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Is Premium Fuel Worth the Money?

With fuel prices spiralling upwards (the most expensive litre of fuel costs nearly £2), drivers all over the UK are now thinking harder about what sort of fuel they pump their vehicles with. With this in mind, the Tyres Northampton team thought that it would be a good idea to revisit the topic of premium fuel and discuss whether we think it’s worth the money or not.

What’s the difference between petrol and super unleaded premium fuel?

We can distinguish between regular fuels and premium fuels by something called an octane number, which is used to measure an engine’s performance. For example, where regular fuel tends to have an octane number of around 95, Shell’s performance fuel has an octane number of 99.

Of course, octane numbers alone might not mean a great deal to you, so here’s another way of putting it: the higher the octane number, the more power that can be derived from each drop of fuel. So, much like a good set of tyres, premium fuel allows your car to perform at its full potential. It’s for this reason that you will hear people say that performance fuel is only worth it for performance vehicles, and they’re not too far wrong either.

Why don’t you get premium diesel?

While there is such a thing as premium diesel, it’s not quite the same as premium petrol. Premium diesel is, for all intents and purposes, regular diesel with some additional cleaning materials thrown in – it does nothing to improve the power or performance of your vehicle. In fact, vehicle manufacturers such as Ford, Mercedes and BMW actually discourage drivers from filling their diesel vehicles up with the premium version, so we would recommend just sticking to regular, old diesel until you make the switch to electric.

Can you mix unleaded and super unleaded fuel?

The short answer: yes, you can. Mixing regular and premium petrol doesn’t damage your vehicle, they will simply balance each other out. For example, if regular fuel has an octane number of 95 and premium 99, if you fill your car up with half a tank of each you will have an effective octane rating of 97. It’s essentially like filling your car up with “diet” premium fuel.

Does choosing super unleaded negate the E10 fuel problems?

With E10 fuels (regular petrol mixed with ethanol) now seemingly a permanent fixture at petrol stations across the country, most motorists are having to make the switch. If you feel as though your vehicle doesn’t run as well on it, you could opt for premium petrol to see if that improves your vehicle’s performance. In many petrol stations, what is labelled premium fuel now is essentially the octane 95 fuel that we used to get before E10 arrived, so it’s up to you whether you feel as though it’s worth the swap back.

Tyres Northampton is the region’s most trusted tyre supplier and MOT expert. We’ve recently refurbished our workshop, so if your vehicle needs some TLC and you want to make sure it’s in good hands, you can trust our dedicated team to get you back on the road as soon as possible. For more information about our services or to get your vehicle booked in, please contact us today.

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