Supermarket Fuel: The Myths and The Facts

14 March


Is this a myth? Many motorists often hear that branded fuel like Shell, Esso or BP is better that petrol and diesel sold at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons or Asda.  

There are rumours that supermarket fuel has potential to damage your car engine and can affect the MPG.

We looked at the science behind supermarket fuel to understand if it is really worth paying more money for branded petrol and diesel. Here are some myths and facts about supermarket fuel.

Myth or Fact? - Petrol or diesel you buy at the supermarkets is not the same as the fuel you would buy from other garages 


All petrol and diesel sold in the UK must conform to British and European standards - EN228 for unleaded and for diesel EN590.  This means that they should all work in the same way and that you should be able to mix the same grade of fuel, bought from different outlets, without any problem.

Myth or Fact? - Branded fuel has extra additives 


The special additives apply to both the cheapest fuel as well as to the branded, so-called high performance fuels.

However, fuel companies add extra ingredients designed to their premium fuel. For example, premium fuel like Shell V-Power Nitro+ has special additives that can help to increase your vehicles efficiency. Some premium fuel has higher octane (petrol) and certane (diesel) ratings that can improve performance and economy. 

Myth or Fact? - Branded fuel makes a difference to the performance of a car


When it comes down to the performance, the opinions really vary. Some research shows that high-grade fuels keep fuel systems cleaner, they reduce emissions, they give better performance and they improve fuel economy.

Yet some research never shows a conclusive result that proves supermarket fuel does not perform as well as branded. Overall, modern cars are very complex and there are many variables that affect performance. As a result, it is difficult to identify the impact of fuel on its own. 

Myth or Fact? - Supermarket fuel can damage your car


Supermarket fuel tanker lorries often fill up from the same tanks as branded fuel lorries– so most of the time the fuel they sell is the same, but premium fuel may have different additive packages.

Depending on your vehicle, you may notice differences between using different filling stations. However, the fuel in the UK meets the British and European Standards, so if you need basic fuel without additives, you can use any petrol station to fill up your vehicle.

Do you fill up at Morrisons, ASDA, Tesco or Sainsbury's?

With a range of Allstar fuel cards, you can take advantage of our extensive network including all major supermarkets, including the Allstar Supermarket+. 

Explore the full benefits of the Allstar Supermarket Plus fuel card here.

Share this article