Petrol car owners face ‘lottery’ when topping up after September E10 fuel changes

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Malcolm Mckay, spokesperson at the Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance warns drivers in different parts of the country could receive different qualities of petrol. In a common misconception, current E5 fuel does not always contain a predetermined five percent of ethanol.

Instead, E5 fuel can contain anywhere between zero percent and five percent in each top-up depending on the fuel supplier and how close a garage is to a refinery.

However, Mr McKay warns some drivers could go “suddenly” go from using just a few percent of ethanol to the full ten percent when the changes are made.

This could cause damage to incompatible vehicles with E10 believed to affect rubber and steel.

Speaking to, Mr McKay said: “There’s a lot of confusion and there are areas people don’t really understand.

“People think well we’ve had E5 we are now going to E10, it’s five percent more how is it going to make a difference.

“But what people don’t realise is a lot of the E5’s are not actually E5 at all they can still be E0.

“It’s up to five percent so you may have been running on E0 or one percent or something like that.

“And then you suddenly go straight up to ten percent.

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“E10 is between 5.5 and 10 percent so it’s not exactly ten percent and it will vary around the country.

“Not just between different fuel suppliers and companies, in some areas they will buy in someone else’s fuel as they don’t have a refinery nearby.

“A fuel that is E5 in one place with five percent will have no ethanol in it at another part of the country,

“So it is a bit of a lottery.”

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