MA gas prices up by a penny, expected to fall

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But premium fuel, which is typically about 25% more expensive than regular gas, may not offer enough benefits when you consider what you're paying for it.

Are you ever tempted to buy that premium gasoline at the pump? Gas prices have decreased 23 cents from last month's average and have increased by 6.9 cents from last year's average. But is there any benefit for higher-end models that recommend but don't require high-end fill-ups?

While some vehicles are created to run on premium octane gas, others just recommend it.

The American Automobile Association on Tuesday released study results that show premium fuel doesn't boost performance of fuel economy in cars not designed for it.

The research suggests premium fuel works best on engines calibrated specifically for high octane.

In a study released previous year, AAA found consumers wasted almost $2.1 billion fueling vehicles that neither recommended or required premium gasoline.

In some cars, usually luxury models, Premium fuel is actually required, not just recommended.

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Interestingly, according to AAA's research, this myth is so hard to extinguish because it holds a grain of truth in it-AAA found that fuel economy did increase in the vehicles tested, but by a tiny amount: an average of just 2.7%; and horsepower did rise, but by a similarly piddly amount: an average of just 1.4%.

Locally, the average price for one gallon of unleaded gas December 10 was $2.24 - three cents per gallon lower than the previous week. "Fewer than five years ago, only a 10 percent gap existed between premium and regular".

Because prices for premium vary greatly across the USA, both AAA and GasBuddy urge drivers to shop around for the best prices.

So even if the manufacturer recommends it, premium gas may not be worth it, given the premium price, AAA researchers have concluded.

"As the focus continues to broaden beyond the rest of the year, motorists who found this year's gas prices high may want to begin setting aside some additional funds for next year as all signs continue to point to higher prices than this year", said DeHaan. Premium gasoline, that exclusive liquid reserved for only the choicest drivers and vehicles, may be a big waste of money for most drivers, the national autoclub says.

"In Chicago, some gas stations are charging $1 per gallon more", DeHaan said. Today, that spread has doubled with premium gasoline costing nearly 50 cents more per gallon and is still climbing. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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