Motorists paid £1.7bn more in fuel costs due to E10 fuel switch

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New research carried out by GoCompare Car Insurance suggested that last year’s switch to E10 petrol has made the current cost of motoring crisis even worse. E10 became the standard unleaded petrol in September 2021.

However, its lower efficiency compared to the previous E5 fuel means drivers have been needing to fill up more often just as prices have rocketed.

Combined with the record-level petrol prices, the lower efficiency of E10 petrol has contributed to an estimated £1.7 billion rise in collective running costs compared with last year.

The research also estimated that, at current prices, the average driver can expect to pay around £300 per year more to fuel their car than in 2021.

Figures showed that drivers travelling 8,000 miles (the national annual average) in 2021 could have expected to pay around £866 for petrol.

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Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at GoCompare said: “Unfortunately, in the midst of a fuel crisis we are also realising the impact of the switch to E10 petrol on motorists’ pockets.

“Getting fewer miles per gallon means spending more to drive the same distance.

“Coupled with the climbing cost of fuel, this is a real blow to car owners.”

Mr Fulthorpe continued: “As a greener fuel, the shift to E10 is said to have the same impact as removing 350,000 cars from the road and will go a long way to support the UK bioethanol industry, which is sure to be a key future player in sustainable fuel.

“Yet, rather than subsidising and supporting this industry, the price has been pushed onto the consumer.”

E10 petrol is less polluting than E5 fuel thanks to its higher bioethanol content.

This helps to reduce the amount of CO2 produced when it burns.

However, the higher bioethanol content also means it is less efficient.

The RAC reported that the problem is more pronounced in small turbocharged engines, which are now common.

Along with rising fuel prices, drivers have been hit by an average £68 per year jump in insurance costs, according to the latest data.

On top of that, car tax went up at the start of April, with drivers seeing increases of up to £120 on first-year rates for some cars.


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