GW readers have their say on supermarket fuels

Motorists advised to use branded filling stations to avoid costly repairs and enjoy better MPG

GW readers have their say on supermarket fuels
A third of those polled want more homes built, with just over half saying they would live in the new builds. Image: Bigstock.

Independent garage owners and technicians speak out against supermarket fuels and would recommend that motorists use branded filling stations.

GW readers have raised concerns over the use of supermarket fuels after it was revealed that cheap fuel could end up costing motorists an extra £100 a year.

Commenting on last week’s news, Andy Cookson of Cookson’s Auto Repairs and Servicing said: “Supermarket fuel is awful in terms of quality.

“I have seen gains of 30 plus BHP from the worst fuel to the best.

“[They are] totally different cars to drive with decent fuel in them, after draining – and that’s before I change anything inside the ECU.”

Fuel additives

Barry of Mercury Garage Ltd in Southbourne said: “Supermarkets do not pay to have the additives added so as to maintain their competitive edge.

“By using fuel as a loss leader of between 5-20 pence a litre means the VAT payable can be less than the VAT recovered.”

Referencing Tesco’s silicon contamination quandary back in 2007, he added: “Supermarkets have also been known to add unwanted additives at no additional charge with disastrous results to O2 sensors and catalytic converters.

“Give Tesco their due, they did reimburse my customers in full on submission of their invoices.”

Speaking exclusively to GW, Jeff Morley of Feather Diesel Services said: “We would always recommend the use of major brands such as Shell, BP, Esso and Texaco.

‘Cleaner and more efficient burn’

“These usually give a cleaner and more efficient burn, invariably better MPG returns and, due to better controlled bio diesel content, increased chances of fuel pump and injector longevity.”

Jeff explained that branded filling stations tend to invest millions of pounds into research every year.

“Supermarket fuel is less likely to have additive packages that premium fuel has which is why the price point is substantially lower,” he added.

Not everyone is against supermarket fuels though.

‘Just not true’

A filling station owner commented: “My family business has sold petrol and diesel for over fifty years and I would love to believe that supermarket fuels are inferior.

“However it’s just not true.

“I’ve had many conversations with tanker drivers and they all tell me that the tankers all queue to use the same gantries.”

However, an ex-tanker driver confirmed to GW that while tankers usually load the same basic fuel, depots can adjust the fuel mixture to either increase or decrease the fuel/additive ration, depending on the customer.

Have you come across any common vehicle faults that you’d put down to fuel quality? Join the debate and leave your comments below.


  1. There is no substantiated proof that supermarket fuel is sub standard in what these writers offer.
    I’m not saying one way or the other, but if the problem is as major as suggested, all fuels would need to be randomly tested and trialed under laboratory/controlled conditions and a qualified report published.
    I’m not sure that it’s fair to rubbish a product without robust proof from an independent body/expert who qualifies their results.

  2. My old saab diesel used to be run on tesco fuel replaced fuel filter covering approx 500 miles a week after 2 months had to change filter again as vehicle was lacking power the filter looked full of slurry replaced filter ran on bp only never had another problem

  3. After running my van on supermarket diesel in the past I noticed a marked lack of power and sluggishness. Also the engine sounded like hand full of rocks shaken in a tin can. I only used supermarket fuel due to the offers and money off vouchers.

    I now only use either Shell V-Power or BP Ulitmate. The engine is now very quiet and I get around 10% more miles to the gallon – when you consider that premium diesel is around 10% more expensive than supermarket diesel it really is a no brainer! It took a while for the power to get back to normal.

  4. Not all supermarkets are the same , Tesco use Esso fuels hence why you can get clubcard points at an Esso fuel station. All Tesco fuel stations have their diesel tanks cleaned out once a year and a sample of each batch of fuel made is kept for six months in case of any claims made against them.Saying that , my BMW got better MPG on the basic unleaded than it did on the Momentum !


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