A quarter of drivers unaware a new type of petrol has been introduced this week

Twenty-four per cent of drivers are unaware that a new type of petrol has been introduced at forecourts from today (September 1).

Research from breakdown group the RAC found many drivers did not know the fuel was coming, while 27 per cent have not looked into whether their vehicle is compatible.

The Government has introduced E10 petrol as a way of cutting tailpipe emissions. It has a 10 per cent ethanol content, up from the typical E5 used at British pumps.

However, while the vast majority of cars on the road should be fine to use the new fuel, cars built before 2002 will likely not be compatible. In the UK, all cars built since 2011 must have E10 compatibility.

Drivers can check if their vehicle can run on E10 petrol on the Government website. If it can’t, premium fuel pumps will continue to use E5 for the time being – but this will mean the price of a tank of fuel increases significantly.

Of the respondents that said they knew their car was incompatible with E10, 59 per cent said they were concerned about the rising costs, while 53 per cent were worried about finding pumps with E5 available.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent said they fear mistakenly filling with E10 and causing expensive damage, while the same proportion were concerned that the value of their car could drop.

RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “E10 petrol has already started appearing on forecourts to replace the old E5 blend, and that process will continue at pace in the coming weeks.

“Drivers who will continue to rely on E5 will also need to make sure the filling station they’re visiting stocks the fuel in the first place, or risk running out of fuel and having to call on their breakdown provider.

“We’d also like to remind owners of classic cars that they need to be careful not to accidentally top up with E10 and then leave it sitting unused in the tank for long periods, something which can lead to expensive damaged plastics, metals and seals.”

E10 fuel is arriving across Great Britain now, and is expected to make its way to Northern Ireland in early 2022.