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One mistake at the gas pump costs drivers millions each year

One mistake at the gas pump costs drivers millions each year
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Your car is a big investment. You want to take good care of it. Sure, you get the oil changed regularly and keep in touch with your mechanic for routine maintenance. But do you use premium gas when it comes time to fill up the gas tank?

If you do, AAA says you could be wasting your money ... $2.1 billion to be exact. That's how much Americans wasted on premium gas last year - all by topping off their cars with premium gas they don't need.

$2.1 billion? How does a number get that high? In this case, AAA says that customers see the word premium and automatically assume that it applies to all vehicles.

But that's not the case. There are only 485 cars (16 percent of American drivers) that require premium gas. Click here to see the full list from Edmunds. Simply put, these cars need premium gas. The others don't.

However, there's a surprising list of luxury cars that don't require premium gas, even though you would probably suspect they would:

  • Cadillac ATS, CTS, XTS, SRX
  • Hyundai Equus, Genesis
  • Lexus ES350, NX300h, RX350, CT200h
  • Lincoln MKZ, MKS, MKC, MKTm MKX
  • Volvo XC90
  • Infiniti M37
  • Buick Lacrosse

Bottom line: If you have a car that requires regular fuel, use regular fuel. The study from AAA found no benefits from regular cars using premium gas. Not one.

This week, the national average gas price is around $2.20 per gallon for regular and $2.71 for premium. That's about a $0.50 difference, and on a per gallon basis, that can add up to some seriously wasted cash - $2.1 billion in wasted money at the pump is nothing to sneer at.

So unless you like throwing your money away, stick to the guidelines set forth in your owner's manual, which you can access online here.

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