Fuel: Supermarket -vs- Branded

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by james60059, 28 Aug 2015.

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  1. james60059

    james60059 Member

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    I know it's probably a daft topic, but only been driving a couple of years, I've heard quite a mixture of opinions on petrol or diesel, most notably using supermarket fuel (Asda, Morrisons - you get the picture :lol: ) and branded fuel such as BP, Shell or Esso. Most common one being that although it's the same fuel, different amount of additives are added to supermarket fuel as opposed to branded fuel. Another one is that some people have noticed a better performance in the car with branded fuel.

    Has anyone here have opinions on the best fuel to use?.
     
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  3. Aictos

    Aictos Established Member

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    I don't think it matters, the local Shell garage says the V Power stuff is meant to last you longer and give you more miles to the full tank but it does vary how much mileage you can get from it.

    I just think that the supermarket stuff is okay but from time to time, using the more pricy V Power stuff etc will clear out the grunge in the system and make it more fuel efficient but that's just my honest view, I'm sure others here will have a different view.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I have always used the cheapest petrol available at the time I wanted to fill up, and this has never caused me any kind of problem. I have never owned a diesel that would care (only a S3 Land Rover which I'm sure would burn unprocessed chip fat).
     
  5. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Agreed
    As will putting a decent fuel additive in every few tankfulls of normal fuel.
     
  6. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Established Member

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    My 2004 Diesel X-Trail has gone about 120000 miles now and I have always run it on whichever was cheapest and/or convenient at the time I needed to fill it. No additives beyond what happened in there if I did fill up branded. My mechanic has never skipped a beat over it, and neither has the car ever manifested anything that might be attributable to fuel.
     
  7. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Standard unleaded / diesel is cross-sold through the industry - there's only so many refineries. What you fill up with at Tescos has more than likely come out of the same tank (and sometimes the same tanker) as what you fill up with at Shell.

    It's slightly different with the premium products. But not much.
     
  8. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I am tight and buy the cheapest fuel possible - i have never had a problem. For a "normal" car i feel there is little point in paying for the Shell Super Duper Premium wonder fuel. It doesn't make my 1ltr Ibiza go any faster ;)
     
  9. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

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    The economy and power claims are certainly dubious. However, there is *some* evidence to suggest that DPFs and EGRs in modern diesels do benefit from the additional cleaning additives in the V-power type stuff. And apparently emissions are reduced using the posh stuff.

    Whilst the fuel comes from the same place, the branded stuff does have additives added before leaving the refineries.
     
  10. MotCO

    MotCO Member

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    Does anyone know if the %age increase in the cost of the higher graded petrol produces an equivalent or better % increase in mpg?
     
  11. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    When I started driving I used normal petrol in my car ( 1996 Suzuki Swift automatic ) and it returned about 30mpg; with the premium stuff in it ( Ultimate or V Power ) I get close on 50mpg; same driving style, same roads.

    That's enough of a difference that it's marginally cheaper - about ½p per mile - despite the higher fuel cost.

    The emissions are much lower as well; I've attached my 2006 MoT results; I do have more recent ones obviously but I just happened to already have this one scanned in! Note the CO levels in particular on both sections.
     

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  12. LAX54

    LAX54 Established Member

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    But the emissions for that year 'could' have been the same whatever the fuel used surely ? 20 miles per gallon difference is a big claim, not sure even Shell or Esso suggest almost 50%
     
  13. 507021

    507021 Established Member

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    I nearly always buy fuel from Texaco although I have also bought it from other petrol stations (branded and supermarket) before and I can't say I've ever noticed any difference whatsoever in fuel consumption or performance if I use Texaco, BP or Sainsburys fuel. My car (2003 Renault 1.9 diesel) always gets around 45-50 mpg (generally around town) no matter which of those three petrol stations I buy fuel from
     
    Last edited: 29 Aug 2015
  14. 90019

    90019 Established Member

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    I get noticably worse fuel economy using supermarket fuel in my Polo, though I don't bother with the premium stuff.
    When I was driving between Edinburgh and Leamington quite a lot, if I filled up with supermarket fuel I couldn't make it on a single tank, regardless of whether I was doing an economy run or not, but using branded fuel (usually Shell) I could easily make it with a bit to spare.

    I've also only ever managed to exceed the official economy figures using branded fuel in the various cars I've had in the past few years, and that's not using premium fuels either.
    My current record was a couple of months ago in my Golf, achieving 55.6mpg on a run from Hull to Edinburgh, with a dragging rear brake and getting stuck in traffic in Hull - the official extra urban figure is 49.6. :D
     
    Last edited: 29 Aug 2015
  15. jrhilton

    jrhilton Member

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    A relation of mine used to drive a priviate ambulance and often did long distances, they always used branded fuel there as he said they found they got better mpg. I am presuming it used desiel.
     
  16. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    Or you could simply add 200ml of two stroke oil to your fill up. This i believe, some find, as a cheaper alternative to more well known brands..
     
  17. IanD

    IanD Established Member

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    I had a friend who worked in R&D in the petrol industry*. He claimed that all petrol companies supplied each other's forecourts based on proximity to whichever distribution depot - with the exception of Shell who only supplied their own forecourts and did not accept supplies from other companies. Hence they could have the slogan "You can be sure it's Shell!" without breaching any advertising codes.

    For a few years I only filled up with Shell and did notice a difference in mpg (I've had the same car for 10 years now and had my previous 2 cars for 7 each so was very aware of their performance). When the supermarkets started issuing vouchers giving big discounts, the savings meant it was no longer worthwhile.

