Getting grumps while at pumps


With filling up with fuel turning into a shopping trip, and hose woes, motoring editor Andy Russell is running low on patience.

Modern petrol stations have hoses that will reach either side of the car.

I’m fast getting to the stage where I have had my fill of filling stations… or rather some people who use them.

It should be so quick and simple to pull in, fill up, pay and get out but it seems to be taking longer and longer or is it just me being impatient?

One thing that bugs me – and contributes to queues at the pumps – is people who feel the need to use a pump closest to their car fuel cap, on the left if the filler is on the nearside, right if on the offside.

Most modern fuel pumps have hoses long enough to reach to the other side of the car, provided you park far enough forward. And the supermarket I regularly use actually has signs telling drivers the hoses are extra long but still they insist on queuing behind two or three other cars rather than using a pump that is free but on the opposite side of the car to the petrol or diesel pump.

I always try to use one of the pumps that is furthest forward so another vehicle can get in behind me.

It also avoids the situation I had the other day when I pulled up behind a car at the forward pump and, while I was filling up, the other owner was paying for their fuel. Then, while I was paying, an impatient driver had the cheek to actually reverse into the vacated space alongside that pump in front, so blocking me in when I came out as the adjacent aisle was also full of cars filling up.

So having queued to get to a pump to fill up, I had to wait to get out which really tested my new year’s resolution to be more patient behind the wheel.

And as for those people who, having filled up with fuel, leave their car at the pumps while they spend what seems like an eternity getting groceries in the forecourt shop, choosing a bottle of wine, making a cup of coffee, heating up a pie, checking out the CDs and scanning the front pages of the newspapers on sale. Don’t get me started.

I know many filling stations have become ‘one-stop shops’ but I suspect that if I left my car at the pumps while I nipped off for a few minutes the filling station staff might have something to say!

Twitter @andyrussellauto

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