What fuel to use? Guide to new petrol pump labels and equivalence

From 12 October, the new European regulation concerning labelling at petrol stations will apply in Spain. We will learn about the new pump labels and what type of fuel you should use in your vehicle.

The aim of the new labelling is that there is a consensus on the nomenclature within the European territory. It is also possible that they want to mark a roadmap for a future reform.

These new labels will be used by 28 countries in Europe, including Spain. In addition to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.

We must remember that the current gasoline already have a percentage of ethanol, it is not something new that we are going to have to deal with.

Although this is a travel website, many of our readers decide to rent a car when visiting Malaga so it is worth clarifying doubts about the new labelling of fuel in Spain.

Are there differences?

The gasoline or diesel that you are going to continue using for your vehicle will be the same, only the amount of ethanol or biodiesel present is taken into account from now on.

new fuel tags guide


The label for the gasoline will be represented in a circle.

  • E5 up to 5% Ethanol
  • E10 up to 10% Ethanol
  • E85 up to 85% Ethanol


The label for the diesel will be represented in a square.

  • B7 up to 5% of Biodiesel.
  • B10 up to 10% of Biodiesel.
  • XTL with synthetic diesel.


The label of the alternative fuels will be represented in a rhombus.

  • LNG for Liquefied Natural Gas.
  • CNG for Compressed Natural Gas.
  • LPG for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
  • H2 for Hydrogen.

Although hydrogen is the post-electric future and E85 is the present, in Spain none of them are popular yet.

Equivalence of the new identifiers

The equivalents of the new identifiers in EU with respect to the type of gasoline or diesel will depend on each gas station and the additives they add to the fuel.

Remember that the current gasoline already have a percentage of ethanol, it is not something new that we are going to have to face.

Nuevas etiquetas en Cepsa y Repsol
For now we will be able to continue refuelling as always our vehicles.

New nomenclature at each gas station? Does all this sound very complicated? Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems, let’s see some examples:


As we can see, all current Repsol petrol fuels would correspond by their percentage of ethanol to the new E10. As far as I have read from users visiting petrol stations in Spain, the E5 is the only one available.

Composition of Repsol petrol:

  • Repsol Efitec 95: Up to 10% Ethanol and 3.7% Oxygen.
  • Respol Efitec 95 Premium: Up to 10% Ethanol, 3% Methanol and 3.7% Oxygen.
  • Repsol 98: Up to 10% Ethanol, 3% Methanol and 3.7% Oxygen.

Diesel e+ and Diesel e+10 will become B7.


Cepsa’s 95 gasoline will have the new denomination E5 while its Optima 98 gasoline would become E10.

Composition of Cepsa gasoline:

  • Star 95: Up to 5% Ethanol and 2.8% Oxygen (E5)
  • Optimum 95: Up to 5% Ethanol and 2.7% Oxygen. (E5)
  • Optimum 98: Up to 10% Ethanol and 2.7% Oxygen. (E10)

Diesel Star and Optima will become B7.

BP and Shell

At the BP and Shell petrol stations both petrol 95 and 98 are E5.

Both diesel are B7.

Which fuel to use in our vehicle?

Don’t worry, petrol stations continue to give preference to old fuel identifiers, leaving only the new one under a small label.

I still don’t know of petrol stations in Spain with the label E10 or B10 in any of its dispensers, although I have seen them in Germany.

nuevo etiquetado en gasolineras
Nothing changed except for a little label indicating the new fuel identifier.

This change of name will be labelled on new vehicles from October 2018; it does not mean that petrol stations will remove the old labelling, at least not for now. If the vehicle is new it may already have the label, it should be located close to the fuel cap or in the fuel cap itself.

Doubts about which fuel to use

While documenting this new article I have read many doubts; I am going to try to answer basically the one I found the most.

My vehicle uses petrol 98, 95 or both, what new fuel should I use?

Transfers from the airport

For now it is not a new fuel, you are going to continue using the same one that also keeps its old label on the pump.

Anyway you can always go to the dealer and ask or do a online search of your vehicle model. But if you keep refuelling as you have done so far, you won’t face any problems.

Other tips

If you decide to rent a car in Malaga and still have doubts, I recommend you asking for the type of fuel to refuel the vehicle.

If you want to ask, correct or contribute with something that I missed you are welcome in the comments below.

Official information at: https://www.fuel-identifiers.eu/

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Published by

Raúl G.T

Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.

4 thoughts on “What fuel to use? Guide to new petrol pump labels and equivalence”

  1. Unnecessarily complicating life! 🙁

    If and when the proper octane labels disappear, if you need 98 octane, you could very easily end up putting 95 in the tank.

    One shouldn’t have to “research” before putting petrol in the car.

  2. Re furies my hilux crew cab in circle centra Ballybrit co Galway on 11 7 19 with auto diesel went about 20miles on motorway when my jeep started to give fuel problem rang garage back got no answer rang a man in Galway got hit to go to garage and get a sample from the same pump and explained to the person in charge what had happened did not seem to care a lot when shown the sample though it was a bit yellow I am still waiting to have my sample tested

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