UK service stations are not up to scratch according to a survey of commercial drivers carried out by fuelcard reseller The Fuelcard Company.
The poll of 1,430 of The Fuelcard Company’s fleet customers, found that 25% of drivers do not use service stations because they are too expensive and instead seek out supermarkets for their fuel and travel provisions.
Respondents also criticised service stations for their poor quality food, limited choice and low standards of cleanliness, whereas supermarkets – predominantly Morrisons – were deemed to be more convenient.
Furthermore, 4% of commercial drivers said they preferred service stations abroad which were cleaner and had friendlier staff.
When quizzed on the reasons behind their choice of rest-stop, drivers cited convenience as the biggest influencing factor, with 29% choosing to use the site closest to their depot or warehouse.
Food and price also featured at the top of the list, coming joint second as the most important reason for choosing a particular rest-stop.
Jakes de Kock, sales and marketing director at The Fuelcard Company, said the findings should be a wake-up call for service stations.
“The cost of using UK service stations has been creeping steadily upwards over the past few years, however these survey results show just how far the facilities have fallen in the estimation of hauliers and commercial drivers,” said de Kock.
“The fact that drivers are making a conscious choice not to use them and are instead prepared to turn off the motorway to seek out cheaper supermarket sites shows just how bad the problem has become. Service stations need to address these issues before they go out of business.”
Commercial drivers also cited security, noise level, availability of parking, accessibility and good showers as reasons for using particular rest-stops.