Motorway service station operator slashes fuel prices as part of trial

The UK’s largest motorway service station operator has cut fuel prices at some of its filling stations by 8p per litre as part of a trial to attract more customers.

Moto, which runs 47 service stations around the UK said the trial aimed to provide better value for motorists and, if successful, could see similar reductions at all its sites.

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The initial three-month trial will see petrol and diesel prices reduced by 8p per litre at three locations, bringing them down to 111.9p per litre and 117.9p per litre respectively.

According to Moto, that should make both fuels cheaper than at the average local filling station and bring them to within 5p per litre of the average supermarket price. RAC Fuel Watch shows the average price of unleaded at 113.52ppl and diesel at 117.28ppl.

The trial is being run at Donington Park Services on the M1, Lancaster North and South on the M6 and Frankley North and South on the M5.

Moto says the trial will bring its forecourt prices below local averages (Photo: Shutterstock)

Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Moto, said: “Times are tough and we know from our customer insight that motorists want to see lower fuel prices to help them make their money go as far as possible. We are hoping that, subject to a successful trial, we will be able to roll out these fuel price cuts to all of our Moto operated petrol stations.”

Motorway service stations have long been accused of ripping off drivers by charging far more for fuel than other nearby operators. Research in 2019 found that some service station forecourts were charging up to 37ppl more than supermarkets less than five miles away.

Moto said that its fuel prices reflected the additional costs of its locations and running 24/7 operations, as well as selling lower volumes than supermarkets and factoring in oil prices and taxation.

Mr McMeikan added that he had written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for an immediate cut to VAT on fuel similar to that announced for the hospitality industry. He said: “A cut in VAT on fuel would instantly put more money into people’s pockets at precisely the time they need to be travelling again for work, visiting loved ones and during the expected increase in staycations.”