Highway Robbery: Service station snack tax revealed

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Motorway munchies cost 117% MORE on average than the same supermarket snacks

  • New Admiral investigation reveals inflation on snacks and drinks at motorway service stations following UK-wide mystery shop
  • Water is the most overpriced service station purchase, costing up to 420% more than in supermarkets despite being available for FREE in most service stations
  • Durham services revealed as the most expensive snack-stop in the investigation

The shocking extent to which motorists are being ripped off when they stop at motorway service stations to stock up on snacks and drinks for their journey has been revealed in a new investigation from Admiral Car Insurance

Conducting a mystery shop at 21 motorway service stations across the UK to gather prices for a cheese sandwich, refrigerated sausage roll, packet of ready salted Walkers crisps, packet of wine gums, bar of Dairy Milk chocolate, bottle of Coke and bottle of water, Admiral has revealed motorists are paying on average 117% more for the same goods compared to a supermarket.

Water is the most overpriced – and its adding to plastics

Looking at individual items, bottled water saw the highest mark up at service stations across the UK, not least because the item is available for free with a refillable bottle at all service stations.

Beaconsfield was the worst offender, charging an extra £1.85 for a 500ml bottle of water than the average supermarket cost of £1.67, equivalent to a 420% mark up.

Top 10 most expensive bottles of water at motorway services

Rank

Service station

Region

2019 price

Difference in price to 2018

Difference to supermarket price

% Difference to supermarket

Number of outlets offering free water refills

1

Beaconsfield

London

£2.29

N/A

£1.85

420%

4

2

London Gateway Services M1

London

£2.10

£0.40

£1.66

377%

1

=3

Birchanger Green Services M11

London

£1.80

£0.10

£1.36

309%

1

=3

Burtonwood Services M62

North West

£1.80

£0.15

£1.36

309%

1

=3

Hopwood Park Services

West Midlands

£1.80

£0.10

£1.36

309%

1

=3

Hartshead Moor Services

Yorkshire

£1.80

£0.10

£1.36

309%

1

=3

Cardiff Gate Services M4

Wales

£1.80

£0.10

£1.36

309%

1

8

Bothwell Services M74

Scotland

£1.79

£0.04

£1.35

307%

1

9

Durham Services A1(M)

North East

£1.75

£0.00

£1.31

298%

1

10

Lancaster (Forton) Services M6

North West

£1.75

£0.05

£1.31

298%

5


 

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