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Where is all the premium unleaded fuel?

By Duke - 4 April 2008 33

I lease a car which takes premium unleaded and am required to fill the car at BP petrol stations using a special fuel card.  I can really only go to BP because it is there that they measure my odometre readings each time I fill up to make sure I am driving sufficient kilometres as detailed in my lease.

 Any hoo

Quite often they don’t have any premium unleaded, so I either have to use the ordinary stuff or start calling around all the servos looking for the allusive premium petrol.  Using the wrong fuel (regular unleaded) is technically a breach of my lease but many times I have no choice but to use whatever is available.  I have written to BP and my leasing company with regard to this issue.

Does anybody else have to deal with this problem?

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Where is all the premium unleaded fuel?
el 6:57 pm 04 Apr 08

Assuming we’re talking about reasonably high performance cars (I’m assuming this given the ‘requirement’ of 95+ RON fuel), I wouldn’t be touching E-10. Higher octane rating than standard, but lower energy content (so you get to pay 1/2 a cent per litre less but use the fuel quicker. Gee, what a bargain. Clouds of ‘smug’ optional of course).

natecv8 4:47 pm 04 Apr 08

Not sure how you’d go with E10 – a lot of the cars that require premium unleaded would likely not allow you to use E10 under warranty. I was told flat out that I could use any unleaded fuel on offer EXCEPT Shell “V-Power Racing” which was higher octane (100) but very expensive and with 5% ethanol blend which the leasing company said was off limits.

Not sure about the class action suit, it would be difficult in the first instance to even prove damages I’d think, and I’m sure there’s some fine print that would cover lack of availability. It’s similar to when you hand over an eftpos card to a cab driver and he can’t get a mobile eftpos signal – you need to pay via some other method.

Mind you my lease company always reminded me that I can pay elsewhere, produce a reciept and be reimbursed if completely necessary. Anyone who has to deal with reimbursement or petty cash on a regular basis knows how fun this can be.

radonezh 4:32 pm 04 Apr 08

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Use some octane booster, that way you can just use unleaded and add the booster.

E10 has a 95 Octane rating. Not quite the 98 that you’d expect form premium, but certainly better than 91 that you get from normal unleaded. Shell in Fyshwick sells E10. And it’s cheaper too.

beasley 3:53 pm 04 Apr 08

My parents have had the same problem at their local Woolworths bowser. When quizzed, the counter guy said “There is no Premium in all of Canberra”. They then travelled down the road to the Mobil and filled up with Premium.

Think I read something that the oil companies are saying they have ‘run out’ on the cheap fill-up days forcing people to cop higher prices over the weekends.

Supposedly ACCC are meant to be getting powers forcing servo’s to open up their tanks and prove they have ‘run out’

CanberraResident 3:37 pm 04 Apr 08

I’ve had same problem in past 2 days – the new Coles Express at Gungahlin (Shell ???), and the servo at Dickson – no premium fuel. A simple explanation on the pump or shop window would be nice, but zip in that regard.

As I filled up my usual $10 (small car, work from home so I don’t need much fuel), I had flash-backs to about 1985 when I first started driving; petrol was 48 cents a litre. A station selling at 55 cents was regarded as expensive. I’m sure others can remember even cheaper prices.

Duke 3:25 pm 04 Apr 08

Thanks Nate and VY, I have not used the octane booster before but have noticed how rough the car runs on regular.

As an aside, Nate, I’ve often wondered what the legal scenario would be if I were to sue BP for their failure to supply me with premium any time every time. Considering BP is part of my lease agreement surely the onus is on them to have the correct fuel available at all times (for lease holders at least).

A class action maybe!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 1:48 pm 04 Apr 08

Use some octane booster, that way you can just use unleaded and add the booster.

NathanaelB 12:59 pm 04 Apr 08

AFAIK all Shell servos in NSW/ACT/Vic have been out for at least 2 months. BP in Civic was out a week ago but have it back “in stock” again.

Last week I drove past Shell and BP in town because they were out of the good stuff … drove out to Caltex in Mitchell on the way home and they were closed; think I rolled into the garage with 500ml left in the tank 🙂

I did read an article about a broken refinery … but that was dated January 2007 – so unless that’s the one that’s still causing problems? Doubt it takes 14 months to get a spare part in.

jennybel75 12:51 pm 04 Apr 08

Shell are still out (well, as of Wednesday night they were.)

fnaah 12:44 pm 04 Apr 08

Right on Caf. Ask your leasing company to switch to Fleetcard.

Mr Waffle 12:00 pm 04 Apr 08

Shell were out for about a month at the start of the year, so I switched to Caltex.

You should be able to get a card for more than one company? I know Rhodium offers basically all the big names, and you can pick which fuel it’ll cover (regular + premium etc).

caf 11:52 am 04 Apr 08

Tell your leasing company that you want a fuel card you can use at more than just BP sites – having to stick to one brand must really be a pain when you’re travelling around out of Canberra. “Fleetcard” seems to be a good one.

natecv8 11:50 am 04 Apr 08

I’ve had the same problem before with Shell/Coles Express. Leasing company told me to grab some octane booster in these situations and chuck it in with the standard unleaded, as lubricants etc are chargable to the fuel cards. Not that they really cared, they just didn’t want me telling Holden when I took it in for a service that I’d been using the ‘cheap stuff’…

el 11:47 am 04 Apr 08

And not limited to BP.

el 11:47 am 04 Apr 08

There appears to be a shortage of the ‘good stuff’ across most of Eastern Australia.

Apparently a refinery issue – a catalytic ‘cracker’ broke down.

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