Are you paying too much for petrol?

Choosing premium fuels when your car doesn't really need them over E10 could cost you around $13 a tank, according to the NRMA. Picture: Marina Neil
Choosing premium fuels when your car doesn't really need them over E10 could cost you around $13 a tank, according to the NRMA. Picture: Marina Neil

Motorists are throwing money away if they’re filling up with premium fuels when their car doesn’t need them, said the NRMA chairman Kyle Loades.

The motoring organisation is encouraging people to switch to E10, which Mr Loades said would save drivers money.

He said if a driver with a family car used E10 over the more expensive premium petrol since the start of the year, they would have cut around 15 per cent off their fuel bill.

“You’re absolutely wasting your money if you’re using premium fuels unnecessarily,” Mr Loades said

“You can literally save yourself $500 to $700 per annum by using E10 compared to premium petrol.

“For a 60-litre tank, you’ll save just under $10 per tank compared to 95 premium and just under $13 a tank compared to 98 premium.”

Mr Loades said there were some vehicles – such as prestige cars – where the manufacturer recommended premium fuels.

However, other cars don’t specifically require it and that motorists were being swayed by marketing.

“It’s promoted by the oil companies and the petroleum companies, from what we can read of it,” he said.

“There’s more margin it in, more profit for the oil companies.”

When it comes to E10 Mr Loades said there were several myths about it that had been hard to shake, including that it damages engines.

“There are just a lot of myths out there among old-school mechanics that clearly have their own view,” he said.

“Ask them to back it up with evidence and they struggle.

“If a [car] manufacturer recognises the quality of E10 by saying ‘this car can use E10’, there’s no way they would do that if they had evidence that said otherwise.

“The reality is, the manufacturers support it, the NRMA supports it, the NSW and other governments support it.”

Mr Loades addressed three of the most common beliefs around E10 fuel

Does it burn faster than other fuels?

“It can be that it does burn a little faster but overall, compared to standard unleaded petrol, you’re buying it at two to four cents cheaper. Even if it burns a little bit faster, you’ll break even at best.”

Is it dirty?

“All types of petrol including E10 have to be of a certain quality and standard by national regulations. It certainly passes the fit for purpose test. The government has conducted its own research on that”

Will it wreck the engine?

“There’s no evidence whatsoever to support that. It’s not dirty, it’s not going to wreck your engine. Most modern cars can handle E10; it’s no better or worse than any other petrol in a quality sense.”