Survey Shows Millennials’ Gasoline Buying Habits

Price is key factor for Millennials in selecting gasoline type.

Leading gas station chains Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco have released the results of a nationwide survey that evaluated millennials’ gas purchasing habits and decisions.

The survey was conducted by Kelton between July 19-25, 2012, among 1,018 American men and women age 21-30 who drive and are primary gasoline purchasers, using an email invitation and an online survey.

The survey found that nearly half of respondents (49%) regularly fuel up with unbranded gasoline, despite the fact that it is known to cause engine deposit build-up over time that can inhibit gas mileage and engine performance. While 84% of respondents say they are more likely to care about their car’s engine performance than its appearance, one in four (25%) millennial drivers admits they are not putting the best gas into their cars for long-term auto health. What’s driving these contradictory gas decisions for today’s millennial drivers? Price.

Survey findings prove that for more than half (54%) of those polled, cost is the most important factor when selecting which gas to use. In fact, 55% of respondents think the type of gas they use does matter for performance, but only 42% are likely to take the brand at the pump into consideration before purchasing. And while nearly half of respondents (41%) think additives signify quality gas, only 3% percent think this feature is key when selecting their gas.

“What this survey tells us is that millennial drivers care about their cars, but they’re quick to use the gas that they think will save money in the short-term, without considering the performance impacts the resulting engine build-up may be causing long-term,” said Tami Walker, Manager, U.S. Fuels Brand Management for Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco. “We know that TOP TIER Detergent Gasolines, like our fuels, which offer more detergent additives than legally required, improve car performance almost immediately. We’re committed to demonstrating to young drivers the value and benefits from Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco branded gas, and consistently offering high quality fuels that provide cleaner intake valves and fuel injectors within the first five fill-ups.”

According to the survey, 98% of millennial drivers who use inferior gas would upgrade, with 45% willing to switch if superior or branded gas increased gas mileage, and 35% willing to make the change if they believed there was a difference in the quality of the gas.

“Millennials think they’re saving money by seeking out cheaper gas, but what they don’t realize is that the unbranded gasoline they’re buying actually can cost them money in the long run by compromising their fuel economy and causing build-up in their engine,” said Jessi Lang, host of Motor Trend’s “Wide Open Throttle” and Phillips 66 spokesperson. “By using branded TOP TIER gas like Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco, these drivers can clean up their engines and accrue significant savings over time, especially now that these brands have had the detergent additive treat rate increased by more than 25% in all fuel grades.”






  1. I have been in the C-store and fuel industry all my life and at 29 years old I can tell you no one my age cares about brand. This is why the QT, Sheetz, Wawa and even the kangaroo brand do so well . We own 10 C-stores and when I debranded I saw a huge spike in volume. Brands are a think of the past and private label is the wave of the future.

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