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"Grade Gap" widens as consumption of premium drops

GasBuddy Blog -- "Grade Gap" is the term I've dubbed to explain the gap in price between regular gasoline and other higher octane gasoline- mid-grade and premium. A decade or so ago, the "grade gap" might have been 7-8 cents per gallon (mid-grade 7-8c/gal more than regular, and premium 7-8c/gal more than mid-grade), but my oh my how things have changed.

If you've been driving a car that requires premium fuel, you've likely noticed- I know I have. Only a few stations now sell premium for 20c/gal more than regular. If you're lucky, you might find the grade gap single digits (premium 9c/gal higher than mid-grade, etc.) but nowadays its becoming very hard to find it. Generally, higher end or performance vehicles require premium to function as intended...


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Submitted Oct 23, 2012 By: PD
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REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
tom43FL
Sophomore Author Florida

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Message Posted: Mar 3, 2015 9:57:35 AM

Always out for the buck.
JOHNJOEYJOE
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 27, 2015 5:30:22 AM

Average here is 20 cents per gallon difference.
Yetie
All-Star Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Feb 26, 2015 10:41:47 AM

Unfortunately they get us going and coming
phpearso
Veteran Author Indiana

Posts:367
Points:770,100
Joined:Mar 2004
Message Posted: Feb 20, 2015 12:12:48 AM

a Phillips 66 station near me has $.30 cents a gallon difference between grades!

Talk about GREED!
gasmask78
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2015 12:01:38 AM

Unless you're driving an old car, (150k+), a Mercedes, Audi...or the engine pings while driving down the highway it is unnecessary to use high-grade gasoline.
clpassenubye
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2015 12:35:35 AM

Yes it's all true
monkay619
Rookie Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Jan 14, 2015 7:01:10 AM

Can we expect the grade gap to diminish any time soon? Now that the cost of regular has gone down, are more people buying premium again, because they think it is better?
gougenator
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 25, 2013 10:53:30 PM

grade gap is 50 cents at our chronic gouger in n. dallas
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2012 4:54:44 AM

nice big tank, Ducati!
DucatiRider
Rookie Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Nov 5, 2012 10:16:18 AM

My newest motorcycle gets about 50-65 MPG and can run on regular. That's one of the reasons I got it. It also has a 5 gallon tank, which is HUGE for a motorcycle.
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Nov 5, 2012 5:05:09 AM

swep: wow. That's about how much there is between regular gas and diesel around here.
swepson
Champion Author Greensboro

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Message Posted: Nov 4, 2012 8:45:51 AM

Saw a new high for me. Regular, $3.49 Premium $ 4.09 Gap .60
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Nov 4, 2012 6:11:50 AM

never looked back and never had issues. Last car got sold, less than a year later it was totalled. It had 145k+ miles and was 13+ years old. Current is 7+ yrs old.
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 8:55:59 AM

when I bought my last two cars, I was told, even though the book recommends 89, for the Southern regions, use 87 only or it will run way too rich.

My other vehicle... well, never have to worry on that b/c there's only one diesel grade.
Donatelo
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Nov 2, 2012 12:05:44 PM

Long as your car does not ping or knock on regular gas , you should use regular.
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Nov 2, 2012 4:42:26 AM

have never bought premium fuels. Don't care too. Lots of hype by Pig Oil.
99dakota
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Nov 1, 2012 5:16:33 AM

Knowing this determines what cars you want to buy...
dcone2
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2012 10:12:06 PM

ok
hpmossii
Veteran Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2012 8:30:54 PM

Some stations promote the price of their regular gas, hoping that consumers who need premium don't notice the larger grade gap to the mid and premium blends.
WE0H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2012 12:42:48 PM

EZ fix for that price gouging. Blend E85 which is 105 octane with regular 87 gas to whatever blend you need to get the required octane level. Do some tests and you'll find that many stations selling 92 octane gas are really selling E30 which is 92 octane.
Donatelo
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2012 10:59:16 AM

ok
truvoice1
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Oct 29, 2012 4:39:03 AM

