Everything you need to know about E10 petrol

You may have heard that since September 1st, E10 fuel is being rolled out as the standard unleaded petrol sold at forecourts across Britain. The change to E10 petrol is said to have baffled a quarter of motorists, so we’re here to keep it simple and break it down for you, because petrol shouldn’t be complicated.

What is E10?

It’s called E10 as it contains up to 10% ethanol, with the other 90% being regular unleaded petrol. The previous standard petrol E5 contained up to 5% ethanol.

Why are we changing to E10?

The move to E10 is being made ultimately as part of the Government’s drive to reduce CO2 emissions. E10 increases the amount of ethanol and reduces the amount of carbon, forming an important step towards the government's climate change targets.

The Department for Transport states that “introducing E10 could cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year”, which is the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road. Now that’s a statistic we can get behind!

How will this affect me?

To be honest, most drivers won’t notice much change as AA states over 95% of UK petrol cars can run on E10 fuel. 

As a rule, drivers of cars registered prior to 2002 are advised not to use E10 in their vehicle. However, in 2011 it was made mandatory for all new cars sold in the UK to be E10 compatible, so any car bought after 2011 is ready to go. If you’re still uncertain about whether your car can run on E10 petrol, then you can use the government’s vehicle checker to find out.

What if my car isn’t compatible? 

Not to worry, as there will be E5 petrol remaining available for the minority of older vehicles which aren’t compatible. However, the RAC says this can cost 12p a litre more than standard unleaded.

And if you do fill up a non-compliant car with E10, then don’t panic. Unlike accidentally filling a diesel car with petrol (or vice-versa), your car won’t need to be drained. The RAC says that you shouldn’t suffer any lasting damage to your vehicle, as long as you top up with E5 as soon as possible after using around a third of the tank.

Can I use a mix of E10 and E5?

Put simply, yes! If your vehicle is able to run on E10, there is no reason not to use E5 or to mix the two fuels.

Will this affect my vehicle’s eligibility on Karshare?

Not at all, our vehicle eligibility requirements remain the same. If you’re uncertain or would like to speak to someone about setting your car up on Karshare, then please get in touch.