posted 4 years ago

Motorway Service Station Rip-Off?

Oh dear! Motorists pay up to forty per-cent more for everyday items at motorway service stations compared to the high street.

Oh dear! Motorists pay up to forty per-cent more for everyday items at motorway service stations compared to the high street, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists. As such, the road safety experts have reported that a 'large Snickers bar costs 90 pence from a motorway service area compared to 68 pence from a high street branch'. Furthermore, a 'regular coffee costs 16 per-cent more on the motorway' – and a 'packet of McCoys crisps was almost 45 per-cent more expensive than a shop on the high street'. The IAM has also revealed that petrol costs around 10 pence per-litre more than at off-motorway forecourts.

IAM Chief Executive, Simon Best, said: “We must end this motorway madness. Everything from sweets to petrol have an outrageous mark up.” He continued: “Our advice for tired motorists is always to take your rest break and have a coffee to help you freshen up. The danger is that rip-off prices will discourage people from getting the rest they need. Parking fines for drivers who sleep for longer than two hours put people off taking rest breaks.”

Motorway service station prices are higher – in part - because of supply and demand. In the high street, for example, motorists can purchase chocolate in various outlets – so prices must be competitive. In contrast, there are no kiosks in lane three of the M25, so service stations are the only supplier. Prices reflect this. The cheaper option is to buy petrol before the motorway, then rest at the services while eating a low cost packed lunch.

I rarely even buy a drink at the service stations, but Cafe Nero is at the airport and not too expen sive, so it could be done, and tea and coffee cost pennies to produce, so they could even offer a flask filling service at little cost and make a profit.

We have just had a moterway service open in Guisborough . Guisborough has 3 major supermarkets no more the half a mile away with free parking . Unfortunatly all other petrol station charge the same .Iam absoulutly suprised to see the peoplebuying any item from these garages and service stations . A total embargo on there use would sort the greedy grasping owners in to closing down .

Do what I do--go elsewhere--the more people who do this the sooner these rip off artists will realise that they cant get away with it forever!

When a business traveller I used motorway services only when absolutely necessary when time was of the essence. Stopped buying fuel anyway to save business overheads. Now a little bit of forethought on timing/mpg/common sense food planning means no need to use them at all. Over the years I have sussed out excellent, close to motorway pubs/garages/supermarkets for en route refreshment and much cheaper fuel on most of the UK motorway network throughout the country.

The price of the fuel at motorway service stations is outrageous. More to the point it takes some nerve to drive on when the price becomes clear when you pull up at the pump. Why cannot the fuel companies be obliged to display their brand and the prices say a mile before the services. The motorist can then make a rational decision to pull off or drive on. Come to think of it in the 'beginning' all service station signs used to have a petrol price displayed I suppose it more important now to tell you that you can get Costabuck coffee or Kentucky fried Burgers at the next services. I feel an e-petition coming on !!!

Granted that the motorway services have a captive market and do not have to compete with local shops, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that when the Government sold/leased the franchises to the service station sites they were incredibly expensive and that contributes in no small part to the prices that are charged.Sorry, just noticed Dean C. said basically the same thing.

The same could be said for the airports - time was when you could get a decent meal at the many places at the airports, nowadays they operate like a cartel, no competition for fairer prices, only competition to see who can get away with charging more and setting the trend; paid 85p for a pack of chewing gum at City Airport, was thoroughly disgusted & did not want to spend any longer even getting a coffee while we waited for our minicab! We are a captive consumer, so they take us for a ride, free of charge!

The real problem, and cost for the operatives, may be the requirement to provide services for 24 hours 365 days per year. The profit levels at 2am must be minimal so the rest of the day subsidies that cost. French service stations, in comparison, are clean, fairly priced and provide really good quality food, perhaps some lessons to be learned! Another major problem for UK operatives is the extortionate rent they have to pay to the Government, reduce this and prices could come down dramatically for motorists.

We all know they're a rip off so I personally I avoid them. Instead I try to find a supermarket near the motorway, that way I can buy a cheaper meal, fill up with cheap fuel and enjoy the feeling of having saved a few pounds. If more people did this then they'd be out of business and all because of their greed :-)

I fully accept "If you don't like it, don't buy it" but I would have thought that being a bit more reasonable when pay dividends in throughput. We recently stopped for a pee on the m3; my wife loked at the sandwiches - £3.85 for a simple BLT made us tighten our belts and drive on!

What's new? The service areas on motorways have overcharged since they first opened. This is not new and I think we all know the rip off deals. Is there nothing worthwhile to comment on?

The operators pay a hefty levy to the government for the privilege of running the service areas but it would very interesting to see what margin they make after that levy. Rather substantial, I suspect. I agree entirely with Bury Boy. Find a nice place just off the motorway and enjoy your stop.

Motorway service and Airports are both rip off's as they think they have a captive market that people will be willing to pay a one off overcharge


I think the service stations charge more partly to cover the costs of the motorists (a large percentage) that use the facilities but don't buy anything. In any case - pulling off the motorway into a small town and finding a local petrol station and a nice pub is a much nicer way of taking a break! Not always as easy, but always more pleasant.

I would say petrol station in general are more expensive on everyday stuff in or out of the main towns. 72p for 1 pint of milk, 90p for a bag of walkers crisps. Whilst their staff are paid minimum wage.

Absolute bloody licence to print money as there is no reasonable alternative. To cap it all they know this and it is evident in the "service" levels that are applied.