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Refuelling with unleaded
Refuelling: do this at a motorway services station and you could be paying up to 10p more a litre than at a supermarket service station

 

TIME hungry company car drivers, forced to use high speed motorways, are being rinsed by the petrol giants inflating fuel prices as they ‘hold to ransom’ a captive market.

Now a survey of business drivers regularly using motorways has revealed most are demanding a price cap on the UK’s main commercial arterial roads.

The survey run by the RAC also heard that company car drivers wanted price information advertised ahead of reaching the next service station similar to the roadside price boards displayed on the Continent.

Essential fuel rules for motorway users

  • Avoid using motorway service stations because of the cost is usually much higher than smaller local outlets.
  • Encourage drivers to fill up at supermarket service stations where fuel is often cheaper and can involve earning customer loyalty points for drivers.
  • Don’t let employees risk running out of fuel on a motorway. Because, while not a specific offence, if police can show they knowingly entered the motorway without sufficient fuel to reach the next exit or a service station, a charge of driving without due care and attention may be made and net them anything between three and nine penalty points on their licence.

Fuel at motorway services can be up to 10p per litre more expensive than the national average price of petrol and diesel, prompting as many as 74% of drivers thinking the price of motorway fuel is ‘very expensive’ and 26% avoiding to buying any fuel at services.

Now the RAC is calling for urgent action to be taken to address motorway fuel pricing, either by motorway services’ fuel retailers themselves or at a government level.

Almost two thirds surveyed said prices should be capped so motorway fuel is no more expensive than non-motorway forecourts. More than a quarter would be happy with fuel being capped at just a few pence over the non-motorway price and only one-in-ten believe nothing needs to be done.

Of the 1,463 motorists in the RAC Opinion Panel survey, 44% said they only buy fuel at motorway services when they have no other choice because they feel like they are being held to ransom over the price.

There is also real concern about drivers risking their fuel tanks running dry rather than filling up at motorway services, posing a real danger on high speed accidents. In fact, 19% admitted to putting in ‘just enough fuel to get by’ at a motorway services to then find a cheaper alternative later.

The RAC, which deals with around 22,000 incidents of running out of fuel each year, says it is unacceptable that motorists should have to pay a premium on motorways.

Its fuel spokesman Simon Williams said:

“It’s no wonder that motorists feel held to ransom with prices on the motorways inflated to such an extent. In some cases motorway petrol and diesel might even be 15p dearer than the cheapest forecourts which would add as much as £8 to the price of a tank of an average family-sized vehicle.

 

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