Which car models CAN’T use new E10 fuel? 10 ‘popular’ makes at risk from petrol change

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In a bid to reduce environmental impact, the Government has rolled out E10 fuel as the default petrol across England, Scotland and Wales. While it is welcome news for the environment, many car owners are unable to use the new petrol type.

This is due to the ingredients used to make the petrol, which, for some makes, can cause damage to their pipes and engines.

E10 petrol is made using an estimated 10 percent renewable ethanol, concocted from materials including low-grade grains, sugars and waste wood.

The new fuel is anticipated to slash CO2 emissions on UK roads by an impressive 750,000 tonnes annually.

However, for some car owners, the eco-friendly fuel could cause chaos.

Due to the ethanol contained in the fuel, consistent use could see seals, plastics and metals in certain car engines irreparably damaged.

It is estimated that around 600,000 – 700,000 older vehicles on UK roads will not be able to use the new E10 fuel.

Motorists whose cars were manufactured before 2011 can use the Government’s free online checker to see if their vehicle is compatible with the new fuel. However, the Government has warned that they will not take any responsibility for any damages to vehicles when using the checker, especially if the car has been fitted with replacement parts.

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Though a wide spectrum of car makes could be impacted, experts have highlighted 10 “popular” models which are at risk from the new standard petrol.

The most popular of these is the VW, with over 28,000 registered on the roads today.

Models by Nissan, Ford and Mazda also make the list.

The top 10 list of most “popular” car models in the UK that are incompatible with E10 fuel are:

  1. Volkswagen Golf (28,066 registered in the UK)
  2. MG MGB (20,890)
  3. Mazda MX-5 (18,162 registered in the UK)
  4. Nissan Micra (15,785 registered in the UK)
  5. Morris Minor (12,796 registered in the UK)
  6. Rover 25 (9,879 registered in the UK)
  7. MG MGF (9,352 registered in the UK)
  8. Ford Escort (8,947 registered in the UK)
  9. Rover Mini (7,614 registered in the UK)
  10. MG TF (7,568 registered in the UK)

Keith Hawes, director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, added: “Aside from the popular vehicle models we’ve listed, classic car owners are likely to be the most heavily impacted by the introduction of E10 fuel.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix for older car models which will now be deemed incompatible with E10.

“Owners will be faced with the decision to either spend time finding a petrol station (that still offers E5 – the current biofuel available on the market) or contemplate shelling out on a newer car model.”

Mr Hawes also shared some advice for car owners who may accidentally fill up their engine with an incompatible fuel.

He explained: “If you accidentally put E10 fuel in your incompatible vehicle, don’t worry.

“The consequences really aren’t as catastrophic as if you were to put diesel in your unleaded car.

“It shouldn’t be a problem if this is a one-off but, if you were to repeatedly use E10 on incompatible car models, the impact could really damage your vehicle’s engine in the long run.”

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