E10 – unless you drive diesel, or fully electric, you will be affected

Posted on July 6th, 2021 by Rob Marshall

 E10 - unless you drive diesel, or fully electric, you will be affected


As you may have heard from the mainstream media, E10 petrol is due to hit UK forecourts in September. This will see up 10% ethanol added to regular 95 RON, instead of the present <5% content (E5). In this introductory blog, GEM shall tackle some of the most common questions that our members have posed to us so far, on which we plan to elaborate in future blogs.


Why is E10 being introduced?

The aim is to reduce road transport carbon dioxide levels, especially since new diesel passenger car sales have declined.


If I use E10, will my fuel consumption increase?

Yes – although only slightly.


Is there an alternative to E10?

Yes – the super unleaded pumps will dispense higher octane petrol, containing up to 5% ethanol (E5) for the foreseeable future. Yet, we doubt that E5 Super Unleaded’s extra cost will compensate for the increased economy over E10 Unleaded.


Is it only classic cars that can be harmed by E10?

No. E10 petrol has a lower shelf life than normal petrol and running any engine on ‘out of date’ fuel can be harmful. 


Should I use E10 if I cover a low mileage?

If you do not refuel regularly, consider using Super Unleaded (E5). This includes Plug In Hybrid cars that are driven frequently in electric-only modes, so the fuel tank is not replenished frequently.


If my car is not compatible with E10, would a single tankful cause damage?

Yes – many pre-2005 Direct Injection petrol models cannot use E10 – doing so has seen lasting, irreversible harm to the costly high-pressure fuel injection pump.


How can I check if my car is compatible with E10?

This webpage confirms vehicles that can use E10:


However, note that compliant vehicles are still not protected from harm, caused by the engine using deteriorated fuel that has been in the tank for more than several weeks.