If you’re planning a getaway for the half-term, plan your route carefully and save some money on your fuel.
Just Tyres has assessed the UK’s motorways to find out which have the best and worst service stations for those planning a half-term staycation or a last-minute autumn getaway.
Watford Gap on the M1 was UK’s first services and opened with the M1 on 2 November 1959 but a lot has changed since then.
The report ranks Britain’s motorways based on how frequent its services are, how many road users each service station serves and what customer rating they have been given.
Below are some of the key findings:
- Scotland’s M74 is crowned the best-serviced motorway in Britain, with more frequent services than any other motorway, fewer visitors than and an average satisfaction score of 33.32 out of 40
- The M9’s services, also in Scotland, has the highest satisfaction score in Britain, with 40 out of 40
- The M27 has the worst satisfaction score for its services, with 25.7 out of 40. Its services are also the busiest in Britain with a daily average of 99,000 road users potentially using a single service station
- The M8 has ranked as the worst in Britain, with the most infrequent services (just one station for a 56 mile stretch of motorway) and a customer satisfaction score of 25.7 out of 40
- The M4 is about middle-ranked, along with much of the M5.
You can save fuel every day & on getaway trips with some simple tricks, said the IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.
You can treat yourself to an extra meal or two while away from home with those extra savings.
- Try to keep your driving smooth. Gentle acceleration and using the highest safe gear will use less fuel. Ease off the accelerator early for traffic lights if they are red – why hurry up to wait?
- If possible, try to avoid driving during heavy traffic. Stopping and starting in traffic needs the use of the first gear and a lot of fuel is used to get the vehicle moving again
- Keep your tyres well maintained by checking the condition, pressures and tread depth. When it comes to choosing new tyres, it’s worth having a look at ones which are designed for extra economy
- Get rid of unnecessary weight. Cars work just like the human body, it needs more energy to move around more weight and so does your car. Take heavy items out of the car if you don’t need to carry them. A roof rack or roof box will increase drag and you will use more fuel to overcome this, so remove it if it is not being used
- Nowadays, you don’t need to manually warm up a modern car, so once your windows are clear (a bit of elbow grease will sort them out) you are able to set off to your destination without having to wait around
- During this winter season, as your engine is trying to warm up it uses more fuel for the first four miles or so. Your engine stays cold when you drive less than two miles and your car will produce 60% more pollution than a warm engine – avoid these short journeys where possible
- Turn off the air-conditioning as it uses extra fuel. When the rear window is cleared turn off the rear screen heater – the more electricity your car has to produce, the more fuel it will use
- Keep your speed low as you can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%. Try pressing more lightly on the accelerator, often you can maintain the same speed with less pressure on the pedal
Richard added, “Fuel is expensive but a few small changes in the way we prepare our vehicles and plan our journeys can make a big difference in our fuel consumption. Remember that safety and fuel saving can be complementary if we drive effectively.”