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The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs is recommending all classic car owners continue to use E5 petrol when the E10 fuel is rolled out across the UK from 1 September 2021.
It says all vehicles produced before 2000 should avoid the carbon-dioxide-reducing E10 fuel, which is up to 10% renewable ethanol, and even some cars built later than the millennium should stick to the current E5.
Alongside the new E10 fuel only ‘super unleaded’ will be available later in the year, which will be listed as ‘Super E5 Protection’. The supply of E5 fuel has been assured for at least the next five years, and the ‘Protection’ product has already been rolled out across some forecourts, the FBHVC says.
Only petrol stations that sell more than three million litres a year will be eligible to stock it. Generally these are places that already sell two types of E5 petrol.
A vehicle checker is currently online on the government website, which lists around 60 car and motorbike marques.
The RAC believes 600,000 UK cars will not be able use the new fuel, a quarter of which were produced after 2000. It advises that if a driver mistakenly uses E10 in what it calls an incompatible car it: ‘May cause some pre-detonation (‘pinking’), and perhaps a little rough running and poor cold starting, but it shouldn't be a disaster for the driver.
'Simply top up with the correct fuel suitable for the vehicle as soon as possible when around a third to half the tank is used.’
Sustained use could destroy seals and gaskets, as well as cause blockages and corrode metals and plastics.