Is Shell V Power Nitro Right For You?

You know one of the things I don’t understand about Shell V Power and now Shell V Power Nitro, is there doesn’t seem to be any concrete research to say if it is better than regular petrol.

shell v power logo

If you love your car you need to know about this

If you ignore the stuff from Shell, all the reviews you read about V Power are from car enthusiasts or bloggers.

For some reason the main media doesn’t seem to be that interested in doing detailed research.

So to see if Shell V Power is worth the extra cost I’ve been through blog articles, forums asked mechanics and read whatever I could find on it.

Here’s what I found out and from what I can see this also applies to Shell V Power Nitro.

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Not All Petrol/Diesel Is The Same

When you go to fill up with petrol do you ever think about the quality of the petrol you’re putting in your car?

Most people don’t, but the fact is not all petrol and diesel is the same.

Basically V Power has been treated/prepared differently to regular petrol and diesel which is why it can be claimed to improve the efficiency of your engine.

However because regular petrol hasn’t gone through that process, no such claims of efficiency can be made.

How the petrol is treated/prepared is part of the reason why back in 2007 the supermarket petrol scandal only affected certain supermarkets and not the whole industry.

So when you fill up with supermarket petrol, there is a reason why it’s cheaper, the treatment/preparation is different.

But here’s the thing.

From what I’ve read the benefits of Shell V Power seem to be more of a long term play. It’s only through long term use that you really see the benefits of using V Power.

If you normally use regular petrol filling up occasionally with V Power isn’t going to give you any real benefit. You might as well just stick with your regular petrol.

So Should You Use V Power Or Regular

The story that best sums up the whole should I or shouldn’t I use V Power, comes from a mechanic I asked.

He said he let a customer use his personal car as a loner until the customer’s car was fixed and he gave him £60 to fill it up with petrol.

A few days later they exchanged cars back and the mechanic was driving his car and felt it was running rough. He checked it over but everything was ok.

A few days later the customer who had borrowed the mechanic’s car returned because he’d forgotten to give the mechanic change from filling it up.

The mechanic knew there shouldn’t be any change if he’d filled it up with V Power. The customer said he had used normal unleaded.

The mechanic said to me because he’d been using Shell V Power for years in the car he could tell the difference in the car straight away.

What Should You Do?

With my last car and now with my current car I only use V Power because I believe it does make a difference long term and I keep cars for a long time.

But if you’re going to be changing your car every 3 or 4 years, I don’t think there’s any point paying the extra because you won’t really get the full benefits Shell V Power gives you.

What Do You Think?

Read the comments below and have your say. Do you think Shell V Power is better than regular petrol or is it just a marketing ploy?

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  1. Tony says

    EVERY time I filled my calibra( 2.0 litre 16 valve) up with supermarket fuel it would run lumpy, tick over was poor, and would continually stall. Annoying in an automatic too. As soon as I ran it with Shell V-power, right as rain again….

    • says

      Thanks for that Tony. Never heard of that happening before. Did any warning lights come on when stalling. I would have said to get a diagnostic check on the car but if you say it cleared up, all’s good.

      • Tony says

        only the usual array of lights that come on with the ignition.. called RAC out once, fella cleaned out the idle control valve then told me to never use cheap supermarket petrol, older cars like mine don’t like it!

  2. Ranjit Singh says

    I used to use normal supermarket fuel in my car and used to average 210/220 miles in my 1.4 mk5 golf. However, after switching to v-power unleaded there is a major difference. Mainly being I get alot more miles out of a full tank of v-power; averaging now about 320/330; more depending on the driving. Also the performance of the car has improved, the car is running alot smoothly now.

    • Tim says

      I tried it in my Fiat Bravo 150 diesel for about 800 miles, I didn’t notice ant difference in performance or fuel economy.

      However i also use the petrol variety in my 1971 MG, it has a modified head and is high compression, there is a clear difference – smoother and a little quicker than normal fuels.

      Not sure if any conclusions can be made as the MG would have been designed to run on high octane in the first palce and I guess that’s what I’m feeding it now!

  3. Simon Hooker says

    I have a 16 year old BMW 323i (2.5 litre straight 6). The car can self-adjust to any RON from 91 to 98. For the last 5 years I have used Shell Optimax/V-Power/Nitro+. There is a noticeable difference for me, both in terms of pick-up (low speed torque & therefore power), and also in fuel consumption. I only use the power advantage on the road when needed, and overall I see a fuel consumption improvement of around 6%. These both make the price paid worth it. BUT be careful, the displayed price when approaching a fuel station is only for the 95 RON petrol, often the difference to pay for 99 varies quite a lot, but in all cases is worth it. I have worked as a fuel system engineer (not BMW) for a motor manufacturer. When I discussed this with our fuel chemist, her research and experience was that Shell is the best fuel, followed Esso and BP, and supermarket fuel is the worst (especially T**CO).

  4. Jon Daly says

    I am a tanker driver. Here are the facts all fuel is dispensed from a common tank regardless of which brand.
    v power, ultimate have additives added whilst loading. If you can afford to use these fuels. But I do feel that they are over priced.

    • says

      Hi Jon thanks for taking the time to comment and what you’ve said seems to confirm what Connor also said. Good to have you guys around so we all know what’s going on.

