Legislation passed in late September 2021 by the UK Department of Transport has ordered that starting early in 2022, E10 gasoline will now be classed as the standard for 95-octane.

That makes for bad news for classic car owners- among the 600,000 to 700,000 cars considered incompatible with E10.

To protect their classic car engine, most owners will need to fill their tanks with higher octane 97+ 'Super'  fuels to retain the category  E5 and be given a 'Protection' rating.
Cautionary warnings will be prominently positioned on new gas pump labels as part of the new legislation.

Until the new legislation came into effect,  service station pumps were labelled according to the BS EN16942 standard, widely recognised throughout Europe.

This EN16942 standard also sets the labelling criteria for fuel grades such as E85, B20, and B30,  still available on service station forecourts in the UK and  Europe.

So far UK's major filling station giants are divided on whether to provide E5 fuel.

Asda, one of the UK's largest with more than three hundred forecourts under their control, have stated that they will be winding down the supply of E5, with BP offering both E10 and E5 in selected filling stations across the UK mainland and Northern Ireland.

Esso is following roughly in the same direction, with around two hundred of Esso's 1,200 branded service stations discontinuing sales of E5 petrol. These stations are situated in the more rural regions of Great Britain, meaning that classic car owners living in the periphery will be faced with a simple choice- either fuel up with E10 or travel to the nearest town to fill up with E5.

Shell have regraded their E5, giving it the company's 'protection grade' label and marketing it as Shell V-Power.   Under this label. E5 will be marketed at most of Shell's UK forecourts,  currently numbering more than one thousand.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's, which operate around 300 stations in the UK, will continue to offer E5 in most of their petrol stations.

Another supermarket chain Tesco have also stated that they will continue to offer E5 petrol at most of their six hundred forecourts, while  E10 gasoline will be marketed as  95 Octane Premium Unleaded.

While it can only be conjecture at this point, vehicle service centres are predicting that if any damage has been caused by those classic car owners who insist or have no choice to fill their tanks with E10 grade fuel, it could take at least six months to a year before mechanical issues begin to emerge.

The general feeling is that should any damage occur to a classic car engine or fuel system, it will rarely be catastrophic and usually readily reversible.

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