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Why is Midgrade and Premium gas so expensive?

Don't Waste Your Money
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Posted at 6:54 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-07 20:47:27-04

Most drivers are enjoying our low gas prices these days, all except for one group of people: those who drive cars that require Midgrade or Premium gas.

They want to know why they have  to pay so much more for their gas.

Paul bridge, like many drivers, drives a European car that says "Premium fuel only." It wasn't an issue until his most recent fillup, along Harrison Avenue in Dent, Ohio.

"I filled it up, and when I got finished, I looked at the receipt, and thought that seems a little high," he said. He then realized the price of Midgrade and Premium gas was a lot more premium than he ever remembers.

"I checked the price differential between low grade and Premium, and I was  stunned that it was 50 cents higher," he said.

Like a lot of experienced drivers, Bridge remembers when gas used to be priced in 10 cent increments, so that a gallon of Premium was never more than 20 cents more than a gallon of Regular.

You may not catch it when you pull in, because many stations now advertise only the price of Regular on their big signs.

"It used  to be 20 cents higher than regular, and then it was 30 cents," he said. "Now it has jumped to 50 cents, which is stunning."

Reason for Price Differences

Shell has some of the highest price differences, according to the tech blog CNET.

And a quick check of stations appeared to confirm that, as we found Shell Regular at $2.24 but
V-Power Premium at $3.01.

Shell tells CNET that "V-Power is costlier than other brands due to its lower friction and extra cleaning agents."

GasBuddy.com, meantime, says refineries are producing less Premium nowadays, so the price is up, to a point where the spread is higher than it has been in 25 years.

So if your car needs more than Regular, you might want to check pump prices, not just sign prices before filling up.

What can you do?

See if you car requires Premium, or just suggests it.

If it is only suggested, downgrade to Midgrade, so you don't waste your money.  

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