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Vehicle fuel additives offer to do everything from tune up your engine to boost your mileage and cut vehicle emissions. But do these easy-to-use magic potions live up to their extravagant claims? Or is there a better way to keep your vehicle at peak performance?

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What Are Fuel Additives?

Available from as little as £5, fuel and cleaning additives are simply poured into the fuel tank. The promise is that your car will run more smoothly, have better mileage and performance and record lower emissions. But do they deliver on that promise?

If you have an older vehicle with a higher mileage, then additives can be effective. Pre-1992 cars that are designed to run on leaded petrol will benefit from the right additive, and if you’re putting your car into storage then a fuel additive will ensure that it starts first time when you next use it. If you run a diesel vehicle, an anticoagulant can keep everything running smoothly when the temperature drops.

Are They Effective?

Specialist additives can keep your engine running smoothly or help you avoid a costly conversion. But additives that claim to clean your engine to improve fuel efficiency and emissions should be treated with caution. If you’re looking to get a cheaper deal on your motor trade insurance, then you’re better off going to a price comparison site like https://www.quotemetoday.co.uk/motor-trade-insurance/ than trusting a magic bottle!

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In fact, independent testing has shown that you’re better off investing in premium petrol rather than additives that can increase the cost of a refill by up to 50%.

What’s the Alternative?

If you’re concerned about fuel efficiency, then follow these tips from the RAC. Reducing your speed and having your car regularly serviced will do wonders for your fuel economy.

If you have a new car, then additives will be of no benefit whatsoever, as your car is already fully optimised for high performance. The same goes for an older vehicle that’s been frequently serviced and well maintained. Tests show that you’re better off using high-octane fuel if you want to experience a performance boost. The difference on a tank of petrol is only a few pennies, but it will achieve everything that an additive promises, and running your car with a tank of 98 rather than 95 petrol once in a while won’t do any harm.