What is the Difference Between Regular and Premium Gas?

Are you confused about the essential difference between regular and premium gas? Let’s find out how choosing the right fuel can impact your vehicle’s engine performance, fuel efficiency, and longevity.

Most people hardly know – what is the difference between premium and regular gas, Does premium fuel make a difference, and what happens when you put premium gas in a regular car, isn’t it?

All we do is go to the fuel station and fill our car’s tank with the gas available. But certain types of fuels differ in many categories. Some are led, while others have more gasoline content. However, most car owners often do not know which type of gas is best suited for their cars.

They keep using one single type of gas until they realize it might be causing issues in their car engine or the fuel system. As much as knowing the difference between regular and premium gas is important, one must also try to figure out the kind of gas that goes well with their cars.

difference between regular and premium gas
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There are different types of gasoline structures that you need to know. One type may go well with one type of car, and other types might go well with other types of vehicles.

And that is why knowing the right type of gas that your car deserves is every car owner’s duty! In this article, we are going to cover every detail related to regular gas vs premium gas so that you get an idea about which one to use the next time you go to fuel up your car!

So, what are you waiting for? Start reading the entire article to get detailed knowledge of the types of gasses.

What is Regular Gas?

Before we proceed to know the difference between regular and premium gas and which one is better for your car, we must first know; what is regular gas for cars and what is premium gas for cars separately. In this section, we will discuss the former!

Any gasoline or car fuel is defined by its octane level. It is suggested that the more the octane level of gas, the better its performance. If you ask what is regular gasoline made of, the answer would be 87 octane, though sometimes it may be between 85-88 too!

It is majorly the primary gas in all cars, and most manufacturers prefer it over others. In terms of price also, regular gas is cheaper than the others.

How much octane is regular gas?

Regular gas typically has an octane rating of 87 in the United States. It has a lower octane rating than premium gas and is less expensive.

Most car owners use this gas as their go-to fuel option, and it is used as a standard gas option in most fuel stations also. You may also wonder- is regular and unleaded gasoline the same? Yes, they are!

Regular gas contains no leads, which makes them more worthy of buying! Though it is the go-to option for most cars, some advanced make and models might not run on lower octane gas. They need premium gas, which we are going to discuss next!

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What is Premium Gas?

Now coming to what is premium gasoline! Well, as the name already suggested, it is of premium quality and certainly more pricey than the other types of gasses! It is also categorized by its octane level, like regular gas. And the octane level of premium gas is 92, but the average can also fall between 91-94.

While most average car models might not require such high-octane gas, the ones with advanced technologies and higher performances may need gas with high octane only to run smoothly!

How much octane is premium gas?

Premium gasoline typically has a higher octane rating than regular gasoline, typically ranging from 91 to 93 in the United States. Octane rating measures a fuel’s ability to resist knocking during combustion.

So, you might be thinking, what does premium gas really do? Well, it does a lot of work! It can prevent engine knocking issues, reduce harmful emissions from the engine, give you more fuel-efficient driving experiences, and a lot more things!

These things increase the overall performance of the vehicles and push them to their peaks. Especially the vehicles that have turbochargers are more in need of premium gas.

Do you want to know what is another name for premium gasoline? Because it has an octane value of around 90, premium gas is often referred to as “high octane” gas by auto experts. It is a bit expensive in price, so if your car runs fine on regular gas, you may avoid using premium gas!

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What is the Difference Between Regular and Premium Gas?

Now that you know the difference between regular gas and premium gas, you have understood that both gasses have their own pros and cons. While standard car users mostly prefer regular gas, premium gas is mostly the choice of premium and luxury car owners.

But no matter whether you use the former or the latter, you must know what are the pros and cons of premium gas and regular gas so that you can choose your best pick. We will be discussing it in this section; keep reading.

The Pros and Cons of Premium Gas:

Let us throw some light on the pros and cons of premium gas. It will help you learn more about whether using premium gas is worth the expense and potential benefits for your vehicle. Here we go:


The high octane value of premium gas calls for smoother running of the engine, making it last longer than those that run on lower octane gas.

