In the coming months, drivers on the M5 will be able to take advantage of new petrol price displays on the roadside, which will help them to decide whether to stop at the next service area or keep driving a little longer if fuel is better value at the next one.

An article in The Times suggests that the presence of these displays could “end rip-offs.”

While it seems unlikely that fuel at motorway service areas will drop in price to match costs available nearer to towns, this added transparency may well stimulate competition and can only be a good thing for drivers. These roadside price displays are already in use in several other countries, including Portugal, where they are commonplace on major motorways.

The new signs are being placed on a trial basis. The plans were actually announced under the previous coalition government at the end of last year, but confirmation of the signs going up on the M5 “this winter” appeared in The Times today.

The report also states that the average motorway services fill up costs as much as £8 more than it would elsewhere. Anything that could be done to reduce this sum is sure to be a hit with drivers, so let’s hope this trial results in a national roll-out.

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