Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Petrol station mystery shopping research

Petrol station mystery shopping

Disabled drivers face difficulties and delays when trying to buy fuel, Rica's petrol station mystery shopping panel has found.
Download the petrol station mystery shopping research report here (PDF)

Man in wheelchair putting petrol into his carIn October 2014, six disabled drivers from Rica’s consumer research panel visited 20 petrol stations (BP, Esso, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Shell and Tesco) to record their experiences.

They were asked to go to petrol stations that they hadn't been to before and to wait up to 15 minutes to be served with fuel.

Rica's mystery shoppers found that:

  • 70% of petrol stations had no signs offering help for disabled motorists
  • in 20% of visits the lack of help meant that the disabled driver couldn't buy fuel
  • in 80% of visits it took more than three minutes, and
  • in 20% it took eight minutes or more to get help
  • in one garage the driver still had no help after after 15 minutes
  • only 15% of garages took card payments

Our research results have excited interest in the media:

Research report

This research report was commissioned by Assist–Mi, a company that developed has a smartphone app which may be a solution for some disabled motorists.

Last updated: July 2017


See also: App for getting help refuelling | Getting a wheelchair into a car | Getting in and out of a car | In-car technology explained