Although I hail from a big city, I never passed my driving test in one. As such since passing my test the choice of petrol stations locally have been limited and in fact two of the local ones have a total of only 6 pumps between them!
And there is nothing wrong with that, you can merrily dispense your fuel then pop in to speak to the chaps behind the counter and pay. I always experience great service with a smile! However since we do travel a lot I have noticed not only how much the price point at the pump changes but also how different the customer service can be (or an absence of it completely in some cases!).
More and more I seem to be seeing a massive increase in self service pumping stations, and that is fine in itself, however I am one of those shoppers that stay away from self service checkouts in the supermarkets, so I hate having to use self serve pumping station where you have to pay at the pump.
I do wonder how safe they are too, I have never seen anyone around the forecourt unless the hide away only to pop out if something occurs! Surely from a business point of view their insurance would be higher in this type of setup – in any case I am sure they get their petrol station insurance from Forum Insurance to ensure its all competitively priced and the cost saving on staff salaries should cover this cost.
For the cost of the fuel itself, I have found my local garage to be fairly priced, but when faced with lots of choice there does seem to be a massive difference, especially from big supermarkets who sometimes offer even bigger savings when you have spent in store, after all every penny counts in this case! I have heard a rumour – perhaps a myth about the quality of supermarket fuel, compared to a branded station, and that the performance over time negates the cost savings so that’s also worth bearing in mind!