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10 Popular Family Cars Unable to Use New E10 fuel

10 Popular Family Cars Unable to Use New E10 fuel

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Some older models from Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen are incompatible with the new E10 petrol

These are the 10 models that will have the most registered E10-incompatible cars, according to the RAC Foundation (number of cars in brackets):

1. Volkswagen Golf (28,066)

2. MG MGB (20,890)

3. Mazda MX-5 (18,162)

4. Nissan Micra (15,785)

5. Morris Minor (12,796)

6. Rover 25 (9,879)

7. MG MGF (9,352)

8. Ford Escort (8,947)

9. Rover Mini (7,614)

10. MG TF (7,568)


The Department for Transport (DfT) looks to encourage larger forecourts to sell E10 to help the UK meet climate change targets.

  • Many popular family cars are unable to use a fuel that  will be introduced to forecourts to cut carbon emissions, according to new research.
  • Some Volkswagen, Ford and Nissan vehicles are among those that aren’t compatible with E10 petrol, which is designed to be less harmful to the environment.

In today's blogpost, we hope to be able to answer a few key questions about the New Fuel :

Woman with pink nail polish filling up her car with unleaded petrol

What is E10 petrol?

The government has announced that E10 Petrol will be arriving in the UK’s fuel stations from September 2021. 

It’ll replace existing E5 petrol, Regular petrol sold in the UK that contains up to five per cent bioethanol – a type of renewable fuel – to reduce carbon. in standard pumps.

E5 will still be kept on in premium pumps as some cars can’t run on the new fuel.

But what does E10 fuel actually mean and what do you need to know about it? 

What is E10 fuel?

E10 petrol isn’t an entirely new concept - it’s already available across Europe, as well as in America and Australia. 

E10 is a standard of petrol containing up to 10 per cent ethanol .E10 involves increasing the proportion to ten per cent and is widely available across much of the European Union and other countries including the USA and Australia. At the moment, E5 fuel is used in the UK, which means that up to five per cent is made up of ethanol instead.

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Why is it changing?

The government is on a mission to drive down vehicle emissions, with its 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars a key part of this plan. 

However, making the switch to E10 can help in the short term. A higher ethanol content will help reduce emissions from cars already on the road - the government predicts that introducing E10 is the equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road. 


What types of emissions are affected?

There are two types of vehicle emissions that cause concern; local emissions that have an impact on air quality and greenhouse gases such as CO2 which contribute to climate change and the warming of the planet. 

Though adding more ethanol to fuels does help to reduce overall CO2 emissions, it doesn’t do a lot to combat local air quality. 


Can my car use E10?

The majority of vehicles in use today are approved to be fuelled with the petrol will be able to run perfectly normally on E10, but some older vehicles aren’t. 

Analysis by motoring research charity the RAC Foundation shows that many cars still in regular use are incompatible with the fuel. It found that by 2020 there will still be an estimated 28,066 Volkswagen Golfs on the road that would be affected, the most of any model. Those vehicles manufactured before 2002 were not designed to operate with such high ethanol content fuel and as a result, could be damaged by using E10.

Other models in the top 10 incompatibility list include the Nissan Micra (15,785), Rover 25 (9,879) and Ford Escort (8,947).

In total, 634,309 petrol cars were seen to be in use but incompatible with E10 in 2020, according to the research. Of these, 150,000 will have been manufactured from the year 2000 onwards.

Some experts have raised concerns about the new fuel, with Simon Williams of the RAC saying this could affect up to 700,000 cars, adding: “It’s vital that anyone with an older vehicle gets the message about the switch otherwise they could end up with a big repair bill.”

Check if your vehicle can run on E10  

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Woman with pink nail polish filling up her car with fuel at a fuel station

Will I still be able to access E5 Fuels?

The government has pledged to keep premium fuels as E5 for now, which means that drivers of older cars will still be able to use the correct fuel. 

The DfT is proposing to introduce a requirement for larger filling stations to continue to stock standard petrol in an E5 grade if they decide to add an E10 option, in a bid to ensure the owners of older vehicles can continue to drive.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “As and when the new fuel appears on the forecourts, drivers need to know whether their cars can use E10without being damaged.

This analysis shows that even in a couple of years’ time there will still be hundreds of thousands of cars on our roads that are incompatible with the new fuel. Whilst some of the cars incompatible with E10 fuel will be historic models, many will be old but serviceable everyday run-arounds that people on a tight travel budget rely on to get about.


‘The good news is both that the vast majority of cars on our roads are able to run on E10 fuel and that transport secretary Chris Grayling has recognised the need to protect the users of those older vehicles which are not E10-compatible.

A DfT spokeswoman said: “This government is ambitiously seeking to reduce the UK’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions from transport. But drivers of older vehicles should not be hit hard in the pocket as a result.

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