Generally the most readily available type of fuel in Australia, regular unleaded petrol has an octane rating of 91. While it doesn’t have the octane rating of premium unleaded fuels, regular unleaded is cheaper at the bowser, making it suitable for petrol-run cars that don’t have high-performance requirements.
An alternative to regular unleaded petrol, E10 is a fuel that includes a 10% blend of ethanol with 90% ULP. Ethanol generally has a higher octane rating than petrol, which means that adding it to ULP increases its overall rating to 94.
Depending on where you live, E10 may be cheaper at the bowser than ULP. However, it generally isn’t as fuel efficient as regular unleaded, as your car’s petrol consumption may increase by around three per cent when using E10.2
Available in octane ratings of 95 and 98, premium unleaded is suited to high-performance cars and is significantly more expensive per litre than regular unleaded. While they can be used in cars that commonly run regular unleaded, the difference in performance might not be worth the extra cost.
Also known as ‘Flex Fuel’, E85 blends 85% ethanol with 15% unleaded and is generally used in professional racing due to its high-octane rating of 105. In fact, as of the 2009 season, all V8 Supercars have converted to the ethanol blend.3
While it’s more environmentally friendly and may be cheaper than 98 petrol at the pump, E85 is only available at select service stations. Also, older engines might have to be converted to be compatible with E85.
Diesel is a common fuel for SUVs and work utes, and is becoming increasingly popular for luxury European brands as well. Traditionally, diesel engines have been more robust than petrol engines, and advances in technology have also made them a more environmentally friendly option than many petrol powered vehicles.
There are also biodiesel and premium diesel fuels available on the market. As such, make sure you read the manufacturer’s guidelines for your vehicle. Also, it’s a good idea to check what’s in the premium/bio-diesel as your engine may not be designed to work with some of the premium additives and ethanol mixes on the market.
LPG, also known as Autogas, is a mixture of propane and butane and is generally considered one of the more eco-friendly fuel types. Most standard combustion engines can be converted to LPG with conversions costing a few thousand dollars. If you’re considering changing your car over to Autogas, visit our LPG conversion page.
Now that you’ve figured out which fuel is right for your car, why not ensure you aren’t spending too much at the bowser? Through our fuel comparison service in the Simples app, you can find some of the cheaper petrol stations near you, which may save you money the next time you go to the bowser. Just enter your postcode and the fuel you need, and we can compare prices in seconds.