Will our car be compatible with greener E10 petrol? 

A reader asks if he'll still be able to use his older car if greener E10 petrol is introduced in the UK using...

E10 biofuels fuel filling station labels

I was very interested in your article about the possibe introduction of new E10 petrol and the fact that many older cars won't be compatible with the new fuel. You included a Rover 25 on your list. My wife drives a 1998 example of its forerunner, the Rover 214.

Could you advise me if her car will be affected by this and if we should start using a fuel additive if we have to switch to E10 petrol rather than the E5 that is currently on sale?

Don Westcott

What Car? says…

The Government is considering making petrol greener by doubling the amount of bioethanol in it from 5% to 10% from 2020. The new fuel will be called E10 to distinguish it from current petrol, which is called E5, denoting the amount of bioethanol it contains. 

However, if the change is approved, larger filling stations that sell more than three million litres of fuel a year will need to continue to stock E5 'protection grade' fuel for use in older cars. 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. 

So, although we don’t think it’s advisable to use E10 petrol in your Rover 214, you should still be able to fill it with E5 for the foreseeable future. 

You can put in a cleaning additive for the fuel injection system into the fuel tank if you wish, but most fuels come with additives in them anyway to prevent the build-up of deposits in your fuel system, so there shouldn't be any need to do this.

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Read more: E10 biofuel - what is it and how could it affect you? >>