Fuel premium unleaded or unleaded

I don’t think we’ve ever been able to assume that! :rofl:

The discrepancy across fuel brands is of course worth noting though. Often causes by different franchises/owners of the fuel stations in the locality.


Perhaps I should have said “predictably” priced. When one BP station is charging 16p more than another, somebody’s taking adavntage.

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Without wishing to sound pedantic, I don’t think we can determine it as ‘taking advantage’ as nobody is being forced to pay that price. It’s an advertised price, you can either pay it or go elsewhere. I think where the grey area is that often people assume that the quoted fuel price is set by the branded seller. Particularly in cases of BP and Shell this is absolutely not the case. As your research demonstrates.

What I’d love to know are the sales figures from each of those BP stations identified. What if the Adams Corner station is selling more E5 fuel than Bicester Road? If you owned it, would you bring the price down?

Few factors are more important in business than ensuring your products and services are appropriately priced. Charge too little, and you leave revenue on the table. Charge too much, and you might alienate and send potential customers to your competitors.

Willingness To Pay (WTP) is the maximum price a customer is willing to pay for a product or service. While potential customers are likely willing to pay less than this threshold, it’s important to understand that, in most cases, they won’t pay a higher price.

Sorry, this has turned into an economics lesson and I didn’t mean it to. But I thought they’re useful points to bring forward. Obviously I’d always like to pay as little as possible for E5! :innocent:


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A friend of mine used to own an Esso franchise garage near Box Hill on the A4.

He reckoned to sell petrol at cost and made all his money on chocolates, newspapers, cigarettes, batteries, sundries. Shop turnover was twice the fuel turnover.

He put the nearby two bigger, competing fuel-company-owned garages out of business with his lost leader, fuel.

This was ages ago and the goods are different these days, but the principle still holds.


Interesting Richard, thanks. A shrewd strategy!

That’s what tended to happen when a new big supermarket opened its doors. It would flog petrol sometimes at a loss to remove local independent competition, and once this was achieved would then put up its prices to the market rate. What a surprise.


No worries, I’ve done some economics too. My technical term for it is “rip-off”:slight_smile:


Back when I used to frequent rolling roads the mapper and dyno operators always said that BP 97 was/is the poorest of the 3 main so called ‘super unleaded’ fuels (bp/shell/tesco). It’s not that significant for someone using it in their regular car over e10 but for a mapped and or turbocharged car this fuel would be less resistant to detonation and potentially pull ignition timing and make less power over the exact same car on the other fuels.

So which way is the wind blowing for post-2002 (?) MX-5s?
Avoid BP. Tesco Momentum if it’s only 10p dearer (6.6%) and expect 3-5% more full efficiency. The better driving experience and kindness to the engine puts E5 into the credit column. Shop around.
The rest is down to personal preference and deepness of pockets.
Was I close?


Have you thought about a career in fuel sales?

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No - but I was once told that PFS’s on the left hand side of the road coming out of a town or city sold more petrol and were therefore worth more because people were more likely to fill up on the way home.

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Until last Sept I spent 8 years usually filling up a close to empty tank of diesel at least once almost every working day, working 7 days on 7 days off.

One thing I noticed that may or may not help bring down your fuel bills is some fuel stations would routinely put up their prices by a few pence from Friday morning through to Monday evening.

For little Madge it is always the finest E5 known to humanity, Esso or Momentum is usually most convenient and whenever possible only on Tuesdays through Thursdays.


From the dvla website.

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Green Shield Stamps ?



After a quick look on Googlemaps, I think it’s now the Budgens Shell garage.

with that mileage its a no brainer, E5 all day


For performance definitely the better quality which I use all the time

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Currently on a road trip in Northern Spain. I have noticed that Repsol super unleaded is also E10 rather than E5 as it tends to be in the UK. I will keep an eye on other brands whilst I am travelling about.

I’ve also seen this in Europe, 100 octane E10 in Italy IIRC.

The lower RON of E10 versus E5 in UK is not related to the difference in ethanol content. Ethanol actually has a higher octane rating than gasoline and can be used as an octane improver.

It has been around for a while now. See the Wiki Timeline of Alcohol fuel.

We had the expensive old Cleveland Discol 101 octane. Beloved of 1950s-60s ton-up boys on their tuned-up bikes who wondered why they were burning out their valves.

I tried it once and the bike pinked furiously, so my mate with his Triton siphoned off the rest of the tank and put it in his, same effect, same Triumph 650 engine, but he was prepared to fiddle with the carbs, ignition timing etc.