Premium VS. Regular Gasoline: What’s The Difference Between Them?

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If you’ve ever had to buy fuel for your company, you’re aware that regular and premium gasoline are both options. These two types differ in price, but it’s crucial to understand their other distinctions as well. This is particularly valid if you run a fleet of vehicles or offer fuel to customers. There have been some erroneous purchases at the pump because it is not entirely clear how these two grades of gasoline differ from one another. Read on if you’re unsure of what to put in your car’s gas tank.

What Is Regular Gas?

Regular unleaded gasoline (RUG) is by far the most widely used fuel for automobiles. It is less harmful to your health and the environment because it contains no lead compounds. RUG is a flammable byproduct of crude oil. This fuel has an octane rating of 87, which describes its resistance to improper fuel combustion in an engine.

What Is Premium Gasoline?

Many characteristics of regular unleaded and premium gasoline are similar. As a combustible liquid, the premium is also made from crude oil. Premium gas has a range of octane ratings, but 90 or more is typically the standard. Also known as “high octane gas,” premium fuel is.” It’s a great option for many vehicles because it creates less pollution and keeps your engine cleaner.

How Do Premium And Regular Gas Differ From One Another? 

Octane Rating

The ability of the fuel to withstand improper combustion in an engine is measured by the octane rating. In order to produce a controlled explosion, a fuel and air mixture is ignited in a normal internal combustion engine by compressing the mixture. Pre-ignition, also known as “knocking,” results from the mixture igniting sooner than it should.” Performance may be affected, and some engine components may be destroyed.

Premium gas has a higher octane rating than RUG because it can withstand pre-ignition better.


Depending on where you are, different prices apply. Premium gasoline costs more than regular unleaded because of its higher octane rating. The cost might change depending on where you are. Generally speaking, the cost of the two types of fuel differs by 20 to 40 cents per gallon. For those who drive a lot, the more expensive fuel could add up to hundreds of dollars in annual expenses, especially if they use their vehicle more frequently. The fact that buying this fuel in bulk will help fleets avoid wear and tear, though, may allow them to save money.


For low compression engines or low-performance vehicles that don’t need a lot of power, regular gas is suitable because it burns more quickly. High compression engines found in high-performance cars are advised to use premium gas because it burns more slowly.

When We Should Purchase Premium Fuel?

There is a reason why the owner’s manual for your car recommends premium gas. High-compression engines, turbochargers, and other high-performance features are common in vehicles that require premium fuel. Your engine won’t necessarily suffer if you don’t use premium, but if you use regular or midgrade gas, you risk losing some of the performance of the premium engine you bought.

Benefits Of Using The Correct Gasoline

You aren’t doing your car any favors by purchasing premium if your car doesn’t suggest it. The gas must be “premium” according to some vehicles. Because some engines perform best with higher-octane fuel, engineers at auto manufacturers recommend premium gas. If the owner’s manual for your car doesn’t specify premium gas, then your car doesn’t require it.

How Long Does Premium Gas Last?

If your car’s owner’s manual only says to use “premium” or “premium recommended,” you might want to experiment with different premium levels to see how your vehicle performs. To accomplish this, fill your gas tank to the quarter or lower mark and then add some premium grade fuel. As you drive on various premium gas octanes, keep a log of your gas mileage. While driving, experiment with different octane levels and pay attention to how your car handles and sounds. You should also take note of any variations in acceleration.

Drive your car more effectively to increase its overall performance. When starting from a stop sign or red light, for instance, don’t floor the gas. When traveling long distances or on the highway, maintain a constant speed without abrupt accelerations.

Can Premium And Regular Gas Be Mixed?

It is not possible to increase the performance of your car’s engine by blending different octanes. The manufacturer’s advice should always be followed if you want the best performance.

Which Is Better For Your Engine?

Use Regular Fuel If Your Car Doesn’t Need Premium.

Why spend a lot of money on something you don’t need? Although premium gas costs about 50 cents more per gallon than regular, it has no impact on vehicles that are unable to use it. The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers in a consumer notice that, in the majority of cases, using gasoline with a higher octane rating than what your owner’s manual recommends is completely useless. Your car won’t run cleaner, more efficiently, or more quickly thanks to it.”

In order to clean your engine and improve performance, the detergent additives in your gasoline are far more significant than the octane rating. Every retailer offers a unique combination of additives that are applied to all grades. As an illustration, both their regular and premium gas contain Techron from Chevron.

Some people have higher expectations for additives than others. The Top Tier Gasoline standard, which requires a higher percentage of detergent additive than the EPA minimum requirements, was drafted with the assistance of BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Audi. They assert that lower detergent additive concentrations may cause deposits to build up more readily on engine parts like fuel injectors and intake valves. In turn, this may result in decreased engine performance and elevated emissions.j

Fill Up With Premium Gas If Your Vehicle Requires It.

To achieve the intended level of performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions, engines with high compression ratios typically need higher octane fuel. Don’t cut corners if your vehicle demands premium fuel. Although you may spend less on gas, your car will be less powerful and fuel-efficient. When driving a car with a turbocharged engine, this can be a significant difference.

What if there isn’t any premium gas where your car needs it to be? While modern vehicles have sensors that are watched by the engine’s computer to help prevent knock and, by extension, engine damage, older ones may be susceptible to engine knock when running on low octane fuel. As the engine’s computer can adjust the ignition timing, your car will probably be fine running on regular once in a while, but we don’t recommend doing so frequently.

A modern vehicle’s ECU (Electronic Control Unit) can take different octane levels into account and adjust when you use a lower grade of fuel than what is advised or required. Your horsepower and MPG are likely to decrease while CO2 emissions increase. Although you might save money on gas, in this case you definitely get what you pay for.

If Your Vehicle Only Suggests Premium, You Are Free To Choose.

Both fuels can burn, but regular unleaded gasoline burns more quickly than premium unleaded. Regular is suitable for your car if it has a low compression ratio and does not require a lot of power. With premium unleaded, engines with high compression ratios will run at their best. This is particularly accurate if your engine uses turbocharging.

The Ford F-150 and Mazda MX-5 Miata are two examples of vehicles for which automakers advise premium gas but don’t mandate it. These vehicles’ performance and fuel efficiency slightly improved when using premium gas, according to AAA research. Premium gas can help highlight your car’s intended features if you drive a luxury or performance car.

However, you can safely operate on regular if your owner’s manual states that premium fuel is recommended. Commuters trying to get from Point A to Point B may not notice the difference or care depending on what and how they drive. Everything ultimately boils down to personal preference. Your car, your rules.


It can be challenging to compare all the vehicles that are currently for sale with gas prices on the rise. Check out these vehicles that use little to no gasoline to make things simpler. Please leave a comment if you have any additional questions.

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