The engine combustion occurs at the right time, which is the prime reason why the damage is limited when using premium gas. This is one of the most coveted benefits of premium gas that we must consider before using it!

In the war of regular vs premium gasoline, it is very difficult to choose one!

While a vehicle that’s best suited for premium gas will run well on it, one that needs regular gas will also run better on it. However, when you put premium gas in regular cars more often, it can harm the engine and affect the car’s overall performance.

But it is not the case when you put regular gas in a premium vehicle. The Premium cars can run well on regular gas also. It can be the opposite if the user’s manual suggests that the car is designed to ONLY run at high octane gasses, and then if you run it at regular gas, it can be harmful in the long run!


The main disadvantage of using the high octane gas is the premium gas vs regular gas price.

Well, it is already discussed that premium gas costs way more than regular gas. And if you want to switch to premium gas from regular gas, you may have to pay a hefty fuel bill every time you visit the fuel station.

You know what’s the difference between regular and premium gasoline, and you also know that using premium gas is not mandatory for all cars. However, some auto manufacturers still suggest using it and printing the same on their instruction labels as well.

This may make you buy it without actually having to need it. And you will have to spend a lot of money on this unnecessarily!

The Pros and Cons of Regular Gas:

Now let’s learn more about the potential benefits, such as lower cost, as well as the drawbacks, such as engine knocking, that come with using regular gas in your vehicle. Here are some of the helpful pros and cons of regular gas:


The gradual difference between premium and regular gas is again the price! And this is an advantage of regular gas. It is cheaper than premium gas, and that is why it is a more popular option amongst the common people.

You may be wondering – Is regular gas better than premium? Yes, it definitely is!

Because it can go down with cars of all make and model! Even the cars that suggest using premium gas can also run well on regular gas, but it’s not vice versa! Unless it is recommended ONLY to use premium gas, you can put regular gas in any car you want!


What’s the difference between premium gas and regular gas? The octane level, right? And well, having a lower octane level, regular gas might lead to wrongly timed engine combustion that can harm the engine in the long run! The combustion ability of the fuel and its smoothness are affected when regular gas is used!

When you use regular gas, the wrongly timed combustion harms the engine and may produce engine knocks and other such issues that will incur more investment in your vehicle.

Now you might be thinking, does premium fuel make a difference? Yes! Using premium gas can lower the risk of engine knocking to a greater extent!

We have mentioned the difference between regular gas and premium gas and their individual pros and cons as well! Now, it is up to you to decide which one to choose! We have made our points clear!

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What Happens When You Put Regular Gas in a Premium Car?

If you own or drive a luxury car that needs premium gas to run, you may be curious about what happens if you put regular gas in a premium car, right? At some point, it may have struck your mind whether you can use regular gas to run your premium car. If yes, then you will get your answers in this section.

To be honest, there is sincerely no harm in putting regular gas in your premium car a few times! But if you do it regularly and start using regular gas in your premium car more often, then there can be a problem!

So, what happens when you put regular gas in a premium car regularly? Well, if the vehicle’s manual says that premium gas is a dire requirement of the car, then putting regular gas can harm your vehicle in the long run. It can damage your car’s engine, increase fuel consumption and do a lot more other harmful stuff!

You should not worry if you put regular gas in your premium car by mistake once or twice! But you should be careful using it every time or putting it out more often than usual.

Now coming to whether; is it safe to use regular gas in a car that requires premium gas! As discussed earlier, premium gas contains higher octane content than regular gas. So, the usual question is whether putting a lower octane gas in a high octane requirement car is safe or not!

It is safe to put regular gas in premium cars up to a certain extent and within limits. If at all your car is not efficient in running on high-octane gas, then putting the low-octane gas in it can be harmful, mainly in the long run.

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Can You Put Premium Gas in a Regular Car?

After knowing whether you can put regular gas in a premium car, your next question might be can you put premium gas in a regular car? Well, surely you can! But there is not much difference between using regular gas or premium gas in a regular car.

