What is E10 fuel and can my car use it?

Wondering what E10 fuel is and whether you can safely use it? You aren’t alone – keep reading for everything you need to know

By James Wilson November 10, 2023

Keep seeing 'E10' labels on petrol pumps and don't know whether your car is able to use this? E10 fuel simply refers to petrol which contains up to 10% renewable ethanol - a type of alcohol. While this is the same base alcohol you might like to drink, you won’t be able to top up your car with Saturday night’s leftover drinks...

E10 has been introduced into the UK to help reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from petrol cars, as ethanol can be made from plants, so it is in theory a renewable source of fuel. E10 was introduced in the UK during the summer of 2021, although all cars built after 2011 were designed to be compatible with E10 fuel. However, many older cars are also able to run on E10.

The biggest benefit to E10 fuel is the reduction in overall CO2 emissions from cars. However, it also means that the world’s oil reserves should last a little longer. While oil is often most associated with fuel, it is also very important for other industries, such as those that make the bearings used in electric cars and the cosmetics industry. There are other benefits, too, which we'll cover further down.

E10 fuel is not without its drawbacks, though. One is the fact that drivers will likely see a slight dip in fuel economy. Estimates put this at around a 1% reduction for an average car, which in a model that averages 44mpg equates to a reduction of less than 0.5mpg. For reference, driving with underinflated tyres would probably have a more adverse effect.

The question that will be on many drivers' minds, though, is ‘can my car use E10 fuel?’. Below we will take a closer look at whether new, old and classic cars are compatible, along with a number of other useful tips to make sure you are fully clued up on E10 fuel.

E10 petrol

E10 fuel arrived in the UK during the summer of 2021, however, it is not the first type of petrol to arrive with ethanol in it. E10 replaces E5, which has up to 5% ethanol content. The standard rule is that all cars made from 2011 onwards can use E10. However, some manufacturers have confirmed that some of their models that date all the way back to the late 1990s are compatible with the higher ethanol content fuel.

If you find that your car is not E10 compatible and/or you would rather avoid E10 altogether, you do still have the option of buying E5 ‘super unleaded’. This grade of petrol is typically more expensive than regular unleaded - regardless of whether it is the old standard E5 or new E10 - but it is better for combustion, meaning that it can help your engine to work more efficiently and potentially make slightly more power. Super unleaded generally makes the biggest difference in high-performance models, which are able to take advantage of higher quality fuel.

Consequently, super unleaded is often recommended for supercars and other powerful models. Be aware though, that you may find that smaller filling stations no longer offer super unleaded, with their petrol supply moving completely to E10. It is not yet confirmed whether there will be an E10 super unleaded, but for the time being it is E5 only.

On top of the benefits previously mentioned for E10 petrol, the higher ethanol content is not currently believed to have any significant impact on other emissions related to human health, which is a natural worry when burning anything. Also, there are the useful by-products of producing ethanol - most notably feed for animals.

What to do if you put E10 fuel in a non-compatible car

First step - do not panic. Putting a single tank of E10 through a non-E10 friendly car is not likely to cause major damage. This is unlike putting petrol in a diesel car or diesel in a petrol car.

If done repeatedly it may cause problems, so try and be careful when filling up. Most petrol pumps should have a large 'E10' or 'E5' sticker on them, so you should be able to easily distinguish between the two when filling up.

Can you mix E5 and E10 fuel?

Absolutely - there is no reason why you cannot mix E5 and E10. As a result, you won’t need to remember which fuel you last topped up with and you won’t need to worry about emptying your tank completely before filling up again in case you mix the fuels.

Does E10 change whether you can drive in clean air/low-emission zones, such as the London ULEZ?

No, E10 fuel does not change anything with regards to low emissions zone driving. So proceed as you were. If you're not sure whether your car can enter the London ULEZ area, or if you have to pay a charge to do so, find out more here: What is the London ULEZ charge?

In general petrol cars and vans sold from 2006 onwards should be exempt from paying the charge, though a number of older models are also exempt. Use the Transport for London ULEZ checker to establish whether you have to pay the ULEZ charge or not.

What about diesel E10 - is that a thing?

Diesel fuel is not being affected by the change to E10. So carry on just as you were if you drive a diesel-powered car.

E10 checker

To help motorists establish whether their car is compatible with E10 fuel, the UK government has created an online tool. It can be accessed using the link below. You can use it to check if cars, vans, motorcycles or mopeds are compliant.

If you have a different type of vehicle, for example a boat or lawn mower, you will need to check your owners' manual to establish whether this can run on E10 or contact the manufacturer directly for guidance.

