Drivers demand motorway petrol cap

Drivers demand motorway petrol cap

A new RAC poll suggests almost half of drivers only fill their tanks on the motorway if absolutely necessary, with many attempting to boycott such service stations in protest at exploitative prices,

More than a quarter (26%) of the 1,463 drivers have already taken action and will no longer head to motorway garages to purchase petrol.

Motorway prices can be up to 15p more expensive than filling stations elsewhere, adding as much as £8 to the price of a tank.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "We can see no reason why motorway fuel should be so much more expensive. In fact, arguably it is much easier from a delivery point of view than it is getting fuel to urban filling stations. Questions need to be asked to find out what reasons motorway service operators have for charging such increased prices.

"We do, of course, have plenty of good news about forecourt prices at the moment as fuel has come down significantly in recent weeks and we are currently at levels not seen since 2010, but motorway service stations still remain much more expensive.

"Our research actually shows that almost a third of drivers would come off the motorway and add another 10 miles to their journey to find cheaper fuel.There is also a real concern that some motorists may decide to risk getting home with what they have left in the tank, rather than fill up at an expensive service station, and potentially run out of fuel. That presents a real danger, both to that driver and other road users.

"We're calling for motorway fuel retailers to be more reasonable with their pricing. In fact, a quarter (24%) of the drivers we surveyed would accept paying 2p extra at motorway services, but not an extra 10p."

Nearly three-quarters (74%) agree that motorway service station prices are "very expensive", while a further 63% say a ceiling should be put on these prices to make them comparable with non-motorway forecourts.

Just one in 10 motorists are happy for things to remain as they are. More than three in four drivers (76%) want to see prices displayed on the roadside before they pull off to a service station.

Nearly half (44%) say they only buy from these places where there is absolutely no alternative.

Mr Williams added: "We feel it's only fair that the motorist is able to make a choice about how much they want to pay for fuel before coming off at the exit and having to accept whatever they are presented with. It's not like anybody has a choice about whether they put fuel in the car or not, but they should not have to experience this 21st century form of highway robbery.

"We hope that the Government takes action - preferably within this parliament - to make the much-needed change to motorway signage as well as addressing the bigger issue of pricing to make it more affordable for millions of motorists to fill up at motorway services."

Copyright Press Association 2014