AAA: Don’t be fueled; premium gas not always worth the price

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(WPRI) — Before you fill up on premium gasoline, AAA Northeast said you should think twice.

According to the organization, the price difference between regular and premium has risen from a “historically steady 10 percent to 25 percent or more per gallon.” That’s about 50 cents per gallon.

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AAA said research shows there is no benefit in using premium gasoline in a vehicle designed for regular fuel.

And, while premium offers some benefit to select vehicles – such as increased fuel economy and performance – the difference in cost may outweigh the advantage for many drivers.

In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA tested a variety of vehicles that recommend, but do not require, the use of premium (91 octane or higher) gasoline.

“The modest fuel economy improvements found in AAA tests do not offset the higher cost of premium gasoline,” AAA said.

For vehicles that do not recommend or require premium gasoline, AAA suggests drivers opt for the lower priced, regular fuel. In a study released last year, AAA found that consumers wasted nearly $2.1 billion dollars fueling these vehicles with higher-octane gasoline. However, drivers of vehicles that require premium gasoline should always use it, AAA said.