Since the beginning of the month, the UK - other than Northern Ireland - has started to supply a new and more environmentally friendly petrol for our vehicles.
Previously, our petrol contained five per cent ethanol but this has now been increased to 10 per cent in the new E10 fuel.
Vehicles built after 2011 should have no problems and will accept it with no problems but it will not be compatible with some 600,000 older vehicles of which a proportion will be in the South West.
The Government has set up a website where you can check your vehicle’s compatibility on gov.uk and if your vehicle will not accept the new fuel, you will have to ensure your petrol station has E5 Super unleaded and use this in the future.
The bad news is this could cost you up to 12p per lire more than you have been paying.
Those of you with classic cars should also use this more expensive fuel as if you leave the new E10 in your tanks for any length of time it can damage plastics, metals and seals.
Introducing E10 could cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year, says the Department of Transport - the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road - and an important step to the Government’s climate change targets.
The semi-conductor shortage is having a worse effect on new vehicle supply than originally hoped and the SMMT have said this is likely to last well into next year.
This combined with raw material shortages means that many dealers will run out of available stocks by the end of September and as a result of orders taken, availability for new orders will be extremely limited until the end of the first quarter of 2022.
New van supply is similar and dealers are already struggling to meet demand, in spite of some manufacturer priority of semi-conductor supply being provided to this sector.
Used car stocks have been replenished to some degree with the part-exchanges from the September market but are expected to decline again over the next few months with no fall in values and severe shortages of specific models.
There are also shortages of parts causing cars to be off-road for longer periods and giving transport problems for their owners.
It is evident as other industries reveal issues where Covid may not have been the direct cause but actions that have been taken to mitigate those problems are now resulting in shortages of workers and goods and affecting all our lives.
This autumn and winter will be a challenge and Covid will remain in the front line but we are on the road to recovery and will come out of this wiser and stronger.
Keep safe and keep smiling. I look forward to next week.
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