Premium performance fuels like Shell’s V-Power Nitro , BP Ultimate or Texaco Supreme make offers to clean and protect your car as well as help squeeze more miles from your tank.
But when it costs more at the pump, is it well worth splashing on a tank of super fuel?
Premium petrol costs up to 10p a litre more than standard unleaded petrol.
And it’s not just the major names selling it: even supermarkets sell upgraded versions such as Tesco’s Momentum 99 or Sainsbury’s Super Unleaded.
What is premium fuel?
Super fuel or high performance fuel is petrol with a higher octane rating.
Most standard brands of fuel possess a 95 octane rating.
But super fuel typically features a higher rating – around 98 – which can make the engine work more efficiently and improve performance.
You can also buy versions of super fuel suitable for diesel vehicles too.
Will I notice any difference at the wheel?
But Matthew Minter, editorial director of motor manual publisher Haynes, says most people won’t drive in a way to observe any difference.
And 99% of cars works perfectly well on 95 octane standard unleaded fuel, he adds.
However, says Minter, with certain high-performance sports cars, some experts believe filling them with super fuel can improve performance.
My husband’s for ages been a super fuel cynic and considered the additional cost a waste of money.
Will super fuel save me money?
But after a work colleague talked up the benefits, he tried it in his Mercedes SLK200 and was surprised with the results.
He saved around £6 per tank due to the extra mileage the super fuel produced.
I, on the other hand, filled up my Peugeot 206 CC when it comes to researching this blog and didn’t notice any difference.
But it’s truly worth trying out super fuel says Chris Patience from the AA.
Different cars will respond differently to these fuels so the only way to figure out really is to use it and discover.
Does it have magic cleaning properties?
Premium petrol producers make claims of additives designed to clean and protect your engine but does this ensure it is worth buying regularly?
Premium fuels do contain more effective detergent additives which help the removal, preventing formation of, carbon and gum deposits on valves and other components inside the combustion chamber, says Patience.
If you would like look after the insides of your respective motor – just the occasional tank can do the trick, but there’s no reason to regularly fill with more expensive fuel.
Patience adds: If you’re planning to keep the car long term, using a premium fuel every fourth tank will help engine longevity and maintain performance over time.
In the event you start off with super fuel?
If you’re purchasing a new car, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says some manufacturers will recommend a particular type of fuel.
For example, Ford suggests using BP Ultimate in its vehicles.
Vauxhall however doesn’t recommend a particular fuel.
Vauxhall spokesman Simon Hucknall says you’d be wasting your money by putting high octane performance fuel into most of its standard variety of cars, with just a couple of exceptions on its top-of-the-range models.
Should I fill my secondhand motor with premium fuel?
Regularly flushing it through with a few tankfuls of premium fuel can certainly still improve performance, according to the AA, if you buy a secondhand car that’s been run for years on no matter what the nearest pump had to offer.
However you’re the only one who are able to decide if there’s a noticeable change in performance or measurable improvement in fuel economy that’s really worth the premium paid for the fuel, says Minter of Haynes.