Paying Extra at the Pump for Premium May be Waste of Money - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Paying Extra at the Pump for Premium May be Waste of Money

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DENISON, TX -- Do you ever treat your car to the occasional premium? 

A new study by AAA reveals, millions of American drivers do it, because they think it's better for their cars, but it turns out, that's not always the case.

You’ve heard the saying, less is more. Well a new study released by AAA reveals that's exactly the case, when it comes to paying at the pump for premium gas.

The American Automobile Association says, last year 16.5 million drivers opted for the pricier choice, thinking it was better for their cars.

"I assumed there was something in it that made it better," said driver, Michelle Swearengin.

"I just thought that if you use premium gas, that it will make it run better or that's why it was the more expensive gas," said driver, Bridget Githire.

According to AAA, there's no added benefit.

"I guess I should have studied up on it a bit more," said driver, Robert Fedor, who’s used premium gas on his Dodge truck for the last two years.

AAA says higher octane, premium gas is formulated to be compatible with specific types of engines, like high performance or luxury vehicles.

But for about 70% of cars on the road in the U.S. regular is the way to go.

"As long as it's not hurting my vehicle, then I’m good with that," said Swearengin.

This means, unless your manufacturer requires it, premium gas doesn’t increase horsepower, or fuel economy on regular cars.

It also doesn't do anything to decrease emissions or clean engines.

"I guess I’ll go back to an 87 octane then, it could have saved me some money," said Fedor.

AAA says Americans wasted more than $2 billion dollars last year on premium gas they didn't need.

So if you want more bang for your buck, stick with regular.

AAA says if you are looking to upgrade to a higher quality fuel, stick with top tier gasoline, not higher octane.

But if you're not sure what's required of your vehicle, check your owner’s manual.