A vehicle that runs on regular gas will also run the same on premium gas, with almost zero effect on its performance!

So, the myth that some people follow that using premium gas on regular cars will increase their performance is absolutely wrong! However, if you run out of fuel and visit a station that only serves premium gas, you can put it in your regular car without thinking twice!

If you think of putting premium gas in an engine that requires regular gas, you must be rich! Because the only thing that changes when you put premium gas in your regular car is your fuel bill!

Well, that may sound weird, but it is true! The premium gas costs way more than regular gas, and if you do not want to bear that extra cost, we suggest using regular gas only!

The difference between regular and premium gas is mainly in their octane content, and when a car runs fine on a low-octane gas, why force a high-octane gas on it?

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Can You Mix Regular and Premium Gas?

Now comes another important question- can you mix premium and regular gas? As already discussed, regular gas has lower octane content, and premium gas has higher octane content. So, is it possible to mix two gasses with different octane content?

If you want a straight answer, you can mix them if your car allows both gasses on its engine! But it is not as simplified as it is said. There is complexity in the process, which we are going to discuss now.

Are you also eager to know what happens if you mix 87 and 93 gas?

Nothing much, the cars that have got the label of recommendation or requirement from the manufacturer that it can run smoothly on premium gas will also be able to run on regular gas. But you must be cautious about checking the octane level of the gas you are putting in your car!

Your car must have a designated octane requirement for the gas. And it can be found written inside the fuel door. You need to check it before you take up the step of mixing regular and premium gas.

Once you see that its octane rating is in the range of using premium gas, then you do not have to worry about what happens if you mix premium and regular gas; you can mix them inevitably! Given the rise in fuel prices, this is a solution most car owners are resorting to!

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Does Premium Gas Clean Your Engine?

We all will admit that we prefer to think that when something is more expensive, it must have more benefits! And so, there is no harm in thinking, does premium gas help clean your engine more than regular gas?

Well, the premium gas contains high octane that actually does help in keeping the car engine cleaner than usual. It also contains additives and detergents that ensure the dirt and grime inside the car’s fuel injectors get cleaned inevitably!

It may also clear out the carbon accumulation inside your car’s engine system, which sometimes creates a hindrance to the smooth running of the car. However, if you have been thinking about using premium gas just for this purpose, you might be thinking wrong!

Because neither is it cost-effective nor you get better gas mileage with premium gas. So, if your car is running fine on regular gas, we suggest keeping up with using it!

Now, let us throw some light on the fact- does premium gas last longer than regular gas? Well, to clarify it at the beginning, any fuel performance depends majorly on the engine performance and condition and not on the type of gas you are using!

So if you think using premium gas will give your car better mileage, you have been thinking wrong! Your car will run as much as it runs on regular gas; there is almost no difference in fuel consumption quality when using a high-octane gas!

Is Premium Gas Better for Your Car? – Author’s View

Now that you have reached the last part of the article, you already know what’s the difference between regular and premium gas and all other relevant details about the same.

When you visit the fuel station, there are always 2-3 options that you can choose from to fill up your car. However, it is not always that you know which gas to choose or which gas is appropriate for the type of car you are using!

Hopefully, this article has cleared all the confusion you had in your mind regarding using regular and premium gas for your car.

In the war between regular vs premium gasoline, of course, the premium one has slightly more advantages than the regular one. But it will not harm your car if you use either; it is only if you find engine knocking issues, it’s better to upgrade yourself to premium gas. Also, if there is a budget constraint, then using regular gas is your best option!

However, if you are looking for some expert opinion, I suggest not using premium gas for your car if it runs fine on regular gas until, of course, you are ready to bear the hefty fuel bills.

In comparison, the overall benefits of premium and regular gas make me suggest this to every car owner. I would still clarify, always go by your car’s make and model and decide which gas will be apt for your vehicle. If it mentions using premium gas only, go for it; otherwise, regular gas is fine to go with.

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About Jace Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars and pickup trucks. Applying innovative car care products and installing different latest car accessories are my hobbies. Also, I love sharing my adventurous experience with car lovers.

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