    *He didn't work for Shell so I had no reason to believe what he said was not true, he wasn't just trying to push his own company's product.
     
  18. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    I have never used supermarket fuel in my car so I don't know of any difference but I do get slightly better figures when using the V-power type fuels. I do tend to put that in once every three or 4 fill ups just to give the engine a pit of a clean up
     
  19. Aldaniti

    Aldaniti Member

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    I only ever fill up with BP unleaded (which has a decent quality additive) and would never consider using supermarket petrol. I also make sure that wherever possible, I let the engine reach its maximum operating temperature which helps to keep the engine clean. Unless your car can automatically adjust the ignition timing, using higher RON fuel is probably money down the drain. Just use standard branded fuel. I ran a Golf GTi a few years ago and noticed a 1-2mpg improvement when using BP Ultimate (I had a fuel card which gave such reports by spreadsheet) and a very slightly better performance when pulling away, no way on this earth will you achieve anything remotely approaching a 50% increase in MPG. If you do high mileage and always let the engine reach its maximum operating temperature, supermarket fuel will probably not have a detrimental effect on your engine, but you might not achieve the MPG that branded fuels with an additive package offer.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Quite a few people who discuss this topic on the internet seem to have the same friend.....
     
    Last edited: 29 Aug 2015
  20. IanD

    IanD Established Member

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    BP is the one brand I try to avoid for the simple reason that at my local branch in Newport Pagnell, they charge 2, 3 or sometimes 4p a litre more than the branches in Milton Keynes which are only about a mile away.

    He was a very popular bloke. I can assure you my story is genuine - I shared a flat with the guy for 2 years whilst at Newcastle Uni.
     
  21. 33056

    33056 Established Member

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    Diesel at the Shell garage a short walk from here was 111.9p last night, Tesco on the other side of the road was 107.9p so no contest for me, I will just fill up wherever it's cheapest when the car needs fuel.
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    MK is a weird one for fuel prices. In the mid 2000s it used to be one of the most expensive places in the country, then Bletchley Asda opened with an unmanned station with very low prices, and since then it has been at the cheap end.
     
  23. 33056

    33056 Established Member

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    Years ago I always filled up at an Esso garage in Park Royal near work as it's prices matched the large Asda down the road. Haven't seen cheaper fuel there for several years now and usually find one of the garages on the A5 in the Dunstable area or the selection of places at North Watford (if I happen to go that way) cheapest.
     
  24. Aldaniti

    Aldaniti Member

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    Many people will fill up with the cheapest petrol they can find - which they think is usually found at supermarkets. Sometimes it is. Equally, many people don't know what MPG their car returns. Once they know that, they can make an informed decision as to whether supermarket fuels are indeed cheaper, but to say that supermarket petrol is cheaper based on the pump price alone is not necessarily correct. Each to their own though.
     
  25. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I tend to use the Esso near to Andover station, paid 105.9 per litre for diesel the other day.

    My car doesn't tend to like BP fuel, feels down on power whenever I put BP diesel in.
     
  26. WillPS

    WillPS Established Member

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    Last year I was driving a little 8v Fiat Punto, which I'd fill however cheapest (usually Asda, or Tesco/Sainsburys with a voucher of some kind). Shell had a promotion whereby you could get little Lego sets with £30 of V-Power fuel, so I did that for a little while. In that period, the MPG indicator on my dash actually decreased a little, and then went back up after.

    I did notice that I got a little bit more power out of the engine though - the A61 between Chesterfield and Sheffield has a hill which the car would struggle to maintain speed up in 5th - but with VPower it could just about hold 70mph right to the top.

    ASDA definitely drag the prices down. In Sheffield the price at Sainsburys/Tesco is consistently 3 or 4p more than the price in Nottingham. Nottingham has 2 ASDA filling stations within easy driving distance of the centre, whereas Sheffield until recently had none - and the one it now has is right out near Cystal Peaks. The massive store on the Parkway is getting a filling station built now which I expect will be a game changer.
     
  27. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Never found any real difference between branded and supermarket. As others have said, it is sometimes the same tanker delivering anyway.
     
  28. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

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    I often wonder if those who shop at these larger supermarkets automatically fill up at the on-site filling station as a matter of course.
     
  29. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    It's a big difference, yes, but it's what I do experience when I'm comparing like for like in driving conditions.

    I do wonder if the fact that I have a pre-electronics engine might be a factor? Maybe it's optimised for the higher grade fuel and the lack of an ECU means it's running consistently on that basis?
     
  30. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

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    OK now for some facts.

    All petrol and diesel has to meet a British Standard.

    For unleaded it's BS EN228. http://www.mabanaft.co.uk/Mabanaft/images/pdf/prodspec-Regular-unleaded.pdf

    For Diesel it's BS EN590 http://www.ipu.co.uk/en590/

    That's the base fuel and every fuel depot across the country will pump this stuff into the tanker. However the tanker then has additives added, and these are specific to the fuel company.

    Super Unleaded/Diesel has a higher octane/cetane than the standard (IE it exceeds it) and has different additives.

    Now for my experience.

    Supermarket diesel and branded normal diesel run exactly the same in my car. With the exception of BP, which sees a significant drop in MPG (about 5-6 MPG). I have no idea why that is but it has happened more than once.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    That would make a difference as technically the 95 RON unleaded would be below the grade that the ignition timing would be optimised for (4 star was about 96 - 97 RON, the same as super unleaded)
     
  31. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    did you spend two years at Newcastle Uni, by chance? :lol:
     
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