Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Motorway services 'rip off drivers'

Drivers filling up at motorway services pay on average 77 pounds more per year than those using other stations

Drivers are being ripped off by "greedy" motorway service retailers, according to a survey by What Car? magazine.

Motorists pay far more for such items as petrol, food and drink than they would at high street outlets, the survey showed.

What Car? said it found a WH Smith motorway services outlet that was charging consumers a 91% motorway mark-up over its high street outlets on a 750ml bottle of water.

It added that Marks & Spencer also charged "inflated prices" in its motorway shops, including a 25% increase on a bottle of water, 16% on a sandwich and 15% on a large sausage roll.

Also, Burger King charged 12% more on the motorway than it did in its high street restaurants.

The survey showed that fuel was also more expensive at motorway services, with drivers having to pay an average motorway levy of 5.2% for unleaded fuel and 3.4% for diesel.

Consumers filling their fuel tank at motorway services will pay on average £77 more per year than they would if they filled up off the motorway.

What Car? editor-in-chief Steve Fowler said: "It is unforgivable for retailers to take advantage of motorists in such a brazen manner.

"With fuel prices at an all-time high, the 5.2% average motorway fuel mark-up is hard for consumers to fund, and a 91% mark-up on a bottle of water is utterly unacceptable.

"We suggest that all motorway users plan their journeys carefully and try to avoid using such greedy retailers as much as possible."

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