Everything you need to know about choosing the right petrol for your car in Singapore


4.9 min read

Every new driver has been in this situation: you pull up to the pump at the petrol station and suddenly you’re faced with a choice—95, 98, or 92? What do those numbers mean and which one is right for your car? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll give you the full rundown on the different types of petrol available, current petrol prices in Singapore, and how to determine which one is the best fuel for your car’s engine based on your owner’s manual. By the end of this guide, you’ll be a petrol pro!

(Photo: Aspo Energy)

What the numbers on the petrol pumps mean and which one you should choose

Ever heard a rattling noise coming from your car’s engine when you accelerate? That’s called engine knocking. It happens when the fuel in the engine doesn’t burn smoothly and explodes in a messy way instead of a controlled burn. This can make your engine run less efficiently. 

This is usually because of low-quality petrol or when you use petrol with a lower octane rating than what’s best for your car. Higher octane ratings correspond with higher quality petrol that burns better within the engine. You can tell what the octane rating is by looking at the numbers on the pumps: 92-octane is the lowest, followed by 95-octane, and finally 98-octane.


This is the most common and affordable option and is suitable for most cars. You would use this if you have a standard vehicle for everyday driving. It’s the top pick for any budget.


This petrol type is a little pricier, but for a good reason—it helps to clean the engine and is more fuel-efficient because less of it is needed to produce the same amount of power. 

Using 98-octane petrol improves power and acceleration, but this difference is only noticeable in high-powered vehicles or sports cars that have better engines. 

In regular cars, the main pro is its resistance to knocking, which protects the engine. But at the end of the day, that benefit is not obvious in comparison to 95-octane petrol. Even though it’s not a problem to use high-quality petrol for the everyday sedan, it doesn’t necessarily mean better performance for your car. Instead, it’s best to save your hard-earned dollars and use the type of petrol that’s the most suitable for your car.


This is an older and cheaper petrol option that’s suited for less powerful cars. If your budget is tight, this might be the option you choose. But be warned, this petrol type doesn’t burn as smoothly and can lead to carbon build-up over time, which isn’t great for your engine.

While there aren’t any major pros or cons to using higher quality petrol for your vehicle, it’s not recommended to use petrol of lower quality than what’s suitable for your car because this can damage your engine in the long run.

(Photo adapted from: Team BHP)

How to check which type of petrol your car uses

It’s super easy to check which type of petrol your car needs. Just look in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the inside of the fuel cap. Once you’ve located your vehicle details, see if it specifies an octane rating like 95, 98, or 92. Then fill up your tank accordingly. 

Using the wrong octane rating can damage your engine over time and reduce performance, so it’s worth the extra effort to find the right fuel for your vehicle. Choosing the proper petrol for your car may seem complicated but following these easy steps will ensure many happy miles ahead!

Current petrol prices in Singapore and how to get the best deal

Petrol prices in Singapore cost can leave your wallet aching, so finding the best deal is important! Here are the current prices for the three types of petrol per litre and how you can pay less at the pump:

Petrol type Esso Shell SPC Caltex Sinopec
92-octane $2.85 $2.84 $2.85
95-octane $2.90 $2.90 $2.88 $2.90 $2.90
98-octane $3.37 $3.39 $3.36 $3.37
Premium $3.61 $3.56 $3.50
Diesel $2.74 $2.74 $2.71 $2.74 $2.73

To get the best deal on petrol, here are some tips:

  • Pay with a credit card that offers cashback or rebates on petrol. The UOB One, UOB 365, and Citi Cash Back Card are a few of the best credit cards for petrol savings, helping you save more than 20% at the petrol station. 
  • Petrol stations often have loyalty card discounts which can get you up to 10% off the pump price.
  • Use apps like Fuel Kaki to compare petrol prices from different providers. The app factors in discounts, rebates, and cashbacks to help you save.

Ways to cut down on your fuel consumption

To save even more money on petrol, tackle the problem at the source! The less fuel you use, the less you’ll have to spend. While you could fork out for premium petrol that’s more fuel-efficient, there are other ways to reduce your fuel consumption.

  • Slow down naturally instead of slamming on the brakes, as re-accelerating increases fuel consumption.
  • Coast more regularly so you don’t have to brake and re-accelerate.
  • Make sure your tyres are pumped up as flatter tyres create more drag that uses more fuel.
  • Clean your car’s air filters to ensure airflow to your engine.
  • Try not to let the engine idle because idling for more than 10 seconds uses up more fuel than simply restarting the engine.
  • Go for thinner tyres as thicker tyres increase fuel consumption.

(Featured photo: Carro)

Note: Information is correct as of 13 October 2023.

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