You may have noticed a new addition at the pumps recently in the form of large ‘E10’ branding on the forecourt and nozzles. However, in the absence of everyone having a brainy “ask a friend” helper, it’s not immediately obvious as to what this means, so we’ve dug a little deeper to find out….

What is E10 fuel?

In simple terms it’s a readily available fuel for your car that contains less carbon and more ethanol than what we currently use.

At the moment ‘normal’ pump fuel is known as E5 – which contains up to 5% ethanol, with the other 95% being regular unleaded petrol. E10 contains 10%, so quite simple really. Ethanol is a kind of alcohol manufactured from plants, including sugar beet and wheat. In some countries like Brazil, many people run vehicles on pure ethanol, but we aren’t going down that route.

Why now?

During the Summer, the UK Government will continue to roll out E10 fuel as the standard across forecourts. The move comes as a means to reduce the average CO2 emissions of petrol vehicles, with claims of a 2% drop. This could potentially mean 750,000 tonnes of CO2 less a year - the equivalent of 350,000 cars! Environmental groups will point to carbon-offsetting properties, while the government will be keen to introduce E10 as a step towards meeting its emissions targets. The E10 blend is already used in other countries such as Belgium, Finland, France and Germany.

"“The next 15 years will be absolutely crucial for slashing emissions from our roads, as we all start to feel the benefits of the transition to a zero-emission future. Before electric cars become the norm, we want to take advantage of reduced CO2 emissions today. This small switch to petrol containing bioethanol at 10% will help drivers across country reduce the environmental impact of every journey.”"

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

Is my car compatible?

All cars built from 2011 onwards (i.e. ALL of our new car stock) are fully E10 ready. If you find your car isn’t E10-friendly, the higher octane (97+) ‘super’ grade fuels will not be affected and will remain clearly labelled as E5. All of our current Suzuki, Nissan and Subaru cars are E10 compatible but some older models may be affected: -

SUZUKI - guidance from Suzuki is that all petrol models from 1992 are compatible.

NISSAN - E10 is cleared for use in all models with petrol engines from 1st January 2000.

SUBARU - E10 is cleared for use in all models with petrol engines manufactured from 1st January 1991.

IF YOU ARE UNSURE IF YOUR CAR CAN RUN ON E10 FUEL THEN PLEASE REFER TO YOUR OWNER'S MANUAL IN THE FIRST INSTANCE. IF YOU ARE STILL UNSURE, & IT IS NOT COVERED ABOVE THEN PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL COLIN APPLEYARD DEALERSHIP

Wrong fuel? Don't panic!

Whilst putting a tank of E10 fuel in an incompatible vehicle shouldn’t be a major issue, prolonged use may cause harm and is not recommended. This does, however, mean that you shouldn’t need to worry about draining a tank should you realize you’ve mistakenly filled up with the wrong fuel- like you would with diesel. It is recommended to fill the rest of your tank up with the higher octane (97+) ‘super’ grade fuels as there is no reason the two fuels won’t mix.

To check if your vehicle is compatabile with E10 fuel you can visit the Government website: www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol

When is E10 available?

E10 fuel label

With E10 becoming the new standard petrol grade in Great Britain, meaning it will be available at almost all petrol stations across England, Scotland and Wales. The change is expected to be introduced to Northern Island in early 2022, subject to approval.


With most petrol stations stocking the newer E10 fuel, those petrol stations that offer 2 grades of fuel will offer the alternative higher octane (97+) ‘super’ grade E5 fuel. It is important to note that some rural petrol stations will stock either E10 or E5, so it is advised to check ahead of your journey.


Just be sure to note, each fuel will be clearly labelled with either E10 or E5, so make sure you’re using the right pump!

What if I want to go greener?

Of course if you have one eye on your personal carbon footprint and emissions, we have the answer, with our range of self-charging Hybrids! For more information, we’ve prepared all you need to know at a glance here https://www.colinappleyard.com/car-advice/what-is-a-self-charging-hybrid-car

Got questions?

As always our friendly team will be happy to answer any questions you may have and advise you on our range of new and used cars should you decide it's time for a change. Likewise, our aftersales team are always on hand when it comes to questions about servicing, maintaining and repairing your current car.

Find your local Colin Appleyard dealership at https://www.colinappleyard.com/car-dealerships