With petrol prices through the roof, it may be cheaper to fill up at stations off the motorway, according to a minister. New figures reveal that petrol prices have hit another record high at £1.67 a litre and £1.80 for diesel.
Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan told LBC Radio that she no longer uses motorway petrol stations and advises consumers to do the same.
She said: “Part of the price hike is not some sort of bad form, it is because the price of the wholesale oil and gas that they are buying has gone up – there is an energy price spike and part of our bill is that.
“But for those who are choosing to charge more – motorway petrol stations for instance, are particularly rapacious in the pricing that they pitch because presumably they know that if you need to fill up on the motorway you are just going to have to fill up – can certainly do more to demonstrate their commitment to help their customers.”
Asked what the Government could do to stop petrol price hikes, Ms Trevelyan said that it was partially up to consumers to drive down prices.
She said: “We have a lot of control here as consumers. We can make choices which drive that and we need to make sure that we are doing that.”
Instead of buying petrol at a motorway station, Ms Trevelyan purchases her fuel at local stations due to the significant savings.
She said: “I make sure I stop at a turn-off, get something to eat, and then I go to where there are three or four supermarkets in one place, where the prices are literally 30p cheaper a litre.”
Ms Trevelyan defended Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s response to the “energy price shock”, pointing to a recent 5p cut on fuel duty and claimed that he keeps “everything under review”.
Motorway petrol prices are notoriously higher than local petrol station prices and supermarkets. Drivers low on fuel on the motorway shouldn’t avoid filling up, however, as this could lead to a breakdown.
The recent spike in energy prices prompted Brean Horne, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, to compile a list of tricks motorists can use to save petrol.
Mr Horne says motorists should always check their tyre pressure and that under-inflated tyres cause a vehicle’s engine to work much harder than normal – increasing fuel consumption.
He also recommends cutting out short journeys in the car, which use more petrol, and switching off the engine if you are stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic.
Finally, consumers can take out fuel loyalty cards offered by shops and petrol station brands to take advantage of the savings offered by retailers.