"The gap between premium and regular gas has been steadily rising since 2009, with the most dramatic increase occurring in the last two years", Jeanette Casselano, AAA gas price expert, said in a release.
This news comes after EIAs latest report showed that US crude stocks fell by 5.6 million bbl.
"With the exception of some Great Lakes states where prices tend to be volatile, average gas prices moved lower in almost the entire country in the last week", said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. AAA says the price difference between regular and premium averages 20% to 25% across the country. AAA says drivers can expect pump prices to continue to drop heading into the holiday season as supply strengthens.
"It's still important to remember that if your vehicle requires the use of premium gasoline, that you should still use it", said Jenkins.
"This becomes increasingly important as the difference between the cost of regular and premium gasoline grows", IHS Markit senior analyst Stephanie Brinley said. The vehicles AAA tested averaged just a 1.4% increase in horsepower.
The small gain in fuel economy is more than outweighed by premium's higher price.
"Each vehicle was tested on a dynamometer, which measures horsepower, and emissions testing equipment to determine fuel economy and tailpipe emissions when using both fuel types in a variety of driving conditions". The story could obviously be different in vehicles that require premium, but in many cases these are high-performance cars where owners are happy to pay up for a boost in horsepower. Higher levels of octane allow engines to run at higher compression ratios without knocking. In those engines, using Premium fuel won't hurt anything, but it also won't improve anything, either.
AAA tested Premium and Regular gasoline in six vehicles: a Ford F-150, a Cadillac Escalade, a Mazda Miata, an Audi A3, a Ford Mustang GT and a Jeep Renegade.
While engines that recommend premium deliver little bang for the extra buck, vehicles that require premium should always get the higher octane fuel.