Fuel confused - jus' cruising
Having just changed jobs and faced with a 150(!) mile commute daily I'm looking at what the best petrol is to help keep my '98 Escort healthy. All the petrol companies go on about increased lubrication, cleaning, etc, but is there really any difference between putting top grade(eg,BP Ultimate)in, or will I get the same result with supermarket petrol and a bottle of Redex at every tank refill?
Fuel confused - bell boy
shoot the car man and get something more economical, a petrol escort will bleed you dry on 150 miles a day.
\"a little man in a big world/\"
Fuel confused - Adam {P}
But if you do keep it, forget about any "special" fuel. You could forget about the Redex every fill to to be honest.
Fuel confused - Manatee
Shell seems to be competitive and is on HJ's 'approved' list. In my area, it's usually the same price as any nearby supermarket, so you shouldn't have a financial penalty.
Fuel confused - Red Baron
I have an 'only' 60 mile return commute of which 50 miles is 60+ or motorway.

Mine is a high revving engine (4000rpm at 75 in 5th) and I find that Shell optimax gives me an extra 3-4mpg. This recoups the extra cost. I can sense better pick-up from low revvs.
Fuel confused - oldtoffee
A decent fuel like Shell is probably preferable to supermarket fuel and the occasional squirt of Redex is a good idea. Keeping the car in good tune and the tyres at the right pressure will influence economy as much as the type of fuel you put in. If your Escort gives you 36mpg that's a hefty £4,230 a year at pump prices near me for Shell normal unleaded. If you had a diesel and you got 50 mpg you'd be nearly £1,100 better off a year which might be worth thinking about.
Fuel confused - MW
Neil S is right although I suspect that the 'cost to change' might be prohibitive for you if you are running an 8 year old Escort. Never mind, the key is not to have the vehilcle fail and be stranded for your commute.
I would not worry too much about types of fuel. Use the cheapest, plus a spot of Redex is fine. I would however keep this type of vehicle well serviced. At this milage oil changes and cam belt changes can arrive quickly and be put off. Resist. The key to old cars (I have one) is over-servicing. e.g. as worry about petrol type I would change the spark plugs more, plus all the rest. The value of your car on the market is peanuts, but to you it is worth a lot. No reason why with good maintanance it will not go on for enough time for you to get funds for a good diesel. One other tip. Travel on the motorway at 58-62 mph, and the economy will noticeably increase. You will arrive only a few minutes later.
Fuel confused - teabelly
Assuming 30 ish mpg you're going to be using £125 worth of fuel a week roughly assuming it is 75 miles each way rather than 150.... That's £6k a year on fuel.Can you rent somewhere closer to your new work place or even work from home a couple of days a week?

With this sort of mileage I'd be inclined to go for a cheap monthly finance deal on a new small car eg a panda, chevrolet thing or a yaris. They'll get 50 mpg and save you a chunk on fuel and some on ved. They'll also be cheaper to insure. Don't forget to tell your insurance company about your increased mileage if you assumed a lower one. The diesel 1.3 in the panda will get 60 mpg so you could nearly halve your current fuel costs compared to the escort. It's worth working out where the trade off between cost of buying a new/nearly new car and running your old one would be.

Fuel confused - jus' cruising
Thanks for all your help guys. The Escort is an estate, which I need, so that has to stay. I'm only travelling 30 weeks out of the year, and according to the pump figures, I'm getting 46 mpg (16 litres/day, 150 miles, £75ish/week), so the main concern is keeping the engine happy. I don't mind paying extra for "super" fuel if it's worth it, but it sounds as though bog- standard stuff with a squirt of redex will be fine. The point about servicing is gratefully recieved. Oil and filter change every 5000, full service every 10000 miles.
Fuel confused - mss1tw
Of course if it's been neglected so far, I wouldn't bother.

How many owners has it had? Is it likely to have been treated well in it's 'early' years?
Fuel confused - jus' cruising
FSH up to 2002, then DIY servicing. In good condition for year with very reasonable mileage, and I always get a car checked fully as well as serviced, and the report was very favourable. As it's essential for work etc I'd rather pay for servicing than risk something going wrong from neglect. May not stop the engine blowing up one day, but at least it won't be my fault (defensive motoring; stops the wife nagging).

Value my car