Gasoline Marketing:

Premium Gasoline Overbuying May Be Occurring, but Extent Unknown

RCED-91-58: Published: Feb 26, 1991. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1991.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO determined: (1) whether consumers were needlessly buying premium gasoline; (2) whether the higher retail price of premium gasoline included a greater price mark-up than that included in the retail price of regular gasoline; and (3) possible reasons for the price differences between premium and regular gasoline.

GAO found that: (1) premium gasoline sales exceeded the percentage of vehicles that required premium gasoline; (2) government and industry studies, although not conclusive, indicated that consumers might be overbuying premium gasoline; (3) although consumers perceived premium gasoline to be a better product, fewer of them were willing to substitute it for a lower octane fuel when prices rose substantially; (4) the price difference between premium and regular gasoline was the same at the refinery and the retail pump; and (5) additional processing costs, better detergent additives, and increased advertising contributed to the higher price of premium gasoline.

Sep 14, 2018

Aug 14, 2018

Aug 2, 2018

Aug 1, 2018

Jul 24, 2018

Jun 28, 2018

May 24, 2018

Apr 18, 2018

Apr 5, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here