Advice: Is Supermarket Fuel Bad for my Car?

The standard of supermarket fuel is a hotly debated topic and one that pops up time and time again. carried out some research and found that around 40% of drivers assume that supermarket fuel is of a lower quality to that of big brand fuel. Is this really the case? Here’s some information to help you make up your mind.

Big Brand Petrol and Diesel

Fuel from branded retailers tends to come with a higher price tag to that of supermarkets. Their fuel is portrayed to have a higher quality and be better for your car’s engine. Retailers like BP, Shell and Esso sometimes put additives into their fuel to help boost the fuel efficiency of your car. This means that fuel from supermarkets, without these additives, could be costing you more in the long run. This concoction of additives can improve fuel efficiency and help keep your car engine clean. It could be a case of getting what you pay for.

Supermarket Fuel

Supermarket fuel can be seen as cheap, cheerful and hassle-free as most people can fill up when they pop to the shops. However, many label it as low quality. Think about it like a supermarket own brand, many people buy these products, but they are perceived to be of a lower quality than a branded product. This is happening with supermarket and branded fuel; however, it has been proven that many own branded products in the supermarket are the same as those that are branded. Does this happen with fuel too?

Quality vs Price

A choice that consumers make throughout life is deciding between the quality and price of products and services. Value for money is always being sought after. Jason Lloyd, managing director at, said: “Many supermarkets get fuel from the same refineries as the leading brands”. So, is all fuel the same? Well, cheap supermarket fuel and big brand fuel can come from the same refinery, however, it’s the chemical cocktail that big brands add that they claim increases car performance and reduces exhaust emissions.

All fuel that’s sold in the UK must adhere to legal standards set, so supermarket fuel cannot be bad for your car. It’s just big brands go the extra mile for their consumers to get more out of their tank of petrol. The only way to get a definitive answer would be to carry out some very expensive testing with many variables. Consumers who claim that their vehicle loses performance, increases mpg or runs differently with either big brand or supermarket fuel should be treated as hearsay.

If you have any fueling issues with your car or van, be sure to give one of our service centres a call or an email. You can do this by calling the number at the top of the page or filling out our enquiry form.