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What exactly is premium fuel and is it worth your money?

Car being filled with premium fuel

Is premium fuel worth your money?

We live in a time where people will pay more money simply for a brand name, even if the product or service is the same. So, when we tell you that there is such a thing as premium fuel it might not come as much of a surprise. These so-called high quality unleaded and diesel fuels are available from most petrol stations. It’s thought that premium fuel can offer better fuel economy and keep your engine running in good condition. Some car manufacturers have suggested that their vehicles should solely run on premium fuel – but is it worth it? We’ve put together a guide to help you decide if premium fuel is worth your cash.


What is the difference?

There are two main differences between regular and premium fuel. The first being the official rating of the fuel. For unleaded, it’s known as an octane rating which shows how well the fuel resists pressure and premature ignition as it is compressed by the piston. The rating for diesel is known as cetane and it measures how fast diesel fuel ignites under pressure. The second main difference in premium and normal fuel is the additives that are in it. Premium fuel has added things that are thought to reduce friction and keep components of the engine clean. These ratings and additives reportedly result in a more efficient performance for your vehicle.


Premium fuel for which vehicles?

The only vehicles that specifically need premium fuel are those with petrol engines with a high compression ratio. These engines are usually only assigned to high-performance vehicles and require a super unleaded fuel. No car manufacturers have stated that diesel engines need to be run on premium diesel fuel. If it’s not essential that your vehicle needs premium fuel to run – it’s entirely up to you on whether you view it as a good investment for your vehicle or not.


How much?

So, how much does premium petrol fuel actually cost? Well, according to results from September 2017 the average price for a litre of unleaded petrol was £1.19. Whereas super unleaded petrol was £1.29 per litre. For context, if you were driving a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI you’d be set back an extra £5 every time you fill up the tank with premium petrol. For every 10,000 miles, that’s an extra £86.

What about premium diesel fuel, how much will that set you back? Well, the average price in the UK for a litre of standard diesel is £1.20. But if you choose to go for premium diesel it goes up to £1.33 per litre. If you were driving one of the UK’s most loved family hatchbacks, the Ford Focus 1.5 TDCi – if you were to fill its tank with standard diesel it’s around £6.90 cheaper than premium diesel fuel. And if you were driving 10,000 miles you’d saved £70 for sticking with standard diesel.

The prices really do speak for themselves, particularly where petrol concerned. While premium fuel sounds like a great development in the motor industry – it’s actually just another money making scheme. There’s not enough solid evidence to prove that it’s more beneficial than standard fuel. But if you fancy filling up your tank to see if you notice a difference, be sure to let us know how you get on.


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