Premium fuel is a relatively new concept within the motor industry and we’ve noticed that not many people have discussed what it is. Premium fuel vs standard fuel could be seen as designer vs high street because it’s more expensive to buy and is supposedly ‘nicer quality’. You can purchase it from most petrol stations and it claims to be more economical than standard fuel. It’s also been suggested that premium fuel keeps important components in your engine clean. With all of that being said, there’s still a lot to know about the premium fuel.
The first difference between regular fuel and premium fuel is the official rating of the fuel. Unleaded fuel has a rating known as octane which shows how well the fuel resists pressure and premature ignition as it is compressed by the piston. And diesel fuel has a rating known as cetane – this can measure how quickly diesel fuel ignites under pressure. The second difference between the two fuels are the additives used in them. The ones used in premium fuel are said to reduce friction and clean the engines key components – resulting in a better overall performance.
The vehicles that usually need premium fuel to run are petrol engines with a high compression ratio – generally speaking, this is engines fitted to high-performance vehicles. And as far as diesel vehicles are concerned, diesel engines don’t require premium diesel fuel to run.
This is fairly simple, all you have to do is looking inside of the fuel filler flap – there should be a sticker with the name of the type of fuel (unleaded) and the minimum octane (RON) rating. For standard petrol, it’s about 95 RON and with premium unleaded fuel it sits between 97 and 100 RON. If you’re unsure or can’t see this sticker, we suggest looking in your vehicle’s user manual or contacting the car manufacturers directly.
According to a study from September 2017, the average price of a litre of standard petrol was £1.19 in the UK. And a litre of premium petrol fuel was set at £1.29 – for context, if you were driving a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI you’d be paying an extra fiver for every tank you fill up. So, for every 10,000 miles you complete you’d be spending an extra £86.
The average price of a litre of standard diesel fuel is around £1.20 in the UK while the premium diesel fuel is £1.33 per litre. If you were driving the ever popular family hatchback, the Ford Focus 1.5 TDCi you’d be spending an extra £6.90 for every tankful. And for every 10,000 miles the vehicle completes you’d be spending an extra £70 if you used premium fuel. So, while the premium fuel has made claims to be more economical and keep your vehicle cleaner, there’s no solid research to back up its claims. We recommend sticking with standard fuel unless necessary and saving yourself some extra cash! Want to book a service with us? Use our quick and easy online booking tool today!