E10 petrol from 1st September 2021

See the GOV.UK webpages on the introduction of E10
GOV.UK guidance

What is the likely financial impact for a classic car enthusiast of switching to an "E5 supreme grade" fuel which is likely to have no ethanol?
Based on recent pricing for E10 and E5 petrol and annual mileages of 2,500 and 3,500 pa, the additional cost is modest, between £34 and £48 pa. If you have an Esso fuel station near you then seeking out their
Synergy Supreme+ 99 Unleaded zero ethanol E5 will be well worth it.

Posted: 200718

From 1st September 2021 all forecourts in the UK will be required to sell new E10 unleaded petrol as standard containing up to 10% bioethanol in each litre from the pump. Currently unleaed across the UK contains 5% ethanol and is labelled E5. The new E10 fuel will be labelled E10 on the petrol pump.

E10 grade of motor fuel has had enthusiasts with older cars worried about its effects particularly on their classic cars. The two big issues with ethanol fuels and classic cars are:

Ethanol can have potentially damaging effects on the metal, plastic and rubber parts in the fuel system - typically fuel hoses which need to be replaced by ethanol resistant rubber hose. The effects can also include sticking carburettor floats but not all classics will have problems.

Ethanol in E10 fuel is hygroscopic so it tends to absorb water and with classics that are left idle for periods of time that moisture in the fuel can cause problems like corrosion within fuel tanks and then rust particles blocking fuel filters.

In addition to prudent maintenance and upgrades to the fuel system (like readily available replacement enthanol resistant fuel hose), another option for a classic car owner is to use E5 fuel with a much lower ethanol content. The new regulations require larger forecourts in the UK selling two grades of petrol to continue selling E5 fuel. This will often be offered as a more expensive Super Unleaded grade. It is more expensive and usually has addtives and an increased octane rating aimed at high performance engines.

A key point to be aware of is that the "E5" logo on a fuel pump indicates the fuel has up to 5% ethanol including fuels that contain no ethanol. So in some cases, Esso Synergy Supreme+ 99 Unleaded for example, the fuel has no ethanol
. See our earlier news item on this fuel from Esso. NEWS