U.S. Drivers Waste Billions on Expensive Premium Gas

What's Hot

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

5 Spots Where Retirees Can Live for Less Than $40,000Real Estate

10 Ways to Reduce Your Homeowner’s Insurance RatesFamily

10 Ways to Pull Together the Down Payment for a HomeCredit & Debt

Chew on This: The Story Behind Your Hershey’s Halloween TreatsBusiness

Premium gas can be a waste of money, depending on what type of vehicle you're driving. Read this before your next trip to fill up.

American drivers are wasting a jaw-dropping $2.1 billion a year on premium gasoline.

That’s according to new research from AAA, which reveals that purchasing pricey premium fuel is a waste of money — and offers no vehicle benefit — if you’re driving a car designed to run on regular-grade gas.

AAA says in the past year, 16.5 million U.S. drivers have disregarded their vehicle manufacturer’s fuel recommendation and filled up with premium fuel. John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair, says in a statement:

“Drivers see the ‘premium’ name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle. AAA cautions drivers that premium gasoline is higher octane, not higher quality, and urges drivers to follow the owner’s manual recommendations for their vehicle’s fuel.”

The findings are based on the results of AAA tests conducted on vehicles using regular (87 octane) and premium (93 octane) gasoline. AAA analyzed vehicle performance, fuel economy and emissions and found there is no benefit to filling up with premium gasoline if your car only requires regular fuel.

“Premium gasoline is specifically formulated to be compatible with specific types of engine designs, and most vehicles cannot take advantage of the higher octane rating,” says Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, which partnered with AAA to conduct the research.

Here are some other highlights from the AAA study:

  • The vast majority of U.S. drivers (70 percent) own a vehicle that requires regular gas. Just 16 percent of motorists have cars that require premium fuel. Meanwhile, 10 percent have vehicles that require mid-grade gas and 4 percent of drivers have cars that use an alternative energy source.
  • U.S. drivers have unnecessarily used pricey premium gas to fill up their tank more than 270 million times in the past 12 months.

If your car doesn’t require premium fuel, but you want to spend a little more money on gas, AAA recommends bypassing higher-octane fuel (premium) and instead filling up with Top Tier gasoline.

What kind of gas do you use in your vehicle? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Car Shopping Online: 5 Keys to a New Car at a Great Price

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,708 more deals!