If you require a quick answer, the best engine oil is the Castrol Edge 5W-30, which is a fully synthetic oil that’s designed for maximum performance. However, if want a top-rated budget oil, you can’t go wrong with the Comma XTech formula.
After many years of changing the oil on cars as well as using a range of oils, we have plenty of experience to choose between the hundreds of options on the market. Therefore, our recommendations in this article are based on testing, the latest research and multiple factors such as the oil’s specification, additional qualities that make them unique and value.
Best Engine Oil Overview
- Best Overall: Castrol Edge
- Best For Diesels: Mobil 1 ESP
- Best For Protection: Castrol Magnatec
- Best For All-Rounder: Mobil Super 3000
- Best Budget 5W-30: Comma XTech
- Best Budget 5W-40: Triple QX SynPlus
Keeping to the servicing schedule of your car and using the correct oil is crucial to maintaining a smooth-running engine. If this is the first time you are changing your car’s oil yourself, we have written an in-depth guide on how to change the oil in your car that walks you through each step.
Below is a list of the best engine oils that are available in several different blends and viscosity grades.
The Best Engine Oil
1. Best Overall: Castrol Edge 5W-30 Full Synthetic
Castrol is one of the most well-known brands in the engine oil industry and they produce a wide range of oils. The Edge formula is their most popular option that offers improved wear protection and maximum engine performance.
For drivers of performance-based cars, this engine oil is probably the recommendation within your owner’s manual. It’s boosted with Titanium FST, which is proven to provide extra oil strength for engines that work at higher pressures.
To conclude, the Castrol Edge 5W-30 is the best engine oil for performance cars and the recommended option for most Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, Mercedes, Skoda, Seat and other petrol engines. The main drawback is that it does come with a premium price tag but if you want the best for your engine, it’s the ultimate choice.
2. Best For Diesel: Mobil 1 ESP Synthetic Engine Oil
Mobil 1 is another highly reputable engine oil brand and their ESP 5W-30 is one of their most-rated oils. This is because it’s very popular among diesel drivers because it assists with cleaning the DPF by reducing particulate build-up inside of the filters.
Another standout feature of this engine oil is the cold weather performance, which many other oils lack. According to the brand, the oil provides quick starting and ultra-fast protection even in extremely cold temperatures.
Although it’s one of the most expensive oils on the market, it’s proven to be one of the best and used by premium manufacturers such as Porsche and Bentley. Unlike many of the alternatives, the ESP formula not only improves performance but also provides additional cleaning power for older or high-mileage vehicles too.
3. Best For Protection: Castrol Magnatec 10W-40 Semi Synthetic
Another engine oil by the Castrol brand that’s just as popular is the Magnatec formula, which is designed for engine protection. The brand state that the oil clings to your engine and forms an extra layer, which acts as a protective layer during start-up and for all driving conditions.
The main difference between Castrol Edge and Magnatec is the additives that are used in the engine oil. The Edge formula uses titanium FST, which provides additional oil strength under pressure and is best for performance cars. Whereas the Magnatec formula uses a different blend to cling onto the engine for additional protection.
For those that require a protective oil that’s designed to prolong the life of the engine, the Castrol Magnatec is perfect. It’s compatible with most engines and ticks all the boxes in terms of protection in both low and high temperatures.
4. Best All-Rounder: Mobil Super 3000 Full Synthetic
The Mobil Super 3000 is another full synthetic engine oil by the brand that provides enhanced performance and protection. It’s suitable for a range of petrol or diesel engines of any age and according to the brand, it will noticeably reduce engine noise.
Considering that it’s a Mobil 1 full synthetic oil, the Super 3000 formula offers great value for the money. It’s an excellent all-round engine oil that improves engine cleanliness and promotes maximum performance.
5. Best Budget 5W-30: Comma XTC5L XTech Fully Synthetic Oil
For those on a tight budget and require an oil that provides excellent performance, the Comma XTech is the best option. It’s a fully synthetic blend that’s made in the UK and is suitable for petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.
