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.

This year, based on fuel prices as of 24 March 2022, that has risen to £1,168 – a staggering increase of £302 per year.

The vast majority of that extra cost is down to the spiralling price of petrol and diesel at the pumps.

The average cost per litre of petrol has risen from 123p at the start of March 2021 to 151p on 1 March 2022 and 163p at the end of March.

However, the switch to E10, which was done to help cut the UK’s CO2 emissions, has also added to the rise.

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Government estimates suggest that the fuel is 2.3 percent less efficient than E5 fuel, which was the previous standard unleaded.

Even if prices had stayed at March 2021’s levels, drivers would be paying an extra £22 on average purely because of the switch to E10 fuel.

However, the constantly rising price of petrol over recent months means that the impact is even greater.

The average driver is now paying an additional £30 simply due to the lower efficiency of E10.

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