E10 Petrol Switch: Everything You Need To Know

By: Georgina Bradford
E10 Petrol Switch

You may have noticed something different when you arrive at your favourite petrol station. The new E10 petrol has been rolled out across the UK, but what does this mean for you and your beloved motor? We’ll explain the ins and outs of this new fuel so you know what to do the next time you need to fill up.

What is E10 fuel?

E10 fuel is the term used to reference petroleum that has 10% biofuel content. The fuel you’re used to using is E5 which, you guessed it, had 5% biofuel content. Put in simple terms, E10 is a motor fuel that contains less carbon and more ethanol than previous fuels.

Ethanol is a type of fuel created from plants such as sugar beet and wheat, the new E10 fuel will contain 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded petroleum - making it a lot cleaner for the environment.

Why The Switch To E10 Fuel?

The government is constantly looking for ways to reduce the amount of carbon emissions an individual is producing, hence the recent announcement to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

Introducing a fuel with a higher ethanol content will make a significant impact. In 2019 there were 32.9 million cars registered on UK roads. By introducing a fuel with 10% ethanol content, the government estimates it will have a carbon reduction similar to removing 350,000 vehicles off the road.

It could also reduce carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year.

How Will Switching To E10 Affect Me?

E10 petrol will be compatible to all cars produced after 2011, and most vehicle manufacturers from 2000 can run on it, however there are a few vintage cars, mopeds under 50cc and some gardening equipment that won’t.

You can check whether your vehicle is compatible with E10 with the government’s compatibility checker.

If you accidentally fill up with E10, it won’t break your engine but, constantly filling up with the new fuel could cause damage to rubber seals, plastics and metal. So be sure to check the suitable fuel for your vehicle.

Is E10 More Expensive?

Fuel costs will unfortunately increase with E10, as while the fuel is much better for the environment, it isn’t as efficient as your regular petrol. The government has estimated you’ll see a 1% decrease in the efficiency of your car.

This will mean you’ll have to fill up more regularly on E10, however if you’re only completing short trips, you may not notice a difference. If your car is only compatible with E5, you’ll find yourself being forced to use super unleaded which can cost you an extra £5 for every 50-litre tank fill up.

How Can I Reduce The Cost of E10 Fuel?

You can make up the 1% increase in cost by ensuring your tyres are sufficiently inflated, as driving with underinflated or insufficient tyres can cause you to lose over 1% efficiency when you drive.

By replacing them and ensuring they are inflated, you might just gain back enough efficiency to negate the cost of the E10 introduction.

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