Whilst on a long road trip, it’s inevitable you’ll need to take a break at some point – whether to stretch your legs or stop for a bite to eat. If you’ve completed the same long journey before, you’ll already know your favourite service station to visit, specially selected for its distance from your starting point, its facilities and its cheap petrol prices.
Road users seldom stop at any old service station along their route out of convenience – decisions on where to stop is a lot more calculated than that. With accidents on major roads on the increase, we’ve been asking road users exactly what would make them stop and rest along their journey at one of the 97 service stations in the UK.
After commissioning a survey among UK road users, we found that only 16% of UK motorists consider stopping for a break on a long journey, and just 7 out of 10 drivers said they would only stop to use the restroom. A whopping 90% of UK drivers only choose to stop, if it is at a service station that houses their favourite fast food restaurant. But it’s not just the likes of McDonalds or Burger King that catch the UK’s eye when passing service stations, as we’ve found three of the most popular service stations and at the top two, there’s not a fast food chain in sight!
Tebay Services, M6, between J38 & J39 – Cumbria
Selling the baked goods of an award-winning local artisan bakery and offering fresh cold cuts of meat from a family-run local farm butcher, Tebay services is miles ahead of the competition. Stocking fresh produce from over 70 local suppliers and neighbouring counties, the choice of farmhouse cheeses, pies, fruit and vegetables available will certainly provide fuel for the whole family to get you to your destination, full of energy. Locals come here for their weekly shopping and long-distance drivers are regulars for its character, charm and deliciously fresh food, that’s also available hot. From soups to hot cross buns and fresh sandwiches to stews, you’ll definitely want to stop for a bite and soak in the incredible landscape of rolling hills and cattle fields.
Gloucester Services, M5, between J11A & J12 – Gloucestershire
Sister station of Tebay and free of franchise chains, this fast food-less service station instead showcases farmers and producers from around the county and beyond. Using the right suppliers and selling it at the right price, Gloucester services has been rewarded by loyalty and has fast become one of the best service stations in the UK. Using over 130 local suppliers and 70 regional suppliers, no farm shop is complete without a fresh selection of locally sourced ales, ciders and artisan breads – just remember not to drink and drive!
Cobham, M25, between J9 & J10 – Surrey
Dubbed the crown jewel of the M25, this eye-catching UK service station is a stop-off you need to visit. After completing its £75m construction to bridge the 63 mile gap of unserviced motorway with the service station of all service stations, it boasts a huge open food court with over 13 popular branded restaurants and coffee houses including KFC and Starbucks, a large lakeside terrace and landscaped grounds, meeting rooms and 79 fully equipped bedrooms at Days Inn, should your quick break turn into an overnight stay.
With the importance of taking regular breaks unrecognised by many road users, we encourage all our van and car hire customers to stop at least every two hours to ensure they are both alert and fully refreshed when making long journeys in our hire vehicle. How better to do this at one of the UK’s best service stations?