Difference Between Unleaded and Premium

The gasoline that is used by your car or any vehicle can be of various types and qualities. Gasoline refers to a hydrocarbon product used as a combustion fuel for driving your vehicle.

They can be of various types like Unleaded, Mid-range or Premium. In short, the types of petrol that can be used to fuel vehicles vary.

Unleaded vs Premium

The main difference between Unleaded and Premium is that they have different levels of octane in their chemical composition. Unleaded petrol has a lower octane quantity and rating while Premium petrol has a comparatively higher octane level in its composition as well as chemical structure, which set these two apart.

Unleaded vs Premium

Unleaded petrol is the regular petrol that one uses to refill their field tanks in almost every other gas station across almost all countries in the world.

It is the most basic type of petrol found and has an octane rating of 87 or has 87% of octane in its chemical structure. It is meant for regular use in low to medium compression engines.

Premium petrol is the upgraded version of petrol used by customers to refill the tanks of high-performance cars and vehicles. It is more exclusive and not found in all gas stations.

It has an octane rating of 91-94 which means it has from 91% to about 94% of octane in its chemical structure.

Comparison Table Between Unleaded and Premium

Parameters of ComparisonUnleadedPremium
Octane RatingUnleaded petrol has an octane rating of 87.Premium has an octane rating between 91-94.
Used InUnleaded petrol is used in regular car engines.Premium petrol is used in high performing cars.
CostUnleaded petrol is less costly than Premium petrol.Premium petrol is more expensive than Unleaded petrol.
EfficiencyUnleaded petrol is less efficient than Premium petrol.Premium petrol is more efficient than Unleaded petrol.
Fuel ConsumptionUnleaded petrol has higher fuel consumption.Premium petrol has lower fuel consumption.

What is Unleaded?

Unleaded petrol is a type of gasoline or purified crude oil used as a combustion fuel for your vehicle.

It is exclusively meant for vehicles being run of petrol only as vehicles working on diesel have a different ignition method, whereas petrol engines have a spark plug that initiates a process of slow combustion of fuel in the fuel tank.

Unleaded petrol is one of the most cost-effective types of fuel used by people. It is priced much less than its Premium counterpart.

However, it has less efficiency of ignition, which mean the knocking engine is not smooth enough and is better in the case of Premium petrol using engines.

Unleaded petrol is meant for cars which do not have much power requirements and function and low to medium speeds.

It is not suitable in cars that demand high performance and might damage is used with a high-performance car by starting a premature ignition which may damage the engine.

However, usually, a large amount of fuel is required to travel some distance in case of Unleaded petrol using cars in comparison to Premium petrol using cars like Porsche, Chevrolet, Lamborghini, racing cars and so on.

What is Premium?

Premium petrol is a type of gasoline or purified crude oil also used as a combustion fuel for your vehicle.

It is exclusively meant for vehicles being run on petrol only as vehicles working, or diesel does not support Premium petrol due to a different ignition pattern than the spark plug type ignition.

Premium petrol is called premium as it has a higher octane rating than that of Unleaded petrol as already mentioned.

It rates from 91-94 in comparison to 87 of Unleaded petrol which gives it an upper edge from the Unleaded petrol or any other type of petrol with low octane rating.

With a higher octane value, Premium petrol is also priced higher and also has better specs like it is more fuel-efficient. Cars using Premium petrol have more mileage than cars using Unleaded petrol.

Premium petrol also gives the engine a better knocking which means the ignition is smoother and hence more efficient as well.

This petrol can be used in regular cars but will have no drastic change in them. It is meant for cars with better engines and meant for cars like racing cars and vehicles, high weight lifting machinery, and so on.

Using it in regular cars will only up the price list, and hence it is limited to high-end cars only.

Main Differences Between Unleaded and Premium

  1. Unleaded petrol has a lower octane rating than Premium petrol.
  2. Unleaded petrol has a higher combustion rate and hence is more polluting than premium petrol.
  3. Unleaded petrol cannot be used in high-performance cars, but Premium petrol can be used in regular cars.
  4. Unleaded petrol is more readily available in the market whereas Premium petrol is more exclusive.
  5. Unleaded petrol is less expensive than Premium petrol.
  6. Unleaded petrol gives the engine a stumpy start over of the engine, which means the ignition produced is sudden, whereas with premium petrol, the ignition is smooth, and hence premium petrol cars are quieter.
  7. Unleaded petrol is meant for cars like Ford, Tata, Hyundai, Alto and so on whereas Premium petrol is meant for Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi, racing cars and so on.
Difference Between Unleaded and Premium


Although Premium petrol has its specific advantage in the case of premium cars, for a regular car, using either one of the two has no specific difference because in the case of premium cars, the engine built is also more effective than that of a regular car.

Using Premium petrol will only increase your expense.

However, in the case of a high-performance car, premium petrol is needed to experience the full effect and power of the car itself.

Using Unleaded petrol in a high-end car may cause damage to its engine in the long run by initiating a slow ignition.

The choice of petrol mainly depends on what type of vehicle you have and which petrol is specified to use with it on its user manual.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231006000598
  2. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01620808/
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