Consumer feedback shows that many motorists are using the more expensive ULP95 for their cars without any benefit, resulting in “octane wastage” and spending money that they could be saving. Is 93 the smarter choice for your vehicle? Let’s find out.
WHICH FUEL MUST I USE 93 OR 95?
- Consult your car's owner's manual or the label inside the fuel flap. Many cars are fully compatible with lower octane fuel (even as low as 91!) and these cars will run safely and efficiently on 93. High performance vehicles may require higher octane fuels and you should follow the manufacturer's recommendation in this regard.
WHAT IS OCTANE AND WHAT DOES THE OCTANE NUMBER MEAN?
- The octane rating of petrol refers to the fuel’s tendency to “autoignite” and a higher number indicates a slightly reduced autoignition tendency. This affects the engine design and most manufacturers make sure that engines are designed to run on the typical octane grades available in the market. 93 in South Africa is similar to “regular” fuel grades in international markets. In real terms, the difference between an octane rating of 93 and 95 is relatively small and, contrary to popular belief, the octane number does not refer to the energy content of the fuel.
DOES THE FUEL'S OCTANE RATING INFLUENCE MY CAR'S PERFORMANCE?
- Under normal, moderate driving conditions there is no difference in your car's performance between 93 and 95. Under severe driving conditions (full throttle, flat-out driving) high performance vehicles will experience a slight performance benefit when using 95.
WHICH FUEL PROVIDES THE LOWEST RUNNING COST, 93 OR 95?
- Provided that your vehicle is compatible with 93, you will always get more kilometres per Rand when using 93.
WHAT IS THE PRICE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 93 AND 95?
- The price difference is not fixed and typically varies between 20 and 40 cents per litre. This means that switching from 95 to 93 provides a bigger benefit than many fuel loyalty schemes. The fuel price is adjusted every month and the latest prices can be obtained from the Automobile Association of South Africa's website at www.aa.co.za.