Warning over service station prices

Day-trippers may find that their journey is more expensive than the rest of their day, according to a survey which has found that motorway service stations are hiking prices.

The Which Car Survey found, after visiting 50 sites, that a bottle of water costs four times as much as in a supermarket, while diesel was also 13p a litre more than at non-motorway service outlets.

However, toilet facilities in motorway service stations were generally clean and well-presented, according to the magazine.

Richard Headland, Which? Car editor, said that motorists should use service stations for toilet breaks and to have a rest from driving but remember that prices are often high.

He advised: "Buy food and drinks from a supermarket in advance and fill up your car from your cheapest local fuel station before you leave home."

Philip Gomm, of the RAC Foundation, warned that service stations were there to encourage drivers to take a break, and if the price of products puts them off the rate of accidents may be affected.

He added that if service station contractors say they need to charge higher prices to stay in business, there might be a case for the Government subsidising them to maintain vital services.

Copyright © Press Association 2009