How 600,000 motorists face missing out on E10 petrol – are you one of them?
AROUND 600,000 drivers have been caught up in the chaos of another attack on motorists.
From yesterday, many of Britain’s forecourts switched to a new green fuel quietly slipped in by a Government determined to cut emissions.
But the change to E10 unleaded means about 6000,000 cars are now forced to pay around 15p a litre more at the pumps as the new fuel will damage their engines.
And many more drivers have been left perplexed about whether their car can safely use E10.
If not, they too will now have to switch to the more expensive Super petrol — forking out £7.70 extra EVERY TIME they fill up a 55-litre tank.
Here Howard Cox, the boss of campaign group FairFuelUK, argues the Government must do more to protect motorists, not punish them.
By Howard Cox
UP to a million motorists will be hit by a £100-a- year rise in the price of petrol from this month.
And many of those who are being compelled to fork out between 15p and 25p a litre more are the very people who can least afford it.
They are the owners of cars that are too old to run safely on the new acclaimed “eco-friendly” petrol which goes on sale this week at Britain’s 8,000 filling stations.
When you next fill up, you will see that the green unleaded pump now dispenses so-called E10 petrol — fuel that contains 10 per cent bioethanol, generated mainly from plant material.
Until now, most unleaded in the UK was E5 which contained just five per cent ethanol.
But here’s the thing: around 600,000 vehicles on our roads will suffer engine damage if their drivers use E10 petrol.
Higher bioethanol petrol can dislodge deposits in older engines, leading to blockages and can also cause some seals and gaskets, as well as metals and plastics, to corrode.
If you did put E10 into an incompatible car, it would still run but tubing and metal connections will be damaged if used over a longer period.
Most people who drive older cars don’t even know if their vehicle can take the new fuel.
When quizzed in a recent survey, more than 50 per cent of FairFuelUK supporters didn’t have a clue whether their car can safely use E10 petrol.
So, to protect their older petrol vehicles, owners must now fill up at the pump marked E5.
They face a colossal shock. The amount they will pay has jumped from the current average of £1.35 a litre to around £1.50 or more.
That’s because the only way to get E5 is to buy super unleaded, which was designed for high-performance cars like Ferraris – normally owned by people who don’t care about the price of fuel.
On the motorway, E5 super unleaded is being sold for a staggering 163.9p.
So, hardworking ordinary families are being pushed to pay the same eye-watering price for fuel as rich super-car owners.
Most people who drive older cars don’t even know if their vehicle can take the new fuel
This is another example of low-income families and small businesses being used as easy fodder so that the Government looks good at the forthcoming COP26 green conference.
So what is to be done?
Well there is an easy fix, which requires an urgent remedy from Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
With the help of The Sun’s Keep It Down campaign, we have managed to hold fuel duty at 57.95pence a litre for 12 years.
But it is time the Government actually CUT fuel duty to help the hard-pressed motorists who just cannot afford an E10-compatible car and have to simply suffer another colossal hit to their wages.
Motorists are fed up of being treated like cash cows.
If the Government is serious about going green, it must offer the right incentives to ordinary Brits who share that goal . . . but not at any cost.
WHICH MOTORISTS ARE OK FOR E10?
IF you have an older petrol car and are not sure if it will by damaged by E10 unleaded, check it on a special website set up by the Department for Transport.
Go to gov.uk/check- vehicle-e10-petrol.
The site lists all car makers. Just click on your make of car and it will tell you which models are safe to use E10.
Some big-selling cars are affected, including certain VW Golf FSI early direct-injection models and 2.2 litre Vauxhall Zafiras.
Here are just some of the cars listed on the Government website:
BMW: All petrol engine BMW models are cleared for the use of E10 petrol regardless of their year of manufacture but the minimum octane required should be observed according to the owner’s manual.
FORD: E10 is cleared for use in all petrol-driven Ford models sold in Europe since 1992 excluding: Ford Mondeo 1.8 SCI from 2003 to 2007.
This model and Ford models sold before 1992 should continue to use E5.
HONDA: All Honda cars with fuel injection are compatible with E10 petrol (Honda PGM-FI).
All Honda cars without fuel injection should continue to use E5.
JAGUAR: E10 petrol is cleared for use in all Jaguar vehicles with petrol engines starting from model year 1992.
Older models should continue to use E5.
LAND ROVER: E10 petrol is cleared for use in all Land Rover vehicles with petrol engines starting from model year 1996.
Older vehicles should continue to use E5.
MG: There is no compatibility information available for older MGs up to 2005 when the company ceased trading.Recommended to use E5 petrol.
MINI: E10 is cleared for use in all Mini models with petrol engine after the relaunch of the Mini brand in the year 2000.
VAUXHALL: E10 is cleared for use in all Vauxhall vehicles with petrol engines, excluding the 2.2 litre direct-injection petrol engine, motor code: Z22YH (Vectra, Signum, Zafira) which should continue to use E5 petrol.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU USE THE WRONG FUEL?
IF you accidentally put E10 into your tank, stay calm – just fill up with E5 fuel afterwards.
If you fill up the tank completely, you will need to empty it and you are advised not to drive until you have done this, the same as if you’d put in diesel instead of petrol.
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