Low additive, low-cost fuels went on sale at Portugal’s fuel station chains last Thursday with a price difference of just two to three cents from fuels with additives.
This saving will vanish on Monday as fuel prices will see an average increase of 2.5 cents to 3 cents on both gasoline and diesel.
The much-resisted government decree for Portugal’s fuel station giants to sell low-cost fuels to ease the pressure on drivers’ wallets has seen most companies selling low-cost alongside their 'premium' fuels and ending the sale of normal 95 unleaded and basic diesel.
Consumer watchdog Deco has yet to announce its fuel pricing findings but assures users that vehicle engines can work just fine using the new low additive fuels.
Car manufacturers also say that these fuels are OK to use as they all conform to a minimum chemical blend as defined in previous legislation.
In November 2012 Deco released a study on diesel being sold at Galp, Jumbo and Intermarché, and found no significant chemical differences to justify the different prices being charged i.e. diesel was diesel wherever it was being sold.
There exists an agreement that the big fuel retailers will never drop their prices to the same level as those supermarkets which sell cheap fuel, so supermarkets should remain a few cents cheaper per litre than filling up at Galp, Repsol, BP or Cepsa.
All-in-all, the consumer is better off by a couple of cents per litre due to the new legislation but now has less choice in many filling stations as most have stopped selling unleaded 95, selling only their low-cost fuel alongside their super premium fuels.
Look for the plain black plastic container on the bottom shelf...