E10 petrol compatibility

If you are looking to upgrade to a car which can run on E10 or are curious as to the typical makes and models which are E10 compliant, read on. Below is a table with the biggest car brands in the UK along with their compatible and incompatible models - don’t forget these are only models with a petrol engine - diesel models do not use E10 fuel.

One important thing to note is that some models could have been incompatible when initially launched but revised during their production run, with those newer versions able to run on E10 - so pay close attention to any date ranges given below for incompatible cars if you're considering one of these.

Make Compatible models Incompatible models
Abarth Models from 2008 onwards, including: 500, 500C, 595, 595C, 695, 695C, Grand Punto, Punto Evo, 124 Spider Pre-2008 model year cars
Alfa Romeo Models from 2011 onwards. Also, all older MiTo and Giulietta models Pre-January 2011 cars
Aston Martin Models from 2010 onwards, including: Cygnet, Rapide, V12 Vantage, DBS, DB9, V8 Vantage (S), Vanquish (S) DB7 V12, DB7 I6, V8 Vantage Le Mans, V8 Virage, Lagonda, DBS V8
Audi All Audi vehicles excluding those in the right-hand column Audi A2 1.6 FSI, model years 2003-2005Audi A3 1.6 FSI, model year 2004

Audi A3 2.0 FSI, model year 2004

Audi A4 2.0 FSI, model years 2003-2004

Audi A4 Saloon petrol models with OEM parking heater, model years 2001-2008

Audi A4 Avant petrol engine models with OEM parking heater, model years 2002- 2008

BMW All models regardless of age  
Citroen Models from 2000 onwards, including: Berlingo, C1, C3, C3 Aircross, C4, C4 Cactus, C4 SpaceTourer and Grand C4 SpaceTouer Pre-2000 cars
DS Models from 2000 onwards, including: DS 4, DS 4 Crossback, DS 5 and DS 7 Crossback Pre-2000 cars
Dacia All Dacia models regardless of age, including: Sandero, Duster and Logan MCV  
Ferrari Models from 2005 onwards  
Fiat Models from 2001 onwards, excluding those in the right-hand column Barchetta 1.8 litre, Bravo/Brava (Type 182) 1.6, Doblo 1.6, Marea 1.6 and 2.0, Multipla 1.6, Palio 1.6, Punto (Type 188) 1.8, Stilo 1.6 litre (specifically models with an engine size of 1.596cc), Stilo 1.8 and 2.4
Ford Models from 1992 onwards, including: C-Max, Edge, Fiesta, Focus, Galaxy, Kuga, Mustang, Ranger, S-Max, Transit and Transit Connect Pre-1992 models and the Ford Mondeo 1.8 SCI, 2003-2007
Honda All models with fuel-injected engines - fuel injection has been commonplace in most cars since the late 1990s. Suitable models include: Civic, CR-V and HR-V Non-fuel injected cars
Hyundai All Hyundai models, including: i10, i20, i30, i40, Ioniq (hybrid and PHEV), Kona, Santa Fe, Tucson and Veloster  
Jaguar Models from 1992 onwards, including: XJ, XF, XE, E-Pace, F-Pace and F-Type Pre-1992 models
Jeep Jeep Cherokee (KJ, XJ, KL), Jeep Commander (WH), Jeep Compass (PK, MX), Jeep Grand Cherokee (WH, WJ, WK), Jeep Patriot (PK), Jeep Renegade (BU), Jeep Wrangler (JK, TJ) All other models
Kia All models, including: Carens, Ceed, Niro, Optima, Picanto, Rio, Sorento, Soul, Sportage, Stinger and Stonic  
Land Rover Models from 1996 onwards, including: Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Evoque, Discovery and Discovery Sport Pre-1996 models
Lexus Models from 1998 excluding those in the right-hand column IS250 2.5 V6 with engine 4GR-FSE made between August 2005 and September 2007

