Petrol in the UK currently contains up to 5% renewable ethanol (known as E5) and from this summer, drivers will see E10 offered as standard at the pumps.
E10 petrol is widely used around the world, including across Europe, the US and Australia. It has also been the reference fuel against which new cars are tested for emissions and performance since 2016.
Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean, said: "As well as playing a part in the UK's ambitions to decarbonise transport and hit net zero, the rollout of E10 petrol will boost job opportunities across the country. So far, securing up to 100 jobs in the northeast of England, following the reopening of AB Sugar's Vivergo plant, and increasing production at existing biofuel plants, such as Ensus.
A small number of older vehicles, including classic cars and some from the early 2000s, will continue to need E5 fuel, which is why supplies of E5 petrol will be maintained in the super petrol grade. We are advising motorists to use the new E10 compatibility checker to see if their vehicle is compatible."
The change in fuel applies to petrol only. Diesel fuel will not be changing.
The switch to E10 could cut carbon emissions equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road every year.
Almost all (95%) petrol-powered vehicles on the road today can use E10 petrol and all cars built since 2011 are compatible.
If your petrol vehicle or equipment is not compatible with E10 fuel, you will still be able to use E5 by purchasing the "super" grade (97+ octane) petrol from most filling stations.
Petrol pumps will clearly label petrol as either E10 or E5.
Some mopeds, particularly those with an engine size of 50cc or under may not be compatible.
Drivers can check their vehicle's compatibility on GOV.UK. https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol
What to do if you put E10 petrol in a non-compatible vehicle
Simply fill up with E5 (97+ octane) petrol next time.
Using a single tank of E10 petrol in a vehicle that is not compatible should not be a major problem. Just make sure you fill up with the correct E5 (97+ octane) petrol grade next time.
Unlike putting petrol into a diesel engine, you shouldn't need to drain the tank. On a one-time basis, your vehicle will not suffer engine damage as a result. Prolonged use of E10 petrol in a non-compatible vehicle, however, may cause harm and is not recommended.
Mixing E10 and E5 petrol
If your vehicle is compatible with E10 petrol, there's no reason you can't mix the 2 grades of petrol (E5 97+ and E10 95+).
It's perfectly safe to mix them in the same tank or fill up with E5 if E10 is not available.