Brits pay up to three times as much for motorway snacks

2nd August 2017

Motorway service stations are notoriously expensive and us Brits are paying up to three times the costs for convenience snacks on journeys.

Undercover investigators from Admiral, undertook a secret shopper exercise and visited 21 service stations across the UK and bought the same items from each; a ham sandwich, sausage roll, packet of crisps, bag of Wine Gums and a bottle of water and a bottle Coke.

Usually this basket of items would come to approximately £6.18 in a supermarket. However, the same items can be as much as £15.78 at a motorway service station.

The ‘convenience tax’ is faced by drivers everywhere. The cheapest basket was in the North West as £12.58 and the most expensive was £15.78 in the South West.

The 21 stop-offs included the major motorways, such as the M1, M4, M5 and M6.

It’s not just snacks that were expensive. One service station on the M5 was found to be charging £7.99 for a cheeseburger.

Those who need to stop for petrol can’t avoid the convenience tax neither, with most service stations charging a premium of 20p per litre more than the current average.

Alastair Hargreaves, head of service at Admiral said: “Our research shows motorists are being hit with a snack tax when stopping at motorway service stations up and down the country when buying common car journey essentials.

“Families risk spending over the odds if they leave buying food, drink and fuel until they reach a service station.

“A few seemingly harmless items in the basket could add up to a lot more than they bargained for, adding greatly to the cost of a day-trip or holiday.”

Road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) surveyed over 2,000 motorists to monitor opinion of service station prices.

They found that 65% of drivers now refuse to stop unless it’s for a toilet break only and 51% found the prices of convenience food “unreasonable”

One of the major concerns of the IAM is that drivers are deterred by the high prices and therefore don’t stop for rest breaks from the wheel. Currently, figures suggest that fatigue is the cause of up to 10% of road accidents.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Motorway Service Areas are supposed to be for motorists to eat, drink and freshen up. It’s very important to have a break every two hours and these costs will put people off stopping.

“Tired motorists pose a danger to themselves and other road users.”




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