  5. martin says

    i used to drive 60 miles a day to and from work in a 2 litre vauxhall cavalier 16 valve with cheap supermarket fuel it was costing £50 – £60 per week changed to V-Power this dropped like a stone after 2 weeks it was costing £40 so i am a fan of the new nitro+

  6. Desktopsu says

    I bought a 2nd hand 51 reg 318i BMW back a few months ago 150bhp version petrol. On acceleration it was ok but a couple of flat spots through the range. Through the tank I used the petrol injector cleaners you can buy, in small plastic bottles etc. I have used 4 bottles now and it certainly helped but never quite cured the problem. After using three quarters of one tank, I noticed a big difference in using V power Nitro. I am now on the 2nd tank full and all the flat spots have gone and the car seems to have 20% more power from nowhere. Tickover on this 4 cyl is super smooth now as well. MPG at the moment has not increased though but the performance makes up for it. I should have forgotten the injector and fuel line cleaners and just gone to Nitro first as last. Only problem is I dont have a local garage!

  7. stephen says

    i use v power in my bike it’s a yamaha xjr1300 it works wonders but if i don’t use it the bike will start to hunt on tick over and tends to be a bit splutterie when running at 30 mph in town but when she’s got v power in the tank the engine and power is as smooth as silk only bad point is there is only one shell garage in dumfries and i live 20 miles away from it

  8. FDC says

    Some cars NEED higher Octane fuel (such as Shell V-Power) to allow the more tuned engine to cope with the extra work. Mine for example has a minimum requirement of 98RON, which leaves me two choices in the UK – 98RON V-Power, or Tesco’s Momentum99. As has been previously commented, Shell wins over any supermarket! In my example, V-Power is absolutely necessary.

    Otherwise, I always found the petrol to be an improvement in past cars, giving (perhaps psychologically) slightly better performance, whilst returning enough extra MPG to cover the extra 7p a litre.

      • Rob says

        I’ve been keeping detailed track records of my cars for years, one filled with vpower and one without. The difference is marginal at best in terms of fuel economy so that alone economically doesn’t justify the 8p difference (I see at best a 2p difference). However 99 ron nitro+ is IMHO better at keeping your engine smooth and clean and therefore I figure the £3 extra per fill gives longer term benefits compared to the hundreds of pounds servicing repairs might cost in the long run.

  9. Tigersimon says

    I use Shell V-power in my BMW E36 2.5 petrol. It makes a difference to performance, and to mileage. A fuel chemist where I work says only Shell and BP use their own refineries, and the quality is always good. From what she says, I would not touch supermarket petrol.

    • Connor Milligan says

      Well that is just flat out rubbish.

      All fuel for a specific area comes from the local terminal. All the file for that terminal comes from the same refinery.

      What happens is she the Shell driver fills his tanker up for a delivery a shell additive is added to the “raw” fuel to make it shell fuel, same for BP, same for ASDA, etc…

      So people that say supermarket fuel if worse, or she’ll fuel comes from a different refinery are taking rubbish I’m afraid. All the fuel for one local area comes out of the same tank!

      • Ron Rodney says

        That’s interesting to know Connor it sounds like you know what goes on at the refineries and you might be able to clear something up for me.

        I remember a few years ago when Tesco and Morrisons petrol damaged motorists cars, any idea why that happened?

        • Connor Milligan says

          What happens is at a petrol terminal (like the one up here in Aberdeen) the fuel, both petrol and diesel arrived by tanker ship and is pumped into massive tanks.

          All the drivers get told how much fuel they will be loading and pull their truck up to the gantry and enter in a unique number for the delivery they are about to do. The system them dispenses exactly the right amount of fuel that they have asked for. Thats why all fuel is essentially the same.

          this is where it gets different

          Some companies add and additive to the “raw” fuel to make is “Shell FuelSave” or “BP Ultimate” this is my there are slight differences in the fuel (the ONLY exception to this is V-Power, which comes from a different terminal)

          Supermarkets, as a rule do not add any additives to the raw fuel that comes out of the tank as this help them keep the cost down.

          the additives are usually things like detergents to help clean your engine. I believe that the trouble for Tesco a while back is that they started to add and additive to their fuel and got the mixtures wrong, too much silicone I think? (I could be wrong about that)

          further to my point about all petrol stored in the same tanks, the attached link is a photo is Pointlaw Terminal at Aberdeen Harbour.

          All of the North East of Scotland fuel gets delivered here from Immingham Refinery and all the fuel tankers are based here. as you can see from the large white tanks there simply wouldn’t be room to have a tank for each garage.

          • Ron Rodney says

            Thanks for the great explanation Connor, I’m sure that will help answer a lot of people’s questions.

  10. Nick says

    I have never been sure where they do this magical jiggery pokery. All petrol in a geographical area tends to come from the same refinery, thus it is the same petrol. My Dad designed refineries so I know that it is not likely to be a separate process there – although I guess it could be. A friend worked in a garage and said he saw nothing added so it was not at this point. Can you shed any light on what and where this process occurs?

    • Ron says

      No idea either Nick how they do it and the Shell V Power site doesn’t really say that much. But I’m still sticking with the V Power.

  11. Tomo says

    It’s all just marketing hype that you’ve also fallen for and just another excuse to get more money.

    Do you really think they want you to have a better running engine so you’ll use less petrol?

    There’s nothing wrong with supermarket petrol and if there was something would have been done about it by now.

    • Ron says

      I know a lot of people would agree with you Tomo and if it is just marketing it shows you the power of marketing because I think V Power’s good.

    • Ron says

      Thanks for commenting Jersey10 and you’ve got a point, it always comes down to what we can afford.

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