Although the car industry is shifting towards electric and hybrid models in time for 2030’s ban on the sale of any new vehicles that produce emissions, we know that not everybody is ready to make that switch. It’s important that you understand the fuel types available to you which is why we’ve put together this guide as well as one on diesel, hybrids and fully electric cars.

What is Petrol Fuel?

Petrol was the first fuel type used to power motor vehicles and today remains the most popular option for drivers, though as the market shifts towards electric vehicles (EVs) we are seeing the percentage of petrol drivers gradually decrease.

The fuel is burnt in the combustion engine to power the vehicle, in the same way diesel would be in a diesel model.

E5 VS E10

Last year there was a lot in the news about the switch from E5 petrol to E10 petrol as standard but what does this actually mean for your driving habits?

The difference between the two is simply the percentage of renewable ethanol in the fuel from up to 5% to up to 10%. This reduces the harmful impact of the fuel both at the point of origin and the vehicle’s pollutants but there is a slight impact on your fuel economy. Though there may not have been a massive drop in your fuel consumption you may have noticed a slight decrease in the time between filling up.

Not every vehicle is compatible with E10, though it’s typically older models which aren’t, and if you don’t want to switch then E5 is still available as the premium option on most fuel pumps.


Benefits of Petrol

There are a number of benefits to driving a petrol vehicle. As it’s the oldest fuel on the market there are models available with a petrol engine in every size, shape and colour for you to choose from. From bold SUVs to sleek coupes and standout supermini’s you’ll find a petrol powered car that you love.

Typically petrol models will be the cheapest on the market and this often means if you’re looking for a lease then the cheapest deals will be on petrol models.

As well as a cheaper purchase price, petrol cars will also have lower running costs. Petrol fuel is cheaper than diesel, they don’t have the expensive components that EVs and hybrids do when it comes to maintenance and repairs and they’ll be lower polluting than diesel cars so have lower tax rates.

Considerations with Petrol

Just like any fuel, there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind with a petrol engine.

Petrol engines burn the fossil fuel in order to power them and from this comes harmful pollutants such as CO2, and while the overall emissions are lower petrol engines do emit more CO2 than the same model with a diesel engine.

If you are taking a company car, then you should consider the CO2 emission levels of the vehicle when doing so as it is a factor in deciding the amount of company car tax you will pay.

Although petrol is cheaper at the pump you will find petrol engines are typically less economical on their fuel usage so you’ll be filling up slightly more regularly than a diesel would. Your driving style will have an impact on the fuel economy of a car.

Another thing to bear in mind is that more cities across the UK are in the process of introducing emission reducing strategies which include clean air zones and low emission zones, both of which penalise polluting engines via a charge to drive within the area.

Deciding if Petrol is Right for You

When deciding on a fuel type for your next vehicle you want to take into account financial and environmental factors as well as your personal preferences.

Generally we advise you consider:

  • How the car will be funded and the additional costs based on this, for example paying company car tax on a company car
  • The expected running costs including fuel, insurance, road tax (if you are responsible for this), parking permits and any other charges
  • The expected servicing and maintenance costs of the vehicle and how this will be paid
  • Whether you will be driving in any low emission or clean air zones and the charge they apply for petrol models

We’d also recommend reading up on the other fuel types so that you know the pros and cons of them as well to ensure you make an informed decision on the right fuel for you.

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