Classic car owners should use different petrol ‘as a routine’ to keep their engine running

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A classic car specialist has warned drivers should use the more expensive premium grade unleaded fuel now and again because it is good for the engine. Mark Knight, Director of classic car specialists at Retro Marques has urged drivers to use the more expensive fuel “every third or fourth tank” where they can.

Speaking exclusively to, Mr Knight said he regularly does this with his own classic cars to ensure they stay in a healthy condition.

He said: “A lot of classic car owners would as a matter of routine would already be using premium unleaded.

“Or they would certainly be using it – as indeed we would advise owners to do – every third or fourth tank.

“I would put a tank of V Power through just because in general, it’s good for the engine.

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“It’s good for conditioning and just keeping everything in tip-top condition.”

Experts at Holts Auto have also warned classic cars can run better using higher-Octane fuel.

This petrol is designed for sports cars but works better on older engines due to its higher octane rating.

A handful of fuel suppliers in the UK offer this fuel but drivers are warned some still come with five percent ethanol.

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According to, standard fuel has a 95 Octane rating with super unleaded around 98.

They say this can make engines work more efficiently and improve a car’s overall performance.

It is likely sportscars and high-performance models will run better on the new fuel giving them an extra kick when on the roads. confirmed an occasional tank of premium fuel would help look after the engine but there is no need to do this regularly.

However, they warn second-hand car owners that using a few tanks of premium fuel after purchase could enhance performance.

Despite this premium fuel can still prove expensive, costing around 30p per litre more than standard petrol.

Drivers can check which fuel is recommended for use on their car through the vehicle manual.

The RAC says that generally, drivers can use a higher octane fuel than is recommended for their car.

However, they are using a lower octane fuel which could cause engine damage in places in a critical warning.

The news comes just months before new E10 fuel could launch in the UK which could possibly put many classic cars at risk.

The RAC has warned up to 600,000 classic cars will be incompatible with the new fuel which could corrode fuel pumps.

However, Mr Knight has revealed the risks are generally overexaggerated with many motorists not at any substantial risk from the change.

Speaking to, he said: “A generic classic car is not going to have an issue with it at all.

“If you accidentally put a tank of E10 in your car and drive away and 200/250 miles later you put another tank of non E10 in, you will probably never ever know the difference.

“I think it is highly unlikely that you will have done any damage.”

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