Monday, 26 August 2013

Fun Online Polls: What's the worst kind of monger and how you choose petrol

The responses to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

What's the worst kind of monger?

Fish - 6%
Iron - 3%
Rumour - 13%
War - 37%
I think we know the answer to that one - 41%

The poll refers to a proposed radio phone-in in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa which he decides not to bother with, stating glibly "I think we know the answer to that one", so 41% of you got the right answer, possible inadvertently (or has everybody seen the film?)
While we were driving round on holiday the last few days, we kept our eye out for petrol prices along the way and filled up where it seemed cheapest.

My son, 12, made the observation that prices seem to go up the further out of town you are, which appears to be true.

A petrol station in or near town sells a lot of petrol so can spread its fixed costs over more units and it competes with other petrol stations in the area. An isolated petrol station in the middle of nowhere sells much less petrol so has higher fixed costs per litre sold and it also has a captive audience. If you are in the middle of nowhere and you're running out, then you'll pay the extra few pence per litre whether you like it or not.

A petrol station on the motorway services has the best of both worlds - huge sales to a massive captive audience (assuming few people take the time and trouble to go online before their journey, work out which cheaper 'local' petrol stations are close to motorway junctions and then go and seek them out) which is why the rent for such a petrol station is sky-high.

I also noticed a lot of advertising saying that "Our fuel is better than other fuel because..." and then some techno-babble which is probably about as rooted in hard science as your average shampoo advertisement.

So that's the topic for this week's Fun Online Poll, does anybody actually prefer one brand of petrol on the basis of its perceived superiority? Or do we just go for price and/or convenience?

Vote here or use the widget in the side bar.


Ian Hills said...

Can you add an extra option for people who don't drive?

Mark Wadsworth said...

IH, that's "Other, please specify", you vote for that and then leave a comment saying "Don't drive"

Ian Hills said...

Not much use if it doesn't let you type anything, is it?

Mark Wadsworth said...

IH, well spotted. I've started again with a comments option.

For the record, the polling so far was 3-0-7-0-3.