Is there a difference between normal and low-cost gasoline?

With the price of gasoline and diesel fuel going out of control for months, and even though oil prices are far from their historical highs, and also well below the barrier of $100 a barrel, there is no choice but to think about saving. euros. It is clear that the value at source and what we pay at the pump is very different, so much so that we see price variations for “the same gasoline” of 30 or 40 cents per liter, depending on the gas station.

First of all, we must remember that gasoline prices were no longer controlled at the end of the 1990s, since until then they were regulated by the Government of Spain itself. Since then, the free market has governed final prices, and part of the variation in prices depends on the real competition that gas stations have.

That said, another of the big doubts that arises is whether the gasoline that we can refuel at regular gas stations or at low-cost ones are the same. And the answer is yes but no. First let's analyze the fact that all gasolines are the same.

All gasoline sold in Spain comes from CLH

It doesn't matter where you refuel, the base of the gasoline we have in Spain has previously passed through those known as CLH (Hydrocarbon Logistics Company), which in turn is the private company derived from the public CAMPSA (Petroleum Monopoly Lessee Company). . The product arrived at the storage points of CLH, which has now changed its name to Exolum, from the Spanish refineries and from there it is distributed to companies.

It depends on the region, it has a CLH assigned to it, which in turn receives gasoline from the same refinery. That is, in your neighborhood you can be sure that the gasoline base is 100% the same.

But what is the basis of unleaded gasoline? Well, a mixture of hydrocarbons with Ethanol at 5 or 10%, the E5 or E10 that appears is what tells us and then there are the additives. And it is there, in the additives, where the difference can be made and where we can say that each gasoline is different.

Refineries refine oil and convert it into gasoline that reaches all gas stations.

Once each company, whether large chains or those known as “low-cost,” has the gasoline in its possession, they add additives such as antifoams, antioxidants or others that in theory can improve performance, but which the end user would find difficult. to appreciate as different organizations or consumer associations have confirmed.

What must be dismantled once and for all is the false myth that cheap gas stations take gasoline from the bottom of the tank, or that a mechanic told me that low-cost gasoline damages the engine.

There is nothing to prove it and although your motorcycle can break down after refueling at a low cost, it can also do so after refueling at a normal gas station. In fact, both gas stations share a common enemy: water leaks in their tanks. But that is another problem that we will talk about another time.

Happy drivers

Client testimonials

Lisa D.


Theuth has completely changed how I follow automotive news. Relevant articles, thorough reviews, and an active community!

Hanna A.


I never miss a live show. It's like having front-row seats at every exhibition or race, but from my couch!

Andrew R.


As a novice in the world of motorbikes, Theuth's guides and analysis have been invaluable for my first purchase.

Ignite the drive, explore the ride