Petrol/diesel prices

Ok, so me and 'er indoors have just completed a 450 mile round trip to visit family and friends oop norf. So I get it, fuel prices for obvious reasons have quite literally sky rocketed. My missus filled the tank on her petrol car about 4 days ago at £151.9p a litre. The journey from our little pocket of the South West revealed the varying prices across the usual fuel brand suspects as we drove through 8 counties to reach our destination.

Now, we never, ever, ever fill up at motorway fuel stations because that would be the most dumb ass thing in the world to do, especially when motorway fuel station prices are as we saw today, at least 15 pence a litre more than we paid to fill up our car a few days ago. I recently got rid of my diesel car. The last time I put diesel in that car in November 21, it cost me £1.43p per litre and today I saw diesel being sold on the motorways at £1.76p per litre. I was informed some time ago, that it is the Government who allegedly set the price of fuel at motorway service stations, nothing to do with the franchise holders. Upshot is, you have to be either a completely minted moneybags or financially inept to fill up at a motorway fuel station.

Another thing we were able to absolutely conclusively prove about our return journey, was the fact that my Wife’s car now achieves 8 miles per gallon less on the recently introduced E10 fuel. The previous petrol fuel grade, our journey would achieve on average, 50 mpg, so the new fuel is definitely less economical than the old stuff. We’ve definitely been conned on this new grade fuel, less mpg = more visits to the fuel station = more tax to the Government.


I filled up at a non motorway fuel station and it wasn’t much different to that for normal diesel.

Going to be committing to downhill journeys only at this rate!

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Not sure how widely available it is, but I get cashback from Tesco via Airtime Rewards (for links, see here: Airtime Rewards). I didn’t realise it includes fuel too, but it was a nice little bonus.

It is ridiculously expensive at the moment though. Our local Tesco has lagged behind in prices (thankfully) and only recently increased to 145.9p, previously 140.9p for unleaded. The next valley over is 150.9+ :sweat:

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Not everyone has a supermarket appear in their Retailers since Asda left.

Only Grocery in mine, for example, is Bother :man_shrugging:

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Yeah; I wasn’t actually aware until now that they filter retailers. I kind of feel like I’m being shortchanged now.

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You are poorly informed. The government do not set a price, nor a floor, nor a cap - hence why different MSAs charge different (but normally high) prices:
Petrol Stations - Motorway Services, Fuel | service station info

The primary customers of MSA fuel stations are those short of fuel (who will typically only take a few litres) and those with fuel cards (i.e. aren’t paying themselves).

I’m not sure a single journey could ever really prove such a thing.


Cleary, from the link you have provided. Amazing though isn’t it? how almost all motorway service stations irrespective of which franchise operates them, appear to be almost perfectly aligned on prices across the entire motorway network. As I say, I never ever use them myself anyway. If I know I’m going to do a very long journey and I’m using the motorway network, I’ll always plan a fuel stop at the nearest town off a key motorway junction. I can usually find a supermarket fuel station within a couple of miles off a motorway charging considerably less.

You’re exactly right, this is why our own proof hasn’t been based on one single journey. Although my Wife works almost entirely from home, she does have to attend meetings a couple of times a month at her office base some 130 miles away from our home. She noticed she hadn’t been getting the same MPG as she’d previously been getting and so specifically for this journey we’ve just completed based on previous journeys, including the previous 4 she had done back to where we previously lived, I monitored the overall MPG figure. Bottom line, it is worse by the figure I quoted previously. The car by the way is regularly maintained by our local dealership franchise and has no problems.

The problem I’ve highlighted is known about?

I’m also going to throw my prediction into the ring here, that petrol will hit at least £1.85p a litre and diesel at least £1.90 a litre the way things are currently going.

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Can’t say I kept a note of MOG before the change, so I can’t tell if there has been any difference at all with my Fiesta.

The bulk of my driving is on national speed limit roads though.

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My guess is, for those that don’t really travel long distances, much the same as me in my tiny little runnabout, one might not really notice the difference in overall mpg. As my Wife does have to occasionally go and see her parents who live some 240 odd miles away from us plus her work journeys, she has noticed the difference in MPG. Her driving techniques haven’t changed, she’s not carrying varying loads of different weights, it’s just bog standard driving, cruise control where possible on the motorways etc. E10 fuel might be better from an environmental perspective, but it’s definitely not better from a MPG perspective from our own vehicle perspective.


You are keeping track of them despite not using them?

Your argument is provable nonsense anyway - Petrol Prices reports that the price being charged for Diesel at the nearest 3 M1 services is as follows:
RoadChef/Shell Tibshelf - 169.9p
Moto/BP Trowell - 181.9p
Welcome Break Woodall - 175.9p

Like I said, the only connection is “they charge a high price” and the reason they do that isn’t because they’ve clubbed together or they’ve been told they must, it’s simply because they can.

Yes, I’m afraid so. It’s a form of adult ‘I spy’ because a 4 hour journey is quite boring without injecting something to keep the mind from going totally numb.

Our last tank fill before we left to come home, cost £1.49.9p per litre at a Coop garage, our local garage is currently charging £154.9 for unleaded.

At the end of the day, this is going to get far worse with average prices now coming in at over £7 a gallon in old money.

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This probably the main reason. I’d guess that most people who use them don’t care what the price is, either because they buying only a few litres, or because someone else is paying.

I think they also have to pay a high rent for the site, which probably adds to the upwards pressure on price.

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At 1.90 a litre for diesel prepare for 4-5 pound delivery charges.

It’s a number of interlinked factors tbh

  1. they will be paying premium rent as you mentioned, because it’s essentially exclusivity to a services point
  2. they’re 100% paying a premium for people to commute to the services etc to be on-site
  3. what else will you do? push your car?
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The operators own their sites. Most sites were sold off under the Major government in the 90s, having previously leased them out.

They’re 100% not: Moto | BP Forecourt - Retail Assistant - Donington Park Services (

What they do have to do is keep the things open with a minimum service offering (including clean toilets and a basic food/drink offer as well as fuel) 24/7/365.

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I stand corrected, they should be paying more I would not be driving to services for that unless they were giving a 100% discount on petrol + commute

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Something interesting I heard earlier.
Last time oil was £130 odd a barrel we were paying around £1.35 P/L for petrol, what’s the excuse tis time???

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Probably a mix of this, supply chain disruption remnants from COVID, parts needing shipping from Asia now have to go around Russia instead of over it (my friend for example instead of going over Russia had to go from Japan → Dubai → UK) and some other tidbits. It’s such a multivaried equation that it’s probably not easy to explain the price.


Most motorway services are no further away from residential areas than retail parks.

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Yeah, most will have a secret back exit which just takes you straight to a nearby village or town. Driving on a fully segregated carriageway does sometimes lead to the illusion that there is nothing but farmland and service areas either side of you but it isn’t the case.

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