What is E10 fuel - and does it affect my insurance?

Motoring advice

31 August 2021

E10 petrol is set to hit the forecourts from September 2021. It contains up to 10% ethanol and will cut back on CO2 emissions, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and help with climate change. The E10 blend is already used in other countries such as Belgium, Finland and France.

E5, the petrol that is currently available at forecourts in the UK, contains only 5% ethanol. Cars built after 2011 should be able to use E10 without any problems. However, cars built before then should be checked for compatibility. You can see if your car is compatible with the new fuel by visiting the government’s official E10 online checker.

If your car is not compatible with E10 you can carry on using E5 super grade (97+ octane), which will still be available at fuel stations. But although the pumps are clearly labelled, you should always double-check before filling up.

What if I accidentally put E10 in my car instead of E5?

Putting E10 in your car won’t cause serious damage to your engine. So, you wouldn’t need to have the engine and tank drained and flushed as you would if you mistakenly filled up with the wrong fuel such as diesel instead of petrol.

If you do happen to use E10 by mistake you can use it but you should refuel with E5 next time. You won’t need to make a claim on your insurance as there is no need to drain and flush the engine or tank. But, if you keep on using E10 fuel in a car that’s only suitable for E5, and the continued use causes damage to your engine, you will not be covered.