It’s a well-known fact that motorway service stations exploit their captive audience by charging over the odds for everything from fuel to food and drink. However, it’s not just a greasy burger and fries you’re being fleeced for, as a new survey by Which? revealed.

The consumer group analysed prices of common grocery items at a number of service stations across the motorway network to discover just how much more hungry travellers were paying.

Bananas were subject to a particularly high mark-up, with prices in some service stations six times more expensive than their normal supermarket cost of 12p.

Prices for the fruit varied by as much as 30 per cent between rest stops. And it’s not just fruit either, with bottles of water costing as much as £1.59, compared to the average supermarket price of around 38p.

Fleet services on the M3 in Hampshire was singled out for its high prices. Fancy a cheese sandwich? You’ll pay a whoppig £3.75 for one if you happen to stop there.

The Which? survey also highlighted the best and worst services in the country, with Tebay on the M6 in Cumbria being praised for its spotless toilets and fresh, locally sourced food.

A Which? spokesman told the Daily Mail: “The family-run business is slightly different from usual service stations as it sells home-grown and local produce in its farm shop and restaurant.

“It was the only location to get a full five-star rating and it achieved this feat in both food quality and toilet cleanliness.”

At the other end of the scale was Charnock Richard services, 64 miles south on the same motorway, it scored poorly for customer satisfaction, with long queues developing at busy times, and only offers food from the usual fast-food outlets.

Do you have a particular service station you avoid? Have your say below.

Picture: Flickr/Chuckoutrearseats

Daljinder Nagra


June 20, 2014