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Government to make E5 fuel available for classic owners

Published 11 March 2020

The Government has confirmed that it will continue to make fuel containing 5% bioethanol available for owners of historic vehicles. It’s good news for classic car owners, who feared that they would be forced to use fuel containing 10% bioethanol, which can be harmful to older vehicles. 

The news comes after Ministers announced plans to introduce E10 at all pumps in a in a bid to meet its tough environmental targets. The move instantly sparked panic among owners who feared they would need to spend thousands of pounds getting their cars ready for the new fuel.

But Sir Greg Knight MP asked the secretary of state to clarify the Government position. The Conservative MP for East Yorkshire wrote to the secretary of state for transport to as asked what assessment the Government had made of the potential effect of the use of E10 fuel on older vehicles. 

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary at the Department for Transport, said that increasing the share of bioethanol in petrol by blending up to 10%, known as E10, could provide significant carbon savings, helping the Government meet its climate change commitments. 

But she acknowledged that one of the main barriers to introducing E10 has been vehicle compatibility. Currently estimates suggest around 95% of petrol cars used in the UK can use E10, but around 700,000 are not warranted by their manufacturers to use E10. 

Maclean said this number was expected to decrease as vehicles come to the end of their life. ‘However,’ she said, ‘some classic and cherished vehicles that are not advised to use E10 will remain in use. The prolonged use of E10 fuel in those older and classic vehicles not under manufacturer warranty can cause corrosion of some rubbers and alloys used in the engine and fuel systems. 

‘For those vehicles, the department remains committed to ensuring that E5 is retained as a protection grade, if E10 is introduced.’


NEIL SCARLETT    on 15 March 2020

Ethanol removal at home is the answer, relatively easy to do and no need to buy any special kit or additives.

Edited by NEIL SCARLETT on 15/03/2020 at 10:26

Philip Errington    on 15 March 2020

I thought the E5 fuel was going to be retained as the (new) super-unleaded fuel.
Is this what the government mean in their roundabout answer to Sir Greg Knight?

2.2 vauxhall    on 5 August 2021

Went to Tescos last week, they have got rid of their regular E5 and have replaced it with PREMIUM E5 which is almost 20p a litre more expensive, I can't put E10 in my 2.2 vauxhall because it will kill the car. I can't afford an extra 20p a litre so Tescos is off of my Christmas card list

mike150256    on 16 March 2020

can anyone tell me what age a car has to be to be eligable to use E5? my son drives a classic 1996 golf cabriolet avantgarde automatic with a 2.0 engine will it be able to use E10 with out damage, same question goes for my wifes renault kangoo 1.4 automatic chairmaster which is a 1998 with only 42000 genuine miles


Furrybiker    on 16 March 2020

Scroll down to "Check my vehicle"

Keith Moat    on 16 March 2020

And I suppose the E5 will increase in price as did leaded petrol when that was phased out, it went up by 25%.

2.2 vauxhall    on 5 August 2021

You are correct......tescos have already replaced regular E5 for premium E5 which is nearly 20p more expensive

aethelwulf    on 16 March 2020

The fact you get fewer mpg and therefore emit more CO2 as a motorist is ignored of course by the convoluted nonsense of the EU.
Also more E10 = less ground to grow food. Does the EU not realise that the population is growing and being encouraged to give up meat eating and turn to vegetables? Totally opposing aims from a evil EU controlling our lives Still!

dfulton77    on 4 April 2020

The EU aren't mandating this.

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