What Is The Difference Between Regular And Premium Gas?

You might not be affected much when the price of premium and regular gas is compared per gallon, but when you have to get a tank full for your motorcycle that is when you realize the cost difference. You have been told by everyone to get the premium gas with the higher octane rating as it is better for your engine. Even when you want to save money and go for the regular unleaded gas, you are in a dilemma. Is the premium gas actually worth it?


To answer this question, you should understand the basic difference between regular and premium gas.

Basic Definitions

Why to go for the premium gas when the regular one saves you so much money. Some vehicle owners claim that premium gas has various benefits such as energy performance and fuel savings. On the other hand, according to some other people, these different categories are created just to leech off extra money from people in the name of good quality gasoline.

We know there are two types of gasoline categories which you see every time at a gas station, the regular unleaded gas, and the premium gas. So, to understand the difference between regular and premium gas, you need to understand what each of these means.

  • The RUG (Regular Unleaded Gas) is a highly flammable crude oil byproduct and it is the most commonly used fuel for vehicles. There is no lead compound which makes it less health hazardous and more environment-friendly as lead can cause cancer and stunt children’s proper growth. Its octane rating is 87 referring to the fuel’s ability to endure inappropriate fuel combustion.
  • The difference between regular and Premium gas is the octane rating, it is also called the “higher octane gas” as its rating is mostly 90 or above. Lower octane rating ensures comparatively less pollution and the detergent additives keep the machinery cleaner.

Difference Between Regular And Premium Gas

Although both fuels come from the exactly same raw material, there is still a difference between regular and premium gas. To know which is best for your vehicle, you need to be aware of the effects on vehicle performance so that you can make an informed decision.

Octane Rating

An internal combustion engine requires ignition for the spark plug to create a controlled explosion so that the engine can be powered to run the vehicle. But sometimes the ignition is lighted a little earlier leading to an explosion that is unstable; it is also called knocking or pre-ignition.

Premium gas wit octane rating 90 or higher helps avoid knocking. Pre-ignition is common amongst old cars but the new improved engines are capable of automatic sensor knocking and can run efficiently on either gas without getting affected by any difference between regular and premium gas.

Engine Suitability

To know which gas is suitable for your vehicle’s engine, know the difference between regular and premium gas. Even if they are similar in many ways, the regular gas burns faster in comparison to premium gas which makes it more suited for low compression ratio engines that have less power production.

Whereas, high compression ratio engines run more optimally on premium gas as it does not easily ignite and is best for turbocharged engines.


The Premium gas is obviously more expensive than the regular gas; the price difference is generally from 20 to 40 cents for each gallon. It might not look much to you but if you are a frequent driver, this can amount to hundreds of dollars per year.

Which One Is Right For Your Vehicle?

Now, you know the difference between regular and premium gas so further, you need to establish that which one of these two fuels is suitable for your vehicle. You will be able to improve vehicle efficiency and also save money simultaneously.

Read the manual

Most vehicle manufacturers provide a manual or at least advise you about the type of gasoline that should be used to keep the engine in peak condition and tip-top shape. If using premium gas is just recommended then you can decide for yourself.

Lastly, an engine meant for regular gas will not perform any better with premium as it will not process and difference between regular and premium gas.

Test your vehicle

One very effective method is driving your vehicle on premium gas and regular gas separately to determine the results. These separate results can be compared, note the gas consumption and mileage on a full tank of each gas type.

You can also consider the octane rating and prices for further comparison and if there is a huge difference in results then you can opt for the better option. In case there are minimum to negligible discrepancies then you can use the less expensive alternative.

Maximize Efficiency

There are certain tips that can be effective in increasing the fuel efficiency, all this depends on your understanding of the difference between regular and premium gas. You should know whether your vehicle is compatible with both fuel types or not and if it is then you should use this feature to your advantage.

The difference in octane rating is due to the additives which are included in the premium gas. Hydrocarbons and ethanol are used as a part of the compounds that are added to make regular fuel premium. The blend varies depending on the properties of crude oil. These additives allow easy engine start in cold climates, inhibit corrosion, improve combustion, and decrease engine carbon build-up.


After reading this article you can easily conclude that the major difference between regular and premium gas is the octane rating. Many motorcycle riders think that the premium gas provides more energy in comparison to regular fuel, but this incomplete information.Be a smart rider, tweak your driving skills, and manage when you switch between regular and premium gas.

You can use regular gas for normal riding days, but if you are riding through rough terrain, steep roads or heavy cargo transportation then choose premium gasoline as uneven sharp inclines can put excessive strain on the engine.


  • http://www.ebay.com/gds/Differences-Between-Premium-and-Regular-Unleaded-Gas-/10000000177404866/g.html
  • http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-premium-gas-2012-9?IR=T

Bradley Miller

There is nothing that compares to the feeling of controlling a thundering beast beneath you. In addition to the joy of the ride a motorcycle has many advantages over any other vehicle. You learn how to drive the smarter way with traffic rules on the road; also you are always in the state of complete-awareness when on the ride.

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