Is there a difference between fuel purchased from supermarkets compared to leading forecourt brands?

Published: 10 June 2019

On Tuesday 4th June ‘The One Show’ aired by the BBC, ran an interesting segment discussing if there is a difference between fuel purchased from supermarkets compared to the leading forecourt brands. The answer is Yes and No!

Both the supermarkets and the leading brands purchase their fuel from the same refineries, so therefore they are the same. However not so fast! Yes the fuel purchased by all the providers is the same at the refinery, however once it leaves its source, that is where the differences are created.

These differences are solely down to introducing additives to the fuel before you visit the pump. The exact additives which are introduced to the fuel are kept secret, likewise it is unknown if these additives are added to standard fuel in addition to super fuel alternatives or to what level. However some forecourt brands now market their standard fuels as including cleaning capabilities.

The other main difference between the supermarkets are the forecourt brands, is price. This is easy to explain. Supermarkets have big buying power due to the volume of fuel they buy, as opposed to franchised branded forecourts. This is because adding the sale of fuel at supermarkets, provides their customers with an added convenience and therefore more revenue. Supermarkets are also able to accept a lower margin on their fuel, because of the margins made in store.

It is also fuel additives which turn standard fuels into super fuels. If you analyse the benefits of super fuels, it is the general addition of cleaning and cetane/octane boosting additives (widely advertised) that give super fuels their benefits. As like all things, these benefits come at a financial cost, which can be approximately 7-10p per litre.

The widely known phrase ‘a cleaner engine is a more efficient engine’, could not be further from the truth, however the same also directly applies to the fuel system. An engine and fuel system running as efficiently as possible, is also greener for the environment.

You are able to achieve the same and potentially better benefits by purchasing and adding dedicated fuel additives, such as FuelBright’s Diesel 1000 to standard fuel or even super fuel. The extra benefits dedicated fuel additives provided, can help improve with elements such as - cold starting, added lubrication, anti-corrosion and water separation. Purchasing a dedicated fuel additive can also work out to be more cost effective than purchasing super fuels at the pump.

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