June 19, 2024

Impact of E10 Fuel on Vintage and Classic Vehicles

Understanding E10 Petrol and Its Impact on Classic Cars

Most of us are accustomed to E10 petrol, which was introduced at the pump in the summer of 2021 as part of the government’s initiative to reduce pollution. E10 is compatible with most petrol cars, but it may pose challenges for older vehicles or classic cars.

This blog aims to address all your inquiries regarding E10 and its potential effects on your classic car. Continue reading to determine if your car falls under the classic category.

What is E10 petrol?

E10 is petrol blended with up to 10% renewable ethanol, introduced to help curb carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. By utilizing fuel with a higher ethanol ratio, your car can become more eco-friendly by burning less fuel and producing fewer emissions.

Is my car compatible with E10 petrol?

The Department for Transport states that all petrol-powered vehicles manufactured since 2011 and most cars built since the late 1990s are E10 compatible, covering 95% of petrol vehicles on the roads today.

If there are any doubts about your vehicle’s compatibility, it is advisable to consult the manufacturer or utilize the government’s E10 compatibility checker tool.

Which cars aren’t E10 compatible?

Classic cars, older vehicles, and certain cars from the early 2000s are identified as not being compatible with E10 petrol, according to the government’s guidelines.

How will E10 petrol impact my classic car?

There are two primary concerns related to using E10 in classic cars:

1. Ethanol is corrosive

With a higher ethanol content in E10, the risk of corrosion on metal, plastic, and rubber components in your classic car’s fuel system increases. This can lead to various issues, such as broken fuel lines and carburettor malfunctions.

2. Ethanol absorbs water

Water absorption poses a challenge if your classic car remains idle for extended periods, as is common with many classic cars. Accumulated moisture can lead to significant driving and safety issues.

Does E10 fuel give less mpg?

E10 has a slightly lower mpg compared to E5 due to ethanol containing less energy than gasoline. However, many find this trade-off acceptable as E10 is cheaper and contributes to reducing CO2 emissions.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any E10 additives or adaptations to make my classic car compatible?

While upgrading to non-standard specifications may not align with the preferences of many classic car owners, it is a possibility. Upgrading the fuel system to handle E10 petrol is an option, provided all replaced parts are E10 compatible.

Are modern classics compatible with E10 petrol?

If you own a modern classic car built from the late 90s onwards, it is likely suitable for using E10. It is recommended to verify compatibility through the government’s tool.

What can I do if I accidentally fill my classic car with E10 petrol?

In case of mistakenly filling your classic car with E10 instead of E5, ensure the fuel does not sit in the tank for an extended period. Take the vehicle for a long drive and then top up with E5 when feasible.


Understanding the implications of E10 petrol on classic cars is essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of these cherished vehicles. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, classic car owners can navigate the transition to E10 with confidence.

For comprehensive insurance coverage tailored to your classic car’s needs, contact the experts at Adrian Flux on 0800 369 8590 for a swift, hassle-free quote. Alternatively, schedule a callback at your convenience.

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