Superfuels 'are just a waste of money' that don't improve cars or save the environment

Pumped up: Expensive superfuels are a waste of money according to consumer watchdog Which?

Pumped up: Expensive superfuels are a waste of money according to consumer watchdog Which? Car

Expensive 'superfuels' that promise to give drivers extra performance are a waste of money, according to a report by consumer watchdogs.

They cost up to 8p a litre more than standard fuel, leaving motorists around £100 a year worse off for little benefit.

In a report published today, Which? Car says: 'Fuel companies make bold claims for 'super fuels', but they don't save you money, improve your car's performance, or save the environment.'

Experts at Which? Car tested three of the most popular superfuels  -  Shell V-Power, Tesco Super Unleaded and BP Ultimate Diesel against standard fuels.

Their report concluded that there was 'little justification for using them'.

It added: 'Superfuels are more expensive at the pumps but advertisers often claim they can optimise a car's economy and increase power.'

The Which? Car report found that a Ford Focus 1.6 running on Shell V-Power had a 'a marginal power increase'.

But filling the car on this petrol for 12,000 miles will cost drivers £1,892  -  or £116 more than using Shell's standard petrol (£1,776).

It noted that Tesco Super Unleaded 'actually decreased the power of the Focus' though economy did improve by 0.41mpg (1.2 per cent).

The report concluded: 'Despite the marginal power increase offered by Shell's V-Power petrol, there seems little justification for using superfuels over their regular counterparts.'

A Volkswagen Golf's hi-tech 1.4 TSI engine responded well on Shell V-Power, but there was 'little to choose' between the superfuels and ordinary petrol on gains in economy and emissions, despite costing £89 a year more.

A Renault Megane 1.5 diesel's economy and performance of were 'both slightly worse' using BP Ultimate diesel, the super fuel furthest from the marketing claims in the test  -  despite costing £84 a year more.

The report concluded: 'Each superfuel had only a marginal effect on the emissions of measured pollutants, seemingly putting paid to environmental claims.

'To cut a car's emissions, it's better to drive less and more economically, rather than switch fuels.

'There may be benefits to using superfuels in the long term as they include detergents to improve engine longevity.

'However, any break-even point in terms of reduced repair bills could take many years to reach.'

Which? Car editor Richard Headland-said: 'For many cars it's a waste of money paying over the odds for so-called super fuels.

'The standard fuels we tested were all up to the job, whether from a major fuel brand or a supermarket.

'There's no conclusive evidence to show that superfuels are better for your car in the long run  -  so in a time of high oil prices, why choose to pay more?'

Shell said: 'V-Power has been designed for those drivers seeking petrol that gives them improved vehicle performance and responsiveness.

'It can help keep new cars performing like new for longer, and in some cases can help rejuvenate older cars.'

BP said: 'Ultimate does offer benefits, including cleaner engines and greater efficiency.

'Motorists can get more power, sharper acceleration and better fuel economy from a fuel which also gives lower exhaust emissions.'

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