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Just how expensive are Motorway Service Stations?

We all know that motorway service stations are super expensive but have you ever wondered exactly how much more you would pay at a service station than at a supermarket?

A couple of weeks ago we traveled from the North East of the UK down to Portsmouth to catch our ferry to the Isle of Wight and with 2 adults, 2 teenagers and a tween in the car we stopped more times than I’ve told you that meal planning is the way forward!

(Possibly not actually but you know what I mean :-))

We were a bit late setting off thanks to a few work dramas so the packed lunch I’d carefully prepared was gone before we even got to the next town and toilet stop requests started shortly afterwards!  The cost of drinks and snacks in the service stations we stopped at were astronomical and as for the petrol, that was just ridiculous!

I commented to Mr Frugal what a con it was and he just shrugged his shoulders and said ‘What do you expect, it’s a service station’ which is right in a way but actually we don’t need to accept the ridiculous prices they charge, do we?

A recent survey conducted by Confused.com showed that the 20 million drivers estimated to have traveled last weekend over the busy Bank Holiday weekend could save up to £24 by planning their journey breaks more carefully than we did when we traveled and driving around 10 minutes extra to get to a supermarket rather than a service station.

Confused.com asked a number of mystery shoppers to visit motorway service stations across the country and purchase fuel, as well as convenience items such as sandwiches, crisps, water, chocolate, sweets and car oil.  This landed them with an eye-watering bill of £103.49 or £101.95 on average, the price varying slightly depending on fuel type (diesel and petrol, respectively). The same mystery shopped then drove to the nearest supermarket to compare prices, where the average fuel and snacks bill coming to a much better amount of £79.20 (diesel) or £78.56 (petrol).

That’s a huge difference and it’s based on things that you really might buy too so it’s very interesting to me to think how much you can save for an extra few minutes on your journey.

I had a little try myself as we were popping to the Metro Centre a couple of days ago.  We stopped at a service station on the way and drove a couple of minutes away from the motorway (about 6 minutes) and compared the prices:

Prices @ 29/08/17  
Motorway service / fuel  station Supermarket fuel station Saving

(difference in price)

Diesel 120p/l 110.7/l 9.3p/l
Petrol 119/l 110.7p/l 8.3p/l
1 litre of car oil £15.99 £9 £6.99
Crisps £0.99 £0.69 £0.33
Chocolate £0.79 £0.50 £0.29
Water £0.99 £0.50 £0.49
Sandwich £3.37 £1.91 £1.46
Confectionary £0.89 £0.59 £0.30
Soft drink £1.75 £1.19 £0.56
Costa Americano £2.60 £2.60 Same

There’s a handy little tool that Confused.com have designed which you can use to check out the petrol prices in a particular area so you can plan your journey to fit in with  cheaper priced petrol station because a couple of pence here and there makes a big difference when you’re filling up.

So don’t forget, if you plan your journey and are willing to drive a few minutes more then you’ll save money!

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The post Just how expensive are Motorway Service Stations? appeared first on The Diary of a Frugal Family.



This post first appeared on The Diary Of A Frugal Family - Living A Fabulously Frugal Family Life, please read the originial post: here

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Just how expensive are Motorway Service Stations?

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