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Is premium petrol worth the price?

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When we hear ‘premium’, we think of something of the best quality. And when it comes to fuel, premium fuel should be the choice fuel for our car. Or is it?

While premium quality is generally the better choice, when it comes to fuels, it may not be as straightforward.

According to a report published by consumer researchers, ValueChampion, cars with an engine size above 2.0-litre (or 2000cc) are the only ones worth fuelling with premium petrol.

The report noted that only ultra-premium cars with engine capacity well in excess of 2000cc are worth the cost of using premium fuels.

Their research found that the cost of repairing engine damage (as a result of using lower-grade 95 over 10 years) against 98 octane is more significant on more expensive cars than an average car.

They found that the real benefit of using a higher grade fuel is the prevention of engine damage over the long run. Therefore, it would cost more for a Porsche owner to fix his car’s engine than it would for the average Toyota Corolla Altis owner to fix his.

Most cars in Singapore don’t really need high octane petrol

If only cars with engine capacity of 2000cc or higher should be using petrol premium, then only about 16% of the cars in Singapore should be using 98 octane petrol.

That said, the number of cars that require premium petrol has also increased significantly over the last few decades.

Not surprisingly, car buyers in Singapore are now leaning towards more economical cars. Stats show that the number of cars with engine capacity of 2000cc or below has been steadily increasing from 501,717 in 2014 to 514,569 in 2017.

How can you save on petrol?

1. Use 95 octane

Most modern engines are designed to consume even the lowest octane available. So you won’t go wrong with 95. Only 25% of petrol sale in Singapore is 98 octane anyway, so it appears that most drivers are already making the right decision around which fuel to use for their cars.

2. Get credit cards with petrol discounts

Another smart way to further reduce their petrol cost is to choose petrol credit cards that provide 15% to 25% discounts on fuel purchase. Just imagine your savings over the long term.

3. Alter your driving style

You will be surprised at how much you can save simply by altering your driving habits. Consumption is lowest when you are cruising at a relatively constant speed of around 45km/hour and 75km/hour. A steady speed can decrease the gas mileage by around 20-30%.

4. Adhere to speed limits everywhere

If erratic driving results in 20% more fuel usage, an average driver in Singapore (16,700 km/year) could save S$500 or more in petrol every year by driving more smoothly and at the proper speed limits. This also has an added benefit of reducing your car insurance premium by earning you No Claim Discounts and other perks.

Meanwhile, there are things you can do to combat rising petrol prices, and remember to check out the latest petrol prices at Petrol Watch Singapore.   

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