According to the brand, their synthetic engine oil has been designed to provide maximum performance as well as noticeably improved fuel economy.
The Comma XTech is one of the most highly rated budget engine oils on the market that offers great value for the money. The fact that it’s fully synthetic and made in the UK but still one of the cheapest is highly impressive.
6. Best Budget 5W-40: Triple QX SynPlus Car Engine Oil
Another cheap engine oil option is the Triple QX SynPlus formula, which is highly rated and available in a large 5-litre bottle. It’s also a 5W-40 viscosity oil that’s suitable for a wide range of vehicles in the UK.
The Triple QX SynPlus is a cheap synthetic oil that’s a fraction of the price when compared to oil from much larger brands. It ticks all the boxes that you would expect from an affordable engine oil and it won’t disappoint.
How We Rated The Engine Oil
After many years of changing the oil on cars that range from an Audi RS6 to budget daily cars, we have used and tested several different oils. We also have extensive knowledge to base our recommendations on in this article because as well as testing, we also rated the oils on their specification, additional qualities and value for the money.
During our testing, we tested engine oils from the most reputable UK brands. We also tested both premium and budget oils because for certain vehicles, it may not be worth the added investment of a performance-based oil.
To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest engine oils (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice a brand has released a new and improved blend of oil, we will attempt to purchase it and test it during our next oil change (where applicable).
Below is a video we posted on our YouTube channel from a recent engine oil change that we carried out. As you can see in the video, during this test, we changed the oil by emptying it via the sump but you can use an oil extractor to perform the oil change too.
Maintaining your car with the correct oil isn’t something you should ignore as it can lead to expensive repairs later down the line. There are hundreds of different oils available but you should always double-check the owner’s manual to find the correct specification for your car. Many brands will also offer a “car checker” in case you cannot find your documents.
All of our recommendations are suitable for every budget and can be used in the majority of UK vehicles. Rather than letting a garage change the oil, doing it yourself with one of the recommendations above can save you a lot of money. You will also have peace of mind that the oil you have purchased is the one being used in the oil change.
If you require further information with regards to the engine oils we’ve listed in our roundup, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.
Car Engine Oil FAQ's
The best engine oil for your car needs to be the right grade (i.e. 5W-30) and meet all of the technical specifications (i.e. ACEA, VW and so on). Therefore, it’s crucial that you find out this information before purchasing any engine oil.
In terms of finding the correct engine oil for your car, you’ll be able to find the exact grade and specification in your car’s handbook. Alternatively, many websites such as Amazon, Euro Car Parts, GSF and many others will be able to tell you based on your car’s registration.
It’s important to note that there may be scenarios where you require different engine oil than what’s stated in your handbook. For example, the car may be relatively old, high mileage, suffering from problems (i.e. DPF issues) or you may even be taking it on a track day. If this is the case, there may be a better-suited engine oil for your car.
The amount of engine oil you’ll need for your car varies depending upon several factors. For example, the number of cylinders, engine size and other factors make a difference in the quantity of oil required.
In terms of finding how much oil your specific engine requires, the exact amount will be stated in your car’s handbook. Alternatively, you may want to ring a professional or dealership and provide them with a VIN number. From the VIN, they’ll be able to check a vehicle database to see what quantity is required.
As long as the engine oil you buy hasn’t been opened and is stored at room temperature, it should last between 2 to 5 years. However, it’s worth checking the bottle for any stamped expiry dates for complete peace of mind. It’s worth pointing out that if you’ve opened the bottle of engine oil, you’ll want to use it up within at least a year.
If you have never poured engine oil into your car’s engine, you may be wondering where it goes. In short, you’ll want to look for the oil filler cap in your engine bay, which may have the word “oil” or an outline of an oil can printed onto it. This is where you will pour the engine oil and ideally, you’ll want to use a funnel to avoid any spillages. For further information, we strongly recommend reading our guide on how to change engine oil.