Saturday, September 18

E10 petrol to replace E5 as the standard unleaded sold next month – but some vehicles are incompatible and it could push up costs

Not all petrol vehicles are compatible with E10 – how to check yours

Around 95% of petrol-powered vehicles on the road today can use E10, according to the Department for Transport. This includes all cars built since 2011, and most cars and motorbikes manufactured since the late 1990s.

But analysis by the government has shown that as many as 600,000 older cars are not compatible. This includes some popular models such as the MG MGB, Morris Minor and Rover 25, according to motoring research group the RAC Foundation. The government warns the following types of vehicles in particular may be affected:

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

If you don’t know whether your car, van, motorbike or moped is compatible, you can use the free checker on the website – though note that many manufactures of classic cars aren’t listed in the tool, so you may need to contact the manufacturer directly to ask.

For those with incompatible vehicles, or for those who are unsure if they’re impacted, you’ll need to switch to the pricier’super’ grade E5 petrol (97+ octane), which most garages will continue to stock. But this will cost more; at 146p/litre on average, super unleaded is currently around 11p/litre (8%) more expensive than the outgoing standard unleaded and the new E10 unleaded, based on the latest figures from the RAC.

Fail to switch to super unleaded and prolonged use of E10 petrol in a non-compatible vehicle could damage it over time, as the extra ethanol can corrode certain metal parts and cause problems with other materials used for seals and gaskets within the fuel system – though it shouldn’t be a problem if you accidentally fill up with E10 instead of E5 fuel once or twice.