The Department for Transport has confirmed that new E10 petrol will be introduced in filling stations across the UK this September.
E10 fuel is a more eco-friendly blend of petrol and ethanol, which is made from materials including low-grade grains, sugars and waste wood.
It’s claimed its introduction could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road, or all the cars in North Yorkshire.
However, a small number of older vehicles, including classic cars and some from the early 2000s, will continue to need E5 fuel, which is why supplies of E5 petrol will be maintained in the more expensive ‘Super’ grade.
There are also fears that the E5 premium grade petrol may be harder to find, especially in some rural locations.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The switch to E10 petrol is clearly good news for the environment and will not affect the vast majority of the UK’s 33m car drivers although some may see the number of miles they get from a tank go down as research suggests E10 is potentially slightly less efficient.
“It’s estimated that around 700,000 cars registered prior to 2002 shouldn’t use E10 as seals, plastics and metals may be damaged by its corrosive properties if used exclusively over longer periods.
“It’s vital that anyone with an older vehicle gets the message about the switch otherwise they could end up with a big repair bill.
“Those with no option but to continue using E5 will have to fork out quite a lot of extra money as super grade unleaded is currently 136p a litre which is over 13p more expensive than regular petrol.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added: “Although more and more motorists are driving electric vehicles, there are steps we can take to reduce emissions from the millions of vehicles already on our roads – the small switch to E10 petrol will help drivers across the country reduce the environmental impact of every journey, as we build back greener.”