The analysis of average fuel prices shows motorway services areas force drivers to pay more for petrol and diesel.
Drivers who fill up with petrol or diesel at motorway services stations are paying an average of £12 more than those who brim their tanks at supermarket petrol stations. The average cost of petrol at motorway service areas in September stood at 149.56 pence-per-litre (diesel was 152.46ppl), with the supermarket equivalent being 127.07ppl (diesel 131.44ppl).
That means a driver filling up an average family car with 55 litres of petrol will pay £69.85 at a supermarket, compared to £82.26 at a motorway services. For diesel drivers the figures are £72.29 and £83.85 respectively. Those opting to use non-supermarket off-motorway filling stations paid an average of 130.66ppl for unleaded, and 134.41 for diesel.
The data comes from motoring organisation the RAC, whose fuel spokesman, Simon Williams warned: “A dark cloud is hanging over forecourts as oil is at a four-year high and there is lots of volatility in the exchange rate due to the increasing tension of the Brexit negotiations.”
Such volatility means many will welcome the Prime Minister’s recent decision to freeze fuel duty for the ninth consecutive year.
Motorway petrol stations face inquiry over ‘exploitative’ prices
The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, previously announced high prices at motorway petrol stations will face an investigation. Grayling said he was “concerned” motorway services could be exploiting drivers, and that expensive fuel could discourage motorists from filling up, and therefore pose a potential safety risk.
In a letter to the Andrea Coscelli, head of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Grayling wrote: “I am writing to raise concerns and request that the CMA consider opening an investigation into the retail price at Motorway Service Areas (MSAs).”
He continued: “I am concerned that prices which are higher than other forecourts may exploit users in a situation where there is less choice and competition, and discourage motorists from stopping and re-fuelling when, for safety reasons, they should.”