Filling up at the pumps is pretty straightforward. Most of us are used to doing it at least once a week and don’t even give it a second thought. But you might notice something a little different when refuelling.

Two new labels, ‘E5’ and ‘B7’, have been added to pumps to help you choose the right fuel for your car.

Know your fuel

The good news is there is nothing you need to change about the way you fill up and the types of fuel available are exactly the same. The new labels are simply another way of identifying which type of fuel is in the pump and how much renewable fuel it contains.

Petrol is also now called E5 and has a circular label. The E stands for ethanol and the 5 means it contains up to 5% renewable ethanol.

B7, in a square label, is the new mark for Diesel pumps. It means the fuel is made up of a maximum 7% renewable biodiesel.

Photo of the two new fuel pump labels

The two new pump labels. Source: knowyourfuel.campaign.gov.uk/

New cars get labels, too

New vehicles have been rolling off the assembly line with fuel labels, too. You’ll find the label somewhere near the fuel cap and it will match the corresponding label on the pump nozzle.

Some cars may have an E10 sticker. This means they can run on petrol with up to 10% renewable fuel in. This type of fuel is set to become standard from 2021, but in the meantime it’s perfectly safe to use standard E5 petrol instead.

And some new diesel cars might come with a ‘No Biodiesel’ label. However, it’s still safe to use B7 diesel, it just means you should avoid using fuel with a very high biodiesel blend.

Reducing emissions and saving money

Most drivers will be unaware that renewable fuels have been mixed with UK supplies for more than 10 years. It’s part of a number of measures to help the UK reduce CO2 emissions.

While fuel itself hasn’t changed, the price of fuel is a little more unpredictable. EDF Energy published research in 2019 estimating that the average driver will spend more than £56,000 at the pumps over their lifetime. But by changing the way you drive, you can actually reduce your fuel consumption and save money. Read our tips to learn how you can start to drive more efficiently.

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