Posted tagged ‘BP’

Does expensive fuel improve your car?

October 1, 2008

I was running low on fuel this morning, so I pulled into a BP forecourt to fill up.  Although all the pumps with berths on the right were taken, I have a small city car so I pulled into a left hand berth, smiled at the annoyed looking SUV drivers waiting for the other pumps, and went to stretch the nossle around my car to the tank.  However, annoyingly, the nossle on the normal priced fuel wouldn’t stretch, so I was forced to indulge my car in expensive “high octane” fuel, as this was the only pump that stretched.. (Thank god the only choice wasn’t diesel.  I propably would have filled up with diesel, just to prevent the smirks from the SUV drivers)

Anyway, this made me think.  Is the quality of the fuel actually there?  Do we assume it’s better quality because of the price?  Is it the Ferrari branded adverts that have made us think it’s better quality?  If Michael Schumacher tells us he uses it, it must be good right?

After filling up, I excitedly jumped into my car, expecting it to start up with the growl of an angry Italian beast under the bonnet.  I expected, nay, demanded, that I fly round the next round-about on two wheels and eventually pile through the pearly gates backwards and on fire.  Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, and my car feels EXACTLY the same as it did before.

Now, I don’t know anyone else who uses the more expensive version of petrol, which is already more expensive than saying “yes Mr bank manager, I’d love to invest my money with you”, so that CLEARLY proves to me that the adverts don’t work.  However, if this scientifically proven conclusion is indeed accurate (unlikely) and not completely made up (more likely) then they must have other methods of making the sale.

Ever the cynic, I have concluded that the only method the petrol companies have for selling the “high quality” stuff (we all know it comes from the same reservoir under the garage anyway) is by ensuring the regular fuel pumps are out of order so we have no choice, or by giving away a free Ferrari hat with all purchases…