Categories: News

Fuel: is it REALLY worse in supermarkets?

The ever-increasing price of fuel encourages road users to prefer supermarkets. Problem is, we also regularly hear that it would be of poor quality compared to that of “real” oil tankers. What is it really ?

Refueling your car often means spending several tens of euros. Even more so in these times. And with the sole purpose of being able to use your vehicle. A budget increasingly important with price inflation which pushes the average French person to go to supermarkets. But a legend persists over the years… Is the stored fuel of poorer quality? Should we favor the service stations of real tankers? We’ll explain it to you.

Same refining quality?

Shell, ExxonMobil, Total, BP… Many oil companies are spreading their stations-services everywhere in France. However, these are the grandes surfaces which have a market share greater than 60 %. The reason is simple: fuel prices can be up to 30% cheaper there. Especially if you start taking the highway.

But is saving money really dangerous for your engine ? We often hear about this false claim that the fuel from supermarkets is less efficient or worse yet, bad. Let’s silence the rumors. Please note that this is absolutely not the case since the refining quality is exactly the same. L’essence where the diesel found at Leclerc, Auchan or Intermarché come from identical depots.

However, the difference in quality can be explained by the maintenance frequency storage tanks. Those in supermarkets are maintained and emptied much less regularly. We then find more pollution and above all, accumulated water which makes the fuel more diluted and less effective.

Additives in oil tankers

The real change between a fuel oil tanker and its large-scale counterpart concerns additives. Our colleagues from Parisian questioned Francis Poussepresident of fuel distributors (excluding supermarkets) who explains that “ each tanker, when filling the tanker truck which will supply its stations, sets up a specific additive“. These can be of different origins and can be used for many things.

Obtain better engine performance, protect the injection or high-pressure pump, eliminate odors, etc. Francis Pousse also puts a ecological argument on the table. “ It’s better for the engine but also for the environment, because it means less unburned fuel, and therefore less emissions via the exhaust.« .

Stock up in supermarkets without risk!

However, the effects are quite negligible. It is also absolutely not not contraindicated to stock up on supermarkets with any model. Francis Pousse ends his interview by concluding that “ Oil tanker additives can be effective in taking care of an old car, but the newer your vehicle, the less difference they make« .

Furthermore, the often lower prices at the hypermarket pumps can also be explained by a commercial issue. The latter can afford to lower prices to attract customers to their departments. A scenario that occurs precisely during fuel operations at cost price.

So you have your answer, It really doesn’t change much. You can safely stock up on your supplies at the supermarket near you. And that’s good for your wallet!

Which brands offer the cheapest gasoline?

Generally speaking, it is the large retail brands that offer the cheapest fuels. For them, fuel is a highly effective leader in attracting customers to their long, winding aisles.

But certain brands often come up when we talk about the cheapest fuel, among them:

  • Leclerc
  • Intermarché
  • Carrefour
  • Super U

And at traditional service stations, it is often Total which takes the price of the cheapest stations!

The difference in tank maintenance and storage

If all service stations are subject to periodic checks carried out by a approved company, the COFRAC (French Accreditation Committee), stations specializing in fuels attach greater importance to the maintenance of their storage tanks. This results in higher prices.

The operators of these stations carry out more frequent checks by taking samples to monitor several points. This involves checking the vapor pressure which varies depending on the temperature, to detect the presence of volatile compoundsand finally to measure the water concentration.

Overall, where you source your supplies has little impact, especially if you have a recent vehicle. The price difference is mainly explained by two factors: additives and the storage procedures. However, if you are driving an older vehicle, it is recommended to check the engine pressure level listed in the manufacturer’s manual to determine the appropriate fuel.

Read also :
Energy efficiency plan: what are the best apps for carpooling?
Electric cars: which models are the best-selling?
Unusual: drunk, she avoids drama at a gas station.

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