Do Brits care about the quality of the fuel they put in their cars?
July 13th, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Do Brits care about the quality of the fuel they put in their cars?

Data from YouGov Profiles has shown that British consumers prefer going to particular petrol station brands for reasons like low fuel prices, convenient location and good loyalty schemes, among others. High fuel quality is also a factor cited by about a tenth of the consumers (11%).

In this piece we look at how often Britons switch petrol stations because of quality concerns and which sources they consider most reliable for fuel quality information.

Polling data from YouGov Surveys: Serviced shows that around a quarter of consumers say they occasionally switch (25%) petrol stations if they are concerned about fuel quality, while 5% say they do this frequently.

Looking at the data by age group, middle-aged Brits are more likely to say that they have occasionally switched fuelling station brands over quality concerns (27% of 35-44-year-olds, 29% of 45-54-year-olds) bu there is not much divergence between age groups.

Younger British drivers are more likely to frequently switch petrol stations if they are unhappy about the quality of fuel, with about one in nine consumers saying so (11% of 18-24 and 25-34-year-olds).

What do Britons consider reliable sources for information about good quality petrol?

Britons are most likely to consider recommendations from friends or family and government agencies as reliable sources for fuel quality information (28% each).

Consumers between the ages of 25 to 34 years are considerably more likely to believe information given by regulatory boards (36%) than word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family (29%).

A significant share of consumers find consumer advocacy organisations reliable sources for information (23%). On average around two in ten consumers in all age groups consider consumer advocacy organisations as reliable sources when checking about fuel quality at petrol stations.

Overall Britons are slightly more likely to rely on information found on social media groups (12%) than the oil company’s website (10%). Surprising it’s the middle group and older consumers who are more likely to rely on fuel quality information on social media groups than manufacturers’ websites – 35-44 (11% vs 8%), 45-54 (13% vs 8%), 55+ (9% vs 7%). On the other hand, younger Britons between the ages of 18 to 24 years are considerably more likely to say they find manufacturers websites (23%) reliable than the information found on social media groups or online forums (18%).

Among consumers who switch petrol stations frequently or occasionally because of quality concerns, nearly two in ten would be willing to pay a premium no matter the cost from a brand/petrol station with a reputation for high petrol quality (19%). Over half of consumers would pay a premium only if the price difference is reasonable (56%). However, 19% of consumers who switch don’t consider petrol quality as a significant factor in their pricing decision.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on June 23-26, 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2,152 adults in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, region and race to be representative of all adults. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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