GS300 3.0 V6 with engine 3GR-FSE made between January 2005 and September 2007

LS460 4.6 V8 with engine 1UR-FSE made between August 2006 and September 2007

All other models made before 1998

Mazda Models from 2002 onwards, including: Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6, CX-3, CX-5 and MX-5  
Mercedes Models from 1998 excluding those in the right-hand column, including: A-Class, B-Class, CLA, C-Class, CLS, E-Class, GLA, GLE, GLC, GLS, S-Class, SL and SLC  First-generation direct injection C200 CGI (W203), CLK 200 CGI series (C209), 2002-2005Models not equipped with three-way catalysts, models retrofitted with three-way catalysts or produced with a carburettor. These kinds of vehicles are mainly more than 25 years old
Mini All models since Mini was relaunched in 2000 Older ‘classic’ Minis from pre-2000
Mitsubishi All models except those in the right-hand column Pre-2007 models with the GDI engine (gasoline direct injection)
Nissan Models from 2000 onwards, including: Micra, Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail Pre-2000 models
Peugeot Models from 2000 onwards, including: 208, 2008, 308, 3008, 508, 5008, Expert, Partner, Rifter and Traveller Pre-2000 models
Porsche Models from 1998 onwards (excluding Carrera GT), and all Boxsters from 1997 onwards Porsche Carrera GT
Renault Models from 1997 onwards, excluding those in the right-hand column. Suitable models include: Captur, Clio, Grand Scenic, Kadjar, Koleos, Master, Megane, Scenic, Trafic and Twingo Megane 1 with 2.0 F5R engine, 1999-2003Laguna 2 with 2.0 F5R engine, 2001-2003 or 2.0 F4R Turbo engine, 2000-2002

Espace 4 with 2.0 F4R Turbo engine, 2000-2002

Vel Satis with 2.0 F4R Turbo engine, 2000-2002

Avantime with 2.0 F4R Turbo engine, 2000-2002

Rolls-Royce Models from 2003 onwards Pre-2003 models
Seat All models except those in the right-hand column Toledo 2.0 (110) FSI ‘BLR’, manufactured from September 2004 to November 2005

Leon 2.0 (110) FSI ‘BLR’, manufactured from July 2005 to November 2005

Altea 2.0 (110) FSI ‘BLR’, manufactured from May 2004 to November 2005

Skoda All models except those in the right-hand column, including: Fabia, Karoq, Kodiaq, Octavia, Rapid and Superb Felicia 1.3, 1994-2001

Other Skoda models using the 1.3 OHV engines produced before 1994

Smart All models  
SsangYong Models from 2010 onwards Pre-2010 models
Subaru Models from 1991 onwards Pre-1991 models
Suzuki All current models, including the Ignis and Swift Suzuki recommends checking the owners manual or contacting the manufacturer directly
Toyota Models from 1998 onwards, excluding those in the right-hand column Avensis 2.0 1AZ-FSE engine from July 2000 to October 2008

Avensis 2.4 2AZ-FSE engine from June 2003 to October 2008

Pre-1998 models

Vauxhall All models, excluding those in the right-hand column, including: Adam, Astra, Combo, Corsa, Crossland (X), Grandland X, Insignia, Mokka (X) and Viva Models with the 2.2 direct-injection engine (motor code: Z22YH)
Volkswagen Models including the Arteon, Golf, Passat, Polo, Scirocco, Sharan, T-Roc, Tiguan, Touareg and Touran Bora 1.6 (81) FSI from October 2001 to September 2005

Golf 1.6 (81) FSI from November 2001 to May 2004

Golf Estate 1.6 (81) FSI from October 2001 to October 2006

Golf 1.4 (66) FSI from November 2003 to November 2004

Golf 1.6 (85) FSI from August 2003 to May 2004

Golf 2.0 (110) FSI from January 2004 to May 2004

Lupo 1.4 (77) FSI from August 2001 to November 2003

Polo 1.4 (63) FSI from February 2002 to June 2006

Touran 1.6 (85) FSI from November 2002 to May 2004

Touran 2.0 (110) FSI from October 2003 to May 2004

Volvo Models from 1976 excluding those in the right-hand column. Suitable models include: XC40, S60, V60, XC60, S90, V90 and XC90 Mid-1990s S40 and V40 models with the 1.8-litre GDI engine

E10 fuel in older cars

If you're looking to buy a used car that is between three and seven years old, the general rule to follow is that all mainstream older petrol cars are compatible with E10 fuel. If you're not sure, you can always check the specific model in the table above or visit the E10 checker tool.

Practically all mainstream petrol cars that are 10 years old or less should be compatible with E10 fuel, so you shouldn't experience any issues running an older used car on E10 fuel. However, as with all petrol cars, some models are designed to run on super unleaded petrol - typically high-performance models - so you may still choose to run these models on E5 super unleaded, even if they are able to run on E10.

E10 fuel in classic cars

If you have a car that is older than 10 years old, up to classics that are 40 years old or more, whether you can use E10 or not will vary dramatically. Some cars dating back to the 1990s in many cases, 1976 in the case of Volvo, or potentially even further back with brands including Audi, BMW and Vauxhall, may be able to use E10, while a large proportion of other cars won't be able to.

The reality is that classic car owners will need to put the most thought into what fuel they use, as these make up most of the manufacturer exceptions regarding E10 compatibility, so you'll want to check the compatibility for your specific model. If the brand or model isn't listed, or your classic cars was made by a company that no longer exists, you may want to stick to E5 super unleaded to be safe.