Personal finance coaches say that one path to helping balance your budget could be as simple as giving up your daily latte macchiato. The little things help. Like not splurging on what your car drinks.
Premium-grade gasoline is the most expensive gas you can usually buy, costing about 50 cents a gallon more than regular. Because only about 18 percent of new cars sold in the United States need it, there is no advantage in performance, fuel economy or emissions control for the other 82 percent to use high octane.
It’s no small matter. AAA estimates that drivers, who may think they are giving a gift to their beloved cars, waste more than $2 billion a yearbuying more octane than their vehicles require. Gift wrap nicer floor mats instead.
Gasoline is a lot like wine: A higher price does not assure greater satisfaction. The basic guidance, as always, is to follow the automaker’s fuel requirement in the owner’s manual, although it may waffle, saying that high-octane fuel is recommended (but not required), leaving the decision to the driver….