Few people eagerly anticipate a visit to the gas station. The steep cost to fill up a tank is just one of the reasons to feel a little agitated as you pull up to the pump; figuring out which gas to select in order to ensure your vehicle runs properly can also be a quandary. Everyone wants to get a good price per gallon, but is it more cost-effective over the long-term to shell out a little more for premium gasoline each time you fill up? And just what is high-octane gasoline and why do so many filling stations and oil companies push it so hard?

In order to feel a little more comfortable that the nozzle you select is the right one for both your vehicle and your wallet, it's helpful to understand terms like compression ratio and octane ratings. Read ahead to get a grasp of some of the most important terms you need to understand in order to choose the right gas.