High-Priced Premium Gas Not Selling

Premium gas sales have plunged recently as the price of regular unleaded, the cheapest gas, is averaging more than $4 a gallon nationwide. Premium gas is even worse, with an average price striking $4.48 a gallon.

This price is hitting drivers’ wallets hard as more motorists are only filling up with premium if the vehicle absolutely requires it.

Demand for high-octane premium gas is at its lowest in nearly 25 years and is now primarily consumed by a core group of luxury vehicle owners, reports the Associated Press and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Here’s evidence of the decline in premium gas usage. In 1997, 16 percent of the nationwide fuel market share was held by premium, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Last month, only eight percent of the market was held by premium gas.

Gas station owners say it’s taking them about three or four weeks to sell their inventory of premium gas, as opposed to taking only a couple of days to sell their inventory of regular unleaded.

Is premium gas really necessary for your car to run on? Consumer Reports says that motorists should not waste money on premium gas if their owner’s manual recommends regular because the car won’t run any better. The magazine also reports that many cars’ manuals that say you should only use premium will run just as good on regular.