Next time you set out on a long journey, you might want to consider packing your own snacks rather than relying on motorway services to pick up a treat.
A consumer survey for Channel 5’s Shop Smart: Save Money found the highest difference was between a bag of Haribo Tangastics, which cost four times more at three different motorway branches of WHSmith than an identical bag from a local store in Leeds.
Comparing prices gram for gram, researchers found that a 100g pack of the fizzy sweets only cost 56p from a high street WHSmith store, while motorists would have to shell out £1.92.
Gram for gram, that’s 246 percent more on the motorway than the local store.
They also found that drinks and snacks from Costa and a meal deal from KFC were more expensive at motorway services.
Gram for gram, a pack of Haribo Tangfastics (pictured) would cost 56p in a local WH Smith store and £1.92 on the motorway
A pack of Maynards’ WineGums (pictured) costs 61p in local stores but reaches 1.57 in the motorway branches of WH Smith
While comparing prices at WH Smith researchers found that a 100g pack of Maynard’s Wine Gums you could buy for 61p on the high street cost £1.57, which equates to 160 percent more.
The team compared prices between local WH Smith stores in Leeds to the same items bought in three motorway services.
Motorway services vs high street
They visited the Tibshelf Services near Chesterfield, Moto Services, Woolley Edge near Wakefield and Welcome Break, Woodall Services near Sheffield.
A refreshing 500ml bottle of Coke on the motorway came to £2.20 compared to £1.86 in local shops, with an increase in price of 18 percent.
And finally, a 600ml bottle of Smart Water cost £1.75 on the motorway instead of £1.19 on the high street.
A bottle of coke purchased from a WH Smith motorway store costs 34p more than in a local Leed store
At Moto Services, the team purchased some hot drinks and snacks from Costa Coffee.
They found a flat white on the motorway cost 69p more, at £3.39, than it would at a high street Costa in Leeds.
They also found that the brand’s almond biscotti cost 49p more on the motorway, an increase of 45 percent in price.
A tea cost 35 per cent more than on the high street, with a cup of tea costing £2.75 at Costa instead of the high street’s £2.10.
Fancy a cuppa? A flat white sets you back £3.39 on the motorway, compared to £2.70 on the high street. Pictured: Generic Costa Coffee to-go cups
Pictured: An almond biscotti will cost you 49p at motorway services, 45 per cent more than it would in a high street Coasta Coffee shop
While ordering a KFC meal deal on the motorway, the team discovered that a Fillet Tower Meal with regular fries and a Pepsi Max cost almost twice as much as it would in a local restaurant.
The motorway meal cost £6.39, while the one bought in store cost £3.98 – a 61 per cent difference in price.
A KFC meal deal costs £6.39 in motorway services, compared to £3.98 in central Leeds. Pictured: A Fillet Tower meal with with regular fries and drink
A spokesperson for WH Smith told the show: ‘Our store at Tibshelf Services is operated by Roadchef through a franchise agreement. The pricing at this store is set by Roadchef.’
Meanwhile, Roadchef said: ‘Our motorway Service Areas offer hot food and drink for sale and provide numerous free facilities, including toilets and extensive car and HGV parking, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.’
‘This significantly increases our cost base relative to high street stores which operate during profitable hours only,’ they added.
‘We offer numerous promotions on a range of products and research by the travel industry watchdog shows that 93 percent of our customers are satisfied with their experience.’
Shop Smart: Save Money airs on Thursdays at 8pm on Channel 5.