Impending fuel changes

Posted by Chris Graham on 24th June 2021

All owners of vintage, veteran and classic vehicles need to be aware of the impending fuel changes due to be introduced this autumn.

Impending fuel changes

Impending fuel changes will have a very real impact on anyone who owns a classic, vintage or veteran vehicle.

After an extensive consultation process, the Department of Transport has announced that it will legislate to introduce E10 petrol (containing up to 10% ethanol) as the standard, premium, unleaded 95-octane grade, by September 1st, 2021.

It will also require the higher-octane 97+ ‘Super Unleaded’ grades to remain as E5 (with a maximum 5% ethanol content), to provide protection for owners of older vehicles (including petrol-paraffin tractors). This product will be designated as the ‘Protection’ grade.

The introduction of the 95-octane E10 grade, and the maintenance of the Super E5 protection grade, will be reviewed by the Government after five years, to ensure they remain appropriate to the needs of the market.

The government has sought to reassure Federation of British Historic Vehicle Club (FBHVC) members and historic vehicle owners that, without a suitable alternative becoming available; it’s highly likely the Super E5 protection grade will continue to be available. Filling stations that stock two grades of petrol, and supply at least one million litres of fuel in total each year, will need to ensure one product is the ‘Super E5 protection grade’.

While not all filling stations meet these criteria, almost all towns across the UK will have a filling station that supplies the ‘Super’ grade. Currently, one major retailer ­– a national supermarket group – has committed to offer the product. However, the main exception to this concerns parts of the Scottish Highlands as well as north and west coast regions of the country, which will be exempt, and allowed to continue selling 95-octane E5 fuel.

The Federation recommends that all vehicles produced before 2000 – and some vehicles from the early 2000s that are considered non-compatible with E10 – should use the ‘Super E5 protection grade’.

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