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AAA says US drivers waste $2.1 billion on premium gasoline every year

Mar 7, 2022, 12:51 PM

AAA said premium gas is a waste for cars that require regular gas....

An AAA study found that drivers are wasting money on premium gas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

SALT LAKE CITY —  A new AAA study found that drivers wasted billions by using premium gasoline for cars that require regular gas.  AAA conducted fuel tests and found no benefit to using premium gas in cars that don’t need it. 

“Drivers see the ‘premium’ name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair.

AAA said that premium gasoline is higher octane, not higher quality. AAA explained that premium gas is for specific types of engine designs. This is why most vehicles aren’t compatible with high octane gas.

To understand the use of premium gas, AAA surveyed U.S. drivers. It found that:

  • 70% of drivers own a vehicle that requires regular gas. 16% have a vehicle that requires premium gas. The remaining 14% need mid-grade gas or use alternate energy sources.
  • 16.5 million U.S. drivers used premium gas unnecessarily in the past 12 months.
  • Drivers used premium gas unnecessarily over 270 million times in the past 12 months.

AAA encouraged drivers to use the type of gasoline that their car’s manufacturer recommends.

It also said drivers wanting a higher quality gas should look for Top Tier designated gas, not higher octane ratings.

AAA said gas that meets Top Tier standards can increase a vehicle’s performance and fuel economy. Those standards were written by auto manufacturers to help keep engines cleaner, according to Top Tier’s FAQ site.  

Related: Gas prices in Utah vary by location, but you’ll pay more in any case

 

 

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AAA says US drivers waste $2.1 billion on premium gasoline every year