How to pump petrol in Singapore like a true-blue petrolhead
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When you pump petrol in your car, it's more than just figuring out which octane to use. Sometimes it's about sourcing for the best fuel prices or even the types of petrol credit cards you use at different petrol stations.

Category: Car Ownership Advice

It is understood that choosing the right kind of petrol for your vehicle is crucial. While inexperienced drivers might base their decision on petrol costs alone, one must consider the car's fuel efficiency, performance, and vehicle requirements.
Types of petrol in Singapore

Besides diesel and other premium fuels, the three main types of petrol you'll find in Singapore are 92-Octane, 95-Octane, and 98-Octane
In Singapore, there are three distinct types of fuel aside from diesel - 92-Octane, 95-Octane, and 98-Octane.

The numbers correspond to the octane ratings of the petrol, which indicates the fuel's stability in general.

A higher-octane rating would suggest that the fuel is more stable. This stability refers to the fuel's resistance to pre-ignition, with higher stability indicating a lesser likelihood of pre-ignition.
What is pre-ignition?

Pre-ignition or 'knocking' refers to combustion inside the cylinder before the spark plug fires which causes a knocking sound and can damage your engine
In normal combustion, the flame front originates at the spark plug and travels outward evenly and steadily throughout the combustion chamber. Theoretically, perfect combustion burns up all the air and fuel in the cylinder, leaving nothing behind. The heat is then transferred from the flame front to the piston, the piston to the cylinder wall, and the coolant system.

On the other hand, pre-ignition occurs when something, such as burning carbon embers, glowing hot or melted spark plus or exhaust valves, ignites the air/fuel mixture in the engine during the compression stroke, resulting in engine failure, melting of spark plugs and melted holes in pistons.

The occurrence of pre-ignition makes a loud knocking noise, which can damage the car's engine pistons and cylinder walls which are crucial to the vehicle and are costly to fix or replace.

What type of petrol should you use?

Typically, cars only require 95-Octane fuel, but it's best to check the owner's manual for the vehicle's fuel requirements before pumping
While pumping higher petrol grades is not typically an issue, it is only used for high-performance engines.

While 98-octane and other premium grades of petrol like V-power, Synergy Supreme+ or equivalent may be the best in the market, it might not equate to the 'best performance' for your car.

A high-performance car is built for speed and can hit the century sprint in less than 10-seconds. To achieve this result, the engine uses extremely high temperature and pressure. 98-Octane (or higher) petrol can withstand such conditions to allow the engine to extract the maximum amount of power from the fuel.

Therefore, pumping the best petrol does not give your car more power as power is dependent on the engine. It would be a complete waste of money if you pump grade octane in your car when it only requires 95-Octane to run smoothly.
Petrol prices in Singapore

Even though different petrol companies set different prices for their fuel, tracking the costs of various fuel grades isn't that difficult with our live petrol cost tracker!

Petrol Grade Petrol Price (Average)
92-Octane $2.55 - $2.65 per litre
95-Octane $2.58 - $2.69 per litre
98-Octane $3.06 - $3.32 per litre

*The prices reflected in the above table are accurate as of 24th November 2021

While $0.40 difference might not look like a lot, one should consider how this would factor into a car's annual running costs.

According to research conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the average mileage of a privately owned car in Singapore is about 17,500km/year.

Let's use a Toyota Altis as an example here.

An Altis gets a fuel consumption (FC) of about 15.4km per litre (on average). Using this information, we can get the average annual petrol cost based on all three fuel grades.

Petrol Grade Petrol Price Per Year (Average)
92-Octane $2,897 - $3,011 
95-Octane $2,931 - $3,056
98-Octane $3,477 - $3,772 

See the difference now? Multiply that by 10 years.
What about petrol credit cards?

Petrol prices do not deviate significantly from one station to another - choose a credit card for a petrol station near your home for convenience
There are many different petrol credit cards pegged to different petrol stations in Singapore. Finding out which one is the best can sometimes be a headache. Most drivers tend to stick to one company out of loyalty and convenience.

As such, local banks offer credit cards tied with discounts for petrol so that customers can aggregate their spending on one card instead of carrying multiple cards.

Depending on the type of credit card, drivers can enjoy a discount from 14% to 23% at a selected petrol company's station. Additionally, they would be able to enjoy the usual cashback and discounts that the card offers on other categories.

Compare the Best Petrol Discount Credit Cards
Save up to 25% on your petrol bills!
  • Maximise your savings at Shell, ESSO, Caltex & SPC petrol stations
  • Apply to receive welcome offers and online promotions!

Here are some related articles that might interest you:

Are electric cars cheaper to insure compared to petrol cars in Singapore?

Petrol stations: Does it matter which one you go to?

Do fuel injector cleaners and octane boosters work?

Can you actually save money by buying a hybrid car?

7 ways to reduce car running costs

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