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 IAM calls for end to ‘rip-off’ motorway service area prices
Motorway service areas – are prices extortionate?

YOU’RE being ripped off if you have to use motorway service areas during the course of your van journeys, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Research by the road safety charity has revealed that M-way service area charges are up to four times higher than high street prices for basic foods.

Buying on the high street, you’ll pay around 95p for a 500ml bottle of water, compared with £2.09 at a service area. And the cheapest motorway cheese sandwich costs £3.99 – that’s £2.99 more than typical high-street prices.

And it’s not just basic foodstuffs where are sky-high prices are the norm – fuel prices also average around 10p a litre more than off-motorway forecourt charges.

Price comparisons reveal:

  • 500ml bottle of water – £2.09 (£0.95 London high street)
  • Plain cheese sandwich – £3.99 (£1.00 local high street)
  • Packet of Walkers crisps – £1.05 (£0.95 London high street)
  • Medium-size white coffee – £3.09 (£2.10 London high street)
  • Standard-sized Mars bar – £0.95 (£0.79 London high street)

Fifty-four per cent of those responding to the IAM survey consider the price of petrol at motorway service areas unreasonable.


Petrol price comparisons (per in pence per litre):

  • Hopwood Park M4 – 144.90 (132.9 off motorway)
  • Corley M6 – 144.90 (131.9 off motorway)
  • Michaelwood M5 – 142.90 (135.9 off motorway)
  • Strensham M5 – 142.90 (133.0 off motorway)
  • Pont Abraham, Wales M4 – 141.90 (133.9 off motorway)
  • Forton M6 – 141.90 (133.9 off motorway)
  • Sarn Park M4 – 133.90 (131.7 off motorway)
  • Heston Services M4 – 144.90 (132.8 off motorway)
  • UK supermarket average – £1.31

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  1. Hi Colin

    Good to see this getting some press. I got so annoyed with these prices, that I developed an app that lists all the supermarkets next to motorway junctions and put them in an Android and iphone app called ServiceSaver. I reckon each time you use it to fill up and grab some lunch it saves somewhere between £7 and a tenner.


  2. This survey has to be the biggest waste of time. Surely regular drivers realise the costs, it’s a convenience thing hence the prices my concern is though, surely the IAM should be spending charitable trust money on road safety initiatives rather than surveys about being ripped off, or are they a consumer charity now? Think this confirms they have lost their direction and focus?


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