Many expensive European autos demand premium fuel as well as most American and Asian performance cars. Its not surprising that some stations would try to take advantage of the pricing gap to make a few more pennies per gallon.
dcone2
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2012 11:25:34 PM

ok
gasokie
Champion Author Oklahoma

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2012 5:18:37 PM

I am seeing some stations now that have pumps with 4 grades...just putting one grade (87) out there and putting it on each button. One of those stations, I noticed last week, had 5 selections and two kinds of gas. Pure gas and 87 octane 10%. Sort of strange I got rid of my premium buring car last year for this very reason. It was a pain to pull off a tollway or interstate in heavy traffic and wait on a pump and find there is no premium..
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Oct 27, 2012 4:54:56 AM

always been buying 87 grade here in the South. Much better burning than 93.
audiofon
Rookie Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Oct 26, 2012 5:06:04 AM

i've been seeing the price gap as much at 70c/gal from regular to premium. Not to happy. just glad i only have to fill up every 7-10 days.
hmw10284
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2012 3:14:15 PM

I used to work at gas stations in HS where 91 octane was regular gas.
76Fury
Rookie Author Vancouver

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2012 2:15:57 PM

Here in Vancouver Canada the gap between regular (87) and premium (91) is 13 cents a liter or about 50 cents a US gallon...that's typical for most of Canada.
zeusboy
Rookie Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2012 7:54:54 AM

Yes, this is really bad news for me. I drive a Mini Cooper S which requires premium, and it's no where near the end it's life span. The one station near me that used to keep the .10 grade gaps has now the same .15 gaps as most of the others here, now. :(
DrCashFlow
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 11:10:11 PM

20 cent difference between reg and premium is rare around here. 35 to 40 cents is more the norm.
jetskijerry
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 11:05:43 PM

right now at my station, 20 cents and 25 cents between grades!
jetskijerry
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 11:05:09 PM

crooks! I remember 2 cents between grades. 31, 33 & 35!
dcone2
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 8:02:25 PM

ok
LeftLane1
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 4:57:38 PM

My other 3 do not, but I really enjoy my one that does...
dockersbin
Veteran Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 3:38:04 PM

all 3 of my vehicles do not require premium. And I will make sure that I never have a car that does.
LeftLane1
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 3:20:27 PM

I have one vehicle that demands Premium Octane fuel (Manufacturer stated to properly operate, it is considered a High Performance Brand as well) Not that it is particularly cleaner fuel, but the minimum octane requirement is 92.

In my area, The Common pricing has each Grade .15 Apart, so 3.50, 3.65, 3.80 for example, So Premium is USUALLY .30 CENTS or MORE than REGULAR.

I almost never see better than .30 Cents, many "Gouger" Stations may have it much more commonly, Diesel also elevated.

It must be PURE PROFIT...
bell05
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 3:16:34 PM

Number 1 reason I won't buy a car that takes premium.
nickatnite
Veteran Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 2:56:10 PM

ok
tomok
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 2:12:22 PM

"Grade Gap" widens as consumption of premium drops! Between Regular and Premium grades, at some Chevron stations and one Shell station it can be 30 cents/gallon difference.
XII/XXII/MMXII!
boldrph
Champion Author Topeka

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:38:42 PM

how stale is this?
red82mtu
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:36:30 PM

I've seen 15 cents a grade locally.
McMutt
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:26:52 PM

It total amazes me that a Smart and a Fiat would require premium fuel, but they do.
radiorumor
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:19:40 PM

Works great in my lawnmower
BMRR
Champion Author Maine

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:14:32 PM

If you can afford a vehicle that requires premium, you can afford a few extra cents per gallon. Don't like it, buy a vehicle that runs on 87 next time.
nemoFL
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:13:57 PM

if you can afford it use it
QuagmireLA
Champion Author Louisiana

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:13:49 PM

Hadn't been paying that much attention to the price gap, but will watch out for it now.
Edpap
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:13:38 PM

if you are foolish enough to buy a vehicles that requires premium, you don't mind paying the extra 30 cents a gallon.
georged12
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:13:34 PM

Why is diesel so expensive???
hunterruss
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:12:52 PM

Did MPG stats with both. Premium does not justify the extra expense in my vehicle.
dbw03
Veteran Author Huntsville

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:12:39 PM

agreed.
gasper
Champion Author Edmonton

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:12:37 PM

I have always regular gas and it works for me. I think its not worth the extra cost for premium fuels.
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