Whether you are a daily commuter or only commute by car over weekends, we all have our service station preference: Engen, Caltex, Total, BP, Shell and Sasol. But why?
These six brands dominate the service station landscape of South Africa, and each has its own, unique appeal.
According to Business Tech, the average motorist stops at a service station about nine times per month. But these stops are for more than just petrol as over the last few years, petrol stations have become distinguishable by more than just its brand of fuel.
Micro one-stop-shop cities, stations with grocery retailers like Pick n Pay and Woolworths, or fast-food chains like Streets are popular and play a huge role when it comes to customer conversion among stations. In Cape Town, for example, there is one particular service station known as the 'CoolEngen'. This is where you'll see all the trendiest Cape Town people doing their stop and shop.
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Convenience is key. For shorter drives, we usually stop at the one on our way to or from work or the gym, or one that has our specific ATM, or where you can grab some groceries.
However, when you're on a roadtrip, all of this changes. You usually have a variety to choose from along your journey, so it essentially becomes about more than just petrol and about more than just convenience.
More often than not, you stop with purpose.
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In the mood for Steers chips, a Woolies wrap, pie or a Wimpy cheeseburger? Food is a main priority on the road. Many choose their stop because of the fast food chain attached to a specific petrol station brand.
Most of our Twitter audience said Wimpy was the main reason they chose a particular petrol station for refuelling - that is for both car and stomach.
Then there are also those who say that the farm stall is the main deciding factor for them. Many people choose the Shell service station in Riviersonderend, as it is situated next to one of the world's best pie shops, Ou Meul Bakkery.
Farm stalls along the West Coast offer yummy roosterkoek, while those situated by petrol stations in the Midlands, for example The Windmills Kitchen, offer out-of-this-world chicken pies.
People even choose to detour and drive through Barrydale, just so that they can fuel up at the diner situated at Diesel and Creme.
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One would consider 'petrol' as the main reason for stopping at a petrol station, no? However, on a road trip, very few mentioned it as their main reason for choosing a petrol station. However, people do choose certain brands based on eBucks, as FNB customers can use their eBucks to pay for petrol at Engen.
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