Will my car be able to run on the new E10 petrol? 

A reader is concerned that his 14-year-old Skoda Fabia won't be compatible with the greener petrol being introduced in 2021...

E10 biofuels fuel filling station labels

I own a 2006 Skoda Fabia Estate 1.4 petrol with an automatic gearbox, and I’ve heard a rumour that my car will not be able to run on the new E10 petrol that is being introduced next year. Is this correct and can I do anything to fix the car so I can use the new fuel? 

Martin Smith

What Car? says…

We’ve looked at the compatibility checklist on the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association and it states that all Skoda models are able to run on the new E10 petrol except for the 1.3-litre petrol engine used in the Skoda Felicia, which was produced between 1994 and 2001 and in some earlier models. It also states that there is a retrofit option for these engines to make them compatible with the use of E10 petrol. Owners of relevant cars are advised to consult their dealer to find out more.

Skoda Fabia Estate (00 - 07)

In general terms, all new cars sold in Europe since 2011 are able to run on E10 petrol, which has twice as much bioethanol as the E5 unleaded that’s currently sold in the UK: 10%, as the name suggests.

According to research by the RAC Foundation, an estimated 634,000 cars on our roads aren’t compatible with the new fuel, and only 150,000 of these cars were built on or after the year 2000.  

However, it will still be possible to run these cars because all larger fuel stations that sell more than three million litres of fuel a year will continue to stock E5 petrol. This is similar to the situation in the 1990s where you could still buy leaded petrol from larger forecourts for use in cars that couldn't run on unleaded.

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