend continuing to use E5 petrol.

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

Continue using E5 (higher-octane Super grade) petrol, which will remain available at many filling stations after E10 is introduced just make sure you check the label when you fill up.

What to do if you put E10 petrol in a non-compatible vehicle

Simply fill up with E5 (Super) petrol next time.

Using a single tank of E10 fuel in a vehicle that is not compatible should not be a major problem just make sure you fill up with the correct E5 petrol grade next time.

Unlike putting petrol into a diesel engine, you shouldnt need to drain the tank and, on a one-time basis, will not suffer engine damage as a result. Prolonged use of E10 petrol in a non-compatible vehicle, however, may cause harm and is not recommended.

Mixing E10 and E5 petrol

If your vehicle is compatible with E10 petrol, theres no reason you cant mix the two grades of petrol (E5 and E10). It is perfectly safe to mix them in the same tank or fill up with E5 if E10 is not available.

Boats, aircraft and other petrol-powered equipment

Some other petrol-powered equipment may not be compatible with E10 petrol, such as:

  • boats
  • petrol-powered garden equipment or machinery, such as lawnmowers and chainsaws

Owners and operators should check their manual or ask the manufacturer or dealer before using E10.

Owners of light aircraft that currently use E5 petrol known as MOGAS should continue to use E5 petrol, unless expressly approved by their manufacturer or regulating body.

Availability

E10 fuel will be available at almost all petrol stations across the UK. Petrol stations that offer 2 grades of petrol will stock both E10 (Premium) and E5 (Super) petrol.

E10 is becoming the UKs standard petrol grade, meaning almost all filling stations standard 95-octane (Premium) petrol grade will be blended with up to 10% renewable ethanol.

E5 (higher-octane petrol with no more than 5% renewable ethanol), however, will remain available at filling stations that sell 2 grades of petrol.

Some rural, remote or very small filling stations may sell only E5 petrol as standard.

Labelling

At the filling station

At the petrol station, a circular E10 or E5 label will be clearly visible on both the petrol dispenser and nozzle, making it easy for you to identify the correct fuel.

The E10 and E5 labels look like this:

On your vehicle

New vehicles manufactured from 2019 onwards should have an E10 and E5 label close to the filler cap showing the fuel(s) they can use.

If your vehicle or equipment doesnt have this label, you can check their compatibility using our E10 compatibility checker. If youre still unsure, consult your manual or contact the vehicle manufacturer.

Published 25 February 2021

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