The move to E10 petrol is part of the government’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions 

Motoring association the AA has shut down concerns about the lack of insurance for new petrol product E10.

E10 petrol contains up to 10% renewable ethanol, which the UK government hopes will help to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with petrol vehicles - in turn helping to tackle climate change. Petrol in the UK currently contains up to 5% renewable ethanol and is known as E5.  

According to the Manchester Evening News, this new type of petrol - which is coming to the UK next month on 1 September - could potentially damage some cars because it contains bioethanol, which is not covered by some insurance policies.

Bioethanol is an alternative to fossil fuel that is considered more eco-friendly. Its use is estimated to save around 750,000 tonnes of CO2 from going into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

All petrol cars built after 2011 are compatible with the fuel, as are most petrol cars built after 2001.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, told Insurance Times: “For many petrol drivers, the change from E5 to E10 will mean ‘business as usual’ when they head to the pumps. 

“However, for around 600,000 owners of older vehicles, it means using the government’s vehicle checker before you head to the pump to see if the car needs standard or super unleaded fuel. 

“Accidently filling a non-compatible petrol vehicle with E10 won’t damage your motor. All you would need to do to fix the matter is fill up with E5 next time round and remember to use E5 going forward.” 

Running ‘perfectly well’ on E10 

Drivers of older vehicles can use the government’s online vehicle checker to find out whether their vehicle can use E10. 

AA technical specialist Greg Carter added: “Over 98% of petrol cars in the UK can run perfectly well on E10, but some older models, classic cars and motorcycles shouldn’t use it.

“The extra bioethanol content can be more corrosive to older fuel system components, so drivers of older cars and motorcycles should check the government website before heading to the pump.

“Petrol powered garden machinery and generators are also likely not to be compatible, so these should use super unleaded after September.

“If you do drive an incompatible vehicle and accidentally fill up with E10, don’t worry, just fill up with super unleaded next time. There’s no need to get it drained as it takes some time for any damage to occur.”