Drivers pay out 22p a litre more for fuel at motorway service stations

Have you ever pulled into a motorway service station and been stung by the unusually high cost of filling up your tank? Well according to new RAC figures, you’re not the only one.

Data from RAC’s Fuel Watch report found that motorists across the country are being hit by the so-called 18% motorway premium being levied on service station fuel.

The average cost of a litre of unleaded at the services is currently a shocking 149.6p, whereas the same litre of fuel could cost 127.1p at a supermarket down the road.

But despite a recent decline in wholesale petrol costs, the RAC is warning motorists to prepare for further price hikes on the forecourt — hikes that will hit hardest at service stations.

Costs are ramping up

It currently costs £82.25 to fill up the average 55-litre petrol family car at the motorway services, compared to £69.88 at the supermarket — a difference of over £12.

Figures show that diesel drivers are faring worse, with the average price of service station diesel currently 152.5p, compared to an average cost of 131.4p on supermarket forecourts.

That means it costs £83.88 to fill up the tank of a typical diesel family car, compared to a price of £72.27 if motorists fill up at a supermarket in town.

The figures show the costs for drivers using the UK’s motorways, and the savings they could make if they remember to top up before they head off on their journey, are quite extreme.

Dark clouds hanging over forecourts

Simon Williams, fuel spokesman at the RAC, said there is a dark cloud hanging over forecourts, warning that prices could rise further as uncertainty around Brexit increases.

He said: “While petrol prices were cut by 2p a litre at the end of the month due to a lower wholesale price, the biggest retailers should have been passing on those savings on a regular basis rather than saving them up for a headline-grabbing cut.

“Instead they were almost certainly hedging their bets based on the rising oil price and the fluctuating pound. This is sadly proof that rocket and feather pricing does exist among the major supermarkets.”

He added: “We believe motorists have the right to expect the biggest fuel retailers to reflect the wholesale price more closely at the pump, as they purchase more frequently and therefore can easily do this.”

Rising fuel prices getting you down? Take a look at our top 10 money saving tips to see if we can help you get your fuel tank going that little bit further.

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