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Petrol stations cashing in on bank holiday drivers

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Motorists heading off for a break this bank holiday weekend are warned they could be subjected to “substantially higher” petrol prices.

Research by Green Flag – Best Direct Breakdown Insurance Provider in the 2017 Awards – found that some petrol stations are charging nearly 2p per litre more than the average service station price.

The study found that Scottish drivers are subject to some of the most expensive options, with the lowest priced fuel available around Kinross services in Perthshire and Abington services in South Lanarkshire priced at a significant 130.9p, much higher than the national average of 116.4p.

What’s more, the four worst offenders identified by Green Flag have no other petrol stations located within a five-mile radius, leaving motorists with little option other than to fork out on overpriced fuel.

Top 10 highest priced petrol in the UK
Nearest service station Highest price within five miles
Kinross services 130.9p
Abington services 130.9p
Southwaite services 126.6p
Happendon services 125.9p
Tebay services 125.2p
Membury services 123.7p
Michaelwood services 123.5p
Lancaster (Forton) services 122.2p
Watford Gap services 122.1p
Stafford services 121.9p

Source: Green Flag

Lucy Davies, spokesperson at Green Flag, said: “This is the last bank holiday before Christmas, so we want to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the long weekend to the fullest and not have to shell out for overpriced fuels.

“Nobody wants to be caught out with costs they weren’t prepared for. Green Flag urges drivers to avoid costly fuel prices by researching the roads and ensuring they find the cheapest fuel they can.”

Cutting your fuel costs

If you are looking to keep your fuel costs to a minimum, then it’s worth avoiding filling up in a service station wherever possible. Yes, they are more convenient to use if you’re on a long drive, but that convenience comes at a cost.

A study earlier this year found that motorway service stations were charging as much as 16p per litre more for petrol than rival stations, while government investigations have previously flagged how much more drivers will pay for their fuel if they stick to motorway stops.

It is less convenient, but coming off the motorway to find a better priced petrol station, and then resuming your journey can make a significant difference to the cost of your trip.

It’s also worth looking at, which can help you find the best-priced fuel in your area, while its regular email newsletter will keep you up-to-date with changes.

Loyalty schemes and credit cards

If you use the same petrol station regularly, then it’s worth checking to see if it is part of a loyalty scheme which can save you money at the pump.

For example, Shell operates the Shell Drivers Club, where you earn a point for each litre of fuel you buy. Those points can then be converted into vouchers.

Paying with a particular credit card can deliver further savings too. For example, with the Santander 1|2|3 credit card you earn 3% cashback on the money you spend on fuel each month, capped at £3 a month.

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