Once Britons have filled up their cars, what do they do at petrol stations?
October 4th, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Once Britons have filled up their cars, what do they do at petrol stations?

Through YouGov data we know the role that factors such as affordability and convenience play in consumer preferences of petrol station brands and that around 25% of consumers switch stations occasionally due to petrol quality concerns. But given the wide array of services available today at British petrol stations, focusing on fuel as the sole determinant of consumer choices might not be enough. In this article we examine the other features that consumers are likely to utilise during their fuel stops.

Nearly half of Britons (48%) who drive/own a car say they typically purchase snacks or beverages from the petrol station shop when they stop by to refuel. Interestingly using the toilet facilities is the second most popular activity among Britons who drive, but at a significantly lower rate (22%).

Other actions UK respondents typically take at petrol stations include checking their phone (11%), taking a short walk (9%) and, for a safety conscious minority, cleaning their vehicle’s windows (3%).

However, unlike US respondents, a plurality of UK respondents (42%) pick ‘none of the above’ indicating that they don’t do anything but refuel when stopping at petrol stations.

What do consumers usually buy at petrol station shops?

A majority of consumers who shop at petrol stations say they usually buy snacks (90%) and beverages (76%), while more than two-fifths of them (44%) purchase ready-to-eat meals.

Car maintenance products like oil and windshield washing fluid are a popular choice with 15% of UK car owners/drivers saying it’s what they typically purchase from the petrol station shops. Lottery tickets attract one in ten consumers (10%).

About one in 15 respondents say they purchase tobacco products (7%), while fewer than one in 20 buy alcohol (4%) and personal care products from a petrol station shop (2%).

How much do consumers spend at petrol stations shops?

However, consumers don’t spend huge amounts at petrol station shops. A majority of consumers, nearly two-thirds (63%), who make purchases at the petrol station shop say they typically spend less than £5 on items other than fuel during a single visit, while about three in ten (30%) spend around £5 - £10.

Fewer than one in 20 respondents tend to spend between £10 - £20 (4%) and more than £20 (2%) every time they stop by a petrol station.

This information can help brands understand consumer preferences, and provides valuable opportunities for marketers to enhance their brand presence in this unique retail setting.

Discover more Automotive content here

Want to run your own research? Run a survey now

Want to run your own research? Run a survey now

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today

Methodology: YouGov polled 1,500 UK car owners on September 26, 2023. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, region, and social grade. Results are nationally representative of adults in the United Kingdom. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.

Image: Getty Images