How to Choose Best Fuel for your Car

When it comes to your car’s performance and efficiency, choosing the right fuel is essential. With all of the various options available, understanding the differences between petrol and diesel fuels, as well as the specific types within each category, can make a significant impact on your vehicle’s lifespan and overall performance. In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of petrol and diesel fuels and the factors you should consider when choosing the best fuel for your car.

Types of Petrol

  • Regular unleaded – Regular unleaded is the most common type of fuel used in cars. It typically has an octane rating of 87 and is suitable for most standard vehicles. It offers a balance between performance and cost-effectiveness, making it a popular choice for daily driving.
  • Premium unleadedOctane rating is the measure of a fuel's ability to resist "knocking" or "pinging" during combustion, caused by the air/fuel mixture detonating prematurely in the engine. Premium unleaded petrol has a higher octane rating, typically between 91 and 94, and is primarily designed for high-performance engines or vehicles with higher compression ratios. However, for standard cars, using premium fuel may not provide noticeable benefits.
  • Ethanol blended – Ethanol blended petrol contains a percentage of ethanol mixed with regular unleaded petrol. E10 contains 10% ethanol, while E85 contains up to 85%. E10 is safe for most modern cars, but E85 is suitable only for vehicles explicitly designed to run on it. Ethanol has a lower energy content, which may result in reduced fuel efficiency but offers environmental benefits.
  • Synthetic petrol – Synthetic petrol is a more recent development and is engineered to provide better combustion and potentially improved engine performance. However, it can be more expensive that regular unleaded petrol.

Types of Diesel Fuel

  • Regular diesel – This is the standard option used in diesel engines. It’s widely available and suitable for most diesel powered vehicles. It provides a good balance of performance and fuel efficiency.
  • Ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULDS) – ULSD is a cleaner variant of regular diesel, with much lower sulphur content. It helps in reducing emissions and is required for modern diesel engines equipped with advanced emission control systems.
  • Bio-diesel – Bio-diesel is derived from renewable sources such as vegetable oils or animal fat. It’s a more environmentally friendly alternative to regular diesel as it produces fewer carbon emissions. However, it might not be compatible with all diesel engines, so vehicle compatibility should be verified before you use it.
  • Synthetic diesel – This a laboratory created fuel designed to offer improved combustion characteristics and cleaner emissions. It’s produced through a gas to liquid process and can be a viable option for reducing your environmental impact.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Fuel for Your Car

  • Vehicle compatibility – Not all cars are designed to run on every type of fuel. Check your car’s owner’s manual or consult with the manufacturer to determine the recommended fuel type for optimal performance and efficiency.
  • Fuel efficiency – Consider the fuel efficiency of different fuel types and how it aligns with your driving habits. While some fuels may offer better performance, they may also result in reduced fuel economy.
  • Performance requirements – If you own a high-performance vehicle or frequently engage in spirited driving, premium fuels or synthetic options may be worth considering. However, for standard daily drivers, regular unleaded will likely suffice.
  • Environmental impact – Environmental concerns are increasingly importantwhen selecting your fuel. Ethanol blended petrol and bio-diesel can be greener alternatives, but their availability and compatibility with your car must be verified.
  • Cost considerations – Different fuelscome with varying price points. While premium and synthetic options might offer performance benefits, they can be more expensive. Consider your budget and how fuel costs fit into your overall vehicle maintenance and operation expenses.


Choosing thebest fuel for your car involves understanding your vehicle’s needs, your driving habits, and the environmental impact of each fuel type. Regular unleaded petrol and regular diesel are suitable choices for most cars, while premium and synthetic options cater to specific performance requirements. Ethanol blended petrol and bio-diesel offer greener alternatives but require careful consideration of compatibility and availability.

In addition to the factors discussed, it’s important to stay informed about evolving fuel technologies and governmental regulations. As the automotive industry progresses, new fuel options may emerge, and environmental standards may change. Regularly updating your knowledge can help you stay ahead and make more sustainable choices.

Remember, choosing the best fuel is not only about optimizing your vehicle’s performance, but also about reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a cleaner environment. By considering all of these factors and staying informed, you can make the best choice that optimizes your car’s performance, fuel efficiency, and environmental impact in the long run.

Where to Go for More Information

For any advice or recommendations about your car, check with the experts at Used Car Sales Direct. We have been one of the most trusted used car dealers in this area for years, and we have a vast wealth of experience offering quality vehicles. If you need to replace your car, we have a huge inventory of low mileage cars to choose from.Each of our used vehicles has gone through a multi-point analysis performed by one of our highly trained technicians. They meticulously check the vehicle inside and out, under the bonnet, and on the road to make sure that the vehicle you purchase here is in tip top shape. Whether you’re in the market for one of our vehicles, need service or repairs to your vehicle, or need to get an MOT inspection, we are the place to go.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, visit our website or give us a call at either of our locations. In Exeter, call 01392 717888, and in Wellington call 01823 0795 437. Better yet, stop by and see us! We look forward to serving you!