There are many different types of fuel available to use in vehicles. At the moment, most vehicles run on either diesel or petrol. However, there are various types of petrol and diesel, such as leaded and unleaded petrol, and even super unleaded petrol.
Technological advances have also meant that new methods of powering vehicles have become available, including LPG Autogas and Biofuels.
Most vehicles owners are aware that some vehicles require petrol and others require diesel, but know little about the difference between the fuel options available.
Find out more about each fuel type below:
This is produced from renewable energy sources such as sugar beet, rape seed, palm oil and sunflowers. It is a biological substitute for regular diesel. Bio-diesel is more environmentally friendly than conventional cars which run on petrol and diesel for many reasons; it is not toxic and doesn’t produce as much damaging exhaust emissions. Even though bio-diesel produces carbon dioxide as a by-product, the plants grown to create the fuel absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. This means that the net carbon emission into the atmosphere is much less than non bio-fuels .
This is a biological fuel substitute for petrol and is made from renewable energy sources. It has much the same benefits as bio-diesel but is less common, Its popularity as a bio-product is increasing however.
Lightweight fuel oil used in diesel engines. Like petrol, it is a petroleum product. When used in vehicle engines, it is also known as derv (diesel-engine road vehicle).
Diesel cars have about a 30% better fuel efficiency than petrol powered vehicles. They also last longer reducing the need to repair or purchase a new car. Diesel vehicles release less carbon dioxide than petrol powered cars, but release more volatile organic compounds and nitrous oxides contributing to ozone smog.
Most cars powered by LPG in the UK are hybrid vehicles and are much more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient than petrol engines. They produce fewer emissions of carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides than both petrol and diesel powered vehicles. LPG also causes less wear and tear to the vehicle and is more fuel efficient, saving you money.
Most of the large oil companies are now selling ‘super fuels’ – petrols and diesels that have a higher research octane level. These fuels are said to increase power in many vehicles, deliver less pollution than regular fuels and help to maintain a cleaner engine
Petrol manufactured without the addition of antiknock. It has a slightly lower octane rating than leaded petrol, but has the advantage of not polluting the atmosphere with lead compounds. Many cars can be converted to run on unleaded petrol by altering the timing of the engine, and most new cars are designed to do so. Cars fitted with a catalytic converter must use unleaded fuel.