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Government Launches Website to Publicise Fuel Labelling Changes

By Joanne Hogan | June 5, 2019

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New, eco-friendly, petrol and diesel labels help you identify the right fuel for your vehicle – both here and abroad

How labels work

New labelling makes it easy to spot the correct fuel for your vehicle and assess its environmental credentials from September 2019 in the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport’s new website Know Your Fuel confirms. Never fear, though. There is no change to the fuel itself that emerges from your pump. It simply has a new label.

Perhaps your car takes petrol, for example. If so, the label incorporates a black circle. Within the circle is a letter and number such as E5. The E proves the petrol contains a percentage of renewable, low carbon emission, ethanol fuel that is mixed with more traditional alternatives. The 5 states the maximum percentage.

Naturally, look for a different label if you need diesel. It incorporates a square that contains a letter and number such as B7. The B proves the fuel contains a percentage of renewable, eco-friendly, low emission biodiesel. The 7 is your maximum percentage.

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The Department for Transport says mixing these renewable, low emission, fuels with traditional alternatives reduces carbon emissions significantly. In 2018, it says, the reduction was equivalent to taking ‘more than 1 million cars off the UK’s roads’.

Where to find the labels

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Forecourts must soon display the labels by law. See them on fuel pumps, for example. In addition, if your car is new there is a label on its filler cap. This, of course, proves what fuel is most suitable so you can search for the relevant label on the fuel pump.

Furthermore, the labelling system applies throughout Europe. The benefit is that you can take your car abroad and easily spot the right fuel. Simply look for the label. The system, therefore, minimises the risk of pumping the wrong fuel which is a costly mistake. Your car is likely to breakdown. Further benefits include:

  • Saves time, e.g. quickly identify the correct fuel pump
  • Less stress, e.g. be sure your car is getting the right fuel

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Labels increasingly important

The Department for Transport said that ‘these labels will be increasingly important as new fuels come to market’. Consider E10, for instance. Whereas this petrol – that contains up to 10% renewable ethanol – is not yet available throughout the United Kingdom it is common in mainland Europe (and many other countries).

The spokesperson added: ‘These new labels will help drivers choose the right fuel for their vehicle, whilst also highlighting the use of biofuels in reducing the carbon emissions from everyday road vehicles.’ The system is part of a wider strategy to minimise the pollution which causes health problems, the spokesperson concluded. 

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