After an extensive consultation process, the Department for Transport has announced that they will legislate to introduce E10 petrol as the standard 95-octane petrol grade by 1 September 2021. They will also require the higher-octane 97+ ‘Super’ grades to remain E5 to provide protection for owners of older vehicles. This product will be designated as the ‘Protection’ grade.
The introduction of the 95-octane E10 grade and the maintenance of the Super E5 protection grade will be reviewed by the Government after five years to ensure they remain appropriate to the needs of the market.
In relation to the E5 protection grade, such a review will examine market developments over the period. HM Government has sought to reassure FBHVC members and historic vehicle owners that, without a suitable alternative becoming available, it is highly likely the Super E5 protection grade would continue to be available.
Filling stations that stock two grades of petrol and supply at least one million litres of fuel in total each year, will need to ensure one product is the Super E5 protection grade. While not all filling stations meet these criteria, almost all towns across the UK will have a filling station that supplies the ‘Super’ grade and currently one major retailer, a national supermarket group, has committed to offer the product. The main exception to this is in certain parts of the Highlands, north and west coast of Scotland, which will be covered by an exemption process and allowed to continue to market the 95-octane E5 grade.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) therefore recommends that all vehicles produced before 2000 and some vehicles from the early 2000s that are considered non-compatible with E10 should use the Super E5 Protection grade where the ethanol content is limited to a maximum of 5%. To check compatibility of vehicles produced since 2000, we recommend using the new online E10 compatibility checker.
It should be noted that some Super E5 Protection grade products do not contain Ethanol as the E5 designation is for fuels containing up to 5% ethanol. Product availability varies by manufacturer and geographical location and enthusiasts should check the situation in their location.