The Best And Worst Places For Filling Stations.

Wednesday, 28. December 2011

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Are you finding it harder to fill up with fuel these days? It wouldn’t be surprising if you are because we’re losing filling stations like they’re going out of fashion, probably because they’re, umm, err, well, going out of fashion.We have seen a drop of 60% over the last 20 years from 21,000 at the peak to just 8,500 now. At the same time the number of cars on our roads has continued to rise, up to 31 million now. This is all very frightening because we are going to end up with queues of cars at garages waiting to fill up, something I’ve commented on before. It was interesting to read in This is Money the ratio of cars to fuel stations by region.

The worst place to be in is Fife with just 36 filling stations, 163,378 cars making the number of cars to filling stations 4,538. Must be a bit of a worry if you live in Fife. In terms of cars per filling station the top ten worst areas are:

Area Filling Stations
Fife 36
Berkshire 123
Hampshire 250
Northamptonshire 110
Buckinghamshire 125
Northumberland 33
West Sussex 91
Staffordshire 151
London 592
Essex 238

The best area to live in is Wales with fewer cars per filling station than anywhere els. Top of the list is Clwyd with 230 filling stations and 235,307 cars making the total number of cars per filling station 1,023. The top ten fewest cars per filling station are:

Area Filling Stations
Clwyd 230
Gwynedd 85
Powys 65
Dyfed 128
West Glamorgan 1425
Dumfries & Galloway 38
Highland 55
Cumbria 115
Cheshire 225
Merseyside 218

For those that think the supermarket giants have taken over the market, in certain respects it’s true. According to Experiean Catalyst’s Fuel Market Review the supermarkets account for just 14% of UK service stations but account for 37% of fuel sales. New supermarket sites are planned which will make it harder for the independents.

Quite clearly the convenience makes it more attractive for motorists even though the prices might not be massively cheaper, our local Shell garage is often cheaper than our Tesco garage.

Clearly many forecourts have closed due to lack of demand for fuel. Whilst there are more cars on the road they are far more fuel efficient and we are driving fewer miles but the warnings are there.

We may yet see the times again, as we did during the big fuel shortage, when people queue for hours for a rationed amount of fuel. On a slightly separate point I noticed that one large supermarket was giving 5p discount per litre at their pump if you simply bought a large jar of coffee or a box of 240 tea bags.

My initial view was – wow, must get some tea bags. But after getting out my calculator and comparing the price of the tea bags in Iceland I found that the tea bags were £1.20 more expensive, so to recoup the difference, before making a saving you would need to buy 24 litres of fuel.

Or, as the cost per litre at their pump for diesel was 139.9 pence you would have to spend £33.57 at the pump normally before you see a saving. A lady before me had put into her car £10 of fuel and handed over her discount voucher – conned!!!! By Graham Hill

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