Price Trumps Performance

Most Millennials chose gas cost over long-term auto health, survey says

HOUSTON -- Nearly half of the Millennials (49%) in a new survey on gasoline purchasing habits and decisions regularly fuel up with unbranded gasoline. 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 that they are not putting the "best" gasoline into their cars for long-term auto health.

Price is driving these decisions, according to the study, conducted for Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco by Kelton, which surveyed 1,018 American men and women age 21 to 30 in July who drive and are primary purchasers of gasoline

Survey findings show that for more than half (54%) of those polled, cost is the most important factor when selecting which gasoline to use. In fact, 55% of respondents think the type of gasoline 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 gasoline, only 3% think this feature is key when selecting their fuel.

"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 of U.S. fuels brand management for Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco.

According to the survey, 98% of Millennial drivers who use unbranded gasoline would upgrade, with 45% willing to switch if branded gasoline increased mileage and 35% willing to make the change if they believed there was a difference in the quality of the fuel.

Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco are leading fuel brands owned by Phillips 66 Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips 66, and their Top Tier Detergent Gasolines are sold at more than 7,000 U.S. retail fuel sites.

Based in Houston, Phillips 66 is an downstream energy company with Refining and Marketing (R&M), Midstream and Chemicals segments.