Salford Citizens Advice

Update on petrol, driving and car costs:

E10 Petrol has been launched.

The new E10 Petrol fuel has just been launched. This essentially means that the level of ethanol from plant sources in petrol is being increased from 5% to 10%.

The government estimates this could help reduce CO2 emissions by around 750,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

E10 – already used in European countries like France, Germany, and Finland – contains up to 5% more bioethanol, which is produced from corn, sugar cane and paper production.

The petrol is being introduced as a greener alternative, in keeping with the government’s plans to distribute petrol that emits less CO2 and slow down climate change.

Most petrol cars built after the early 2000s will be compatible with the new fuel. However, roughly 600,000 cars on UK roads won’t be.

Those with non-compliant cars are being urged to avoid using E10 fuel, though the RAC reassures drivers that they “don’t need to panic” if it is used accidentally, as it can be rectified.

Classic cars, albeit a small minority, are among those advised to steer clear of the new fuel. Some of the other most popular middle-aged vehicles that will not be compatible with the new fuel include older Nissan Micras, Mazda MX-5s, Ford Escorts and all cars built by MG Rover until 2005.

Drivers should check if their vehicles can run on E10 petrol with the government’s E10 fuel compatibility checker at:

Reports of delays in booking MOT’s:

The main motoring organisations are reporting that there are currently lots of delays for people as they try to book MOT’s. This is because of the anniversary of the end of the special Covid extensions that were granted last year. Don’t forget the government MOT checker which a useful way is to check when yours is due. You can check at:

You can also set up a MOT text reminder when you use this service.

Be prepared and book your car in early if it’s due for MOT. All cars three years or older that that are driven (or parked) on the road must have an MOT. Some special vehicles must have an MOT at one year’s age – such as taxis etc. The full list is available on the Government’s website.

Insurance premiums reductions:

With so many of us driving much fewer miles than normal – it’s still worth speaking to your insurer to enquire whether you are paying too much for your insurance given this reduced mileage. Ask whether they can make a refund.

If your insurance is coming up for renewal – always shop around to avoid less competitive pricing for existing customers. With so many people having changed their driving habits considerably, the type of car insurance they may need may well be very different.


Tom Togher

September 2021.