Life | Using Petrol Stations As A Parent

*This is a collaborative post.

Being the mum of a busy family can be quite tiring and it’s about to get a whole lot busier come September. The kids are likely to have more of a social life than I am and I’m bound to be ferrying them around for quite a while yet. Toby starts school and Ted starts nursery so I’ll be doing a few school and nursery runs during the week that’s for sure. It’s lucky that we’ve just invested in a new car and, maybe controversially, I’ve just switched from diesel to petrol.

The price of petrol is a massively boring topic, but one that affects so many people. In this day and age we’d be so unlikely to get by without it and petrol stations are absolutely taking advantage of that. Petrol stations have been around since 1888 and I can guarantee that the petrol stations back then were nothing like they are now; there are attended pumps, you can top up your weekly shop or you can pop in for a pint of milk. Don’t forget you can withdraw cash after your petrol-station-cum-convenience-store visit too, they’ve had a huge makeover to keep up with the evolution of cars and our ever increasing need for convenience.

Obviously evolution and development come with a whole array of safety risks and this is partly why petrol station rules and regulations have become increasingly strict and comprehensive over the last few years. Healthy and safety is often spoken about with a pinch of salt but it’s a very real thing on the forecourt of a petrol station. Not only do I have to be aware of where I’m walking, but now I have the kids it’s all about ensuring they’re safe too. Hopefully all the petrol stations here know about petrol forecourt insurance from Forum Insurance because I can only imagine the amount of potential hazards there are that need to be covered.

Petrol Stations And My Journeys

I’ve noticed that our local petrol station is finally catching up with the times; they’ve only very recently got ‘pay at the pump’ facilities and I actually get a bit angry when petrol stations don’t have these. I have two options if they don’t – either leave my two children in the car while I run in and pay (frowned upon), or I drag the two little tearaways across the forecourt (all the while hoping some lunatic doesn’t come flying out of their bay after filling up and knock them over!) so I always try and make sure that wherever I go they have that facility is available.

However, I am a bit rubbish when it comes to planning a petrol pit stop. I usually wait to be told that I need to refuel before I fill the car up and I rarely plan trips around them but that’s because I generally know where the nearest station is if I’m going somewhere. I’m happy to ride around in the car and wait until it gives me a last reminder that I need to get my stick into gear and fill up. If I’m making long journeys I tend to make sure I’m filled up before I leave and then if I see one on the way I’ll pop in if I need to. However, despite how popular they’ve become there still don’t seem to be quite enough.

I don’t really like spending more time there than I need to. Yes, I could fill up the tyres to the right pressure and I could even get a carwash but really I’d rather just get the petrol and get out. They’re great if I do need that pint of milk to tide me over to the next day but I would never do a full weekly shop in one though it’s obviously a great convenience for those that need to.

Petrol Forecourt Safety

We’ve all heard the mobile phones apparently are a hazard on the petrol station forecourt but I call their bluff. I genuinely don’t believe that it’s even a thing! If that were the case then mobile phones would be totally banned from coming on or near a forecourt. I have seen so many people on their mobiles while filling up and mine tends to be on, and in the car, when I’m filling up too.

I totally agree that no smoking should happen on forecourt, it only takes one hot bit of ash to hit a small puddle of petrol and you’d need to be quick footing it out of there. Luckily, it’s never something I’ve seen happen when people are actually filling up but I have seen people walking up to the door of the store with a cigarette in their hands. Clearly they think that because they’re going to the shop, instead of using the place to come and get petrol, that it means their cigarettes are exempt from causing a fire.

I also really hate seeing children being rushed across a forecourt. Some drivers are so oblivious to the fact that a forecourt is also very a much a pedestrian area and they squeal out of their bay and out of the petrol station. I will admit that if I have the kids in my car and they don’t have a pay at the pump facility, I’ll go somewhere that I know does have it for this very reason.

petrol pump convenience using as a parent forecourt station

Obviously petrol stations have come quite a long way in the last few years alone and I have no doubt that they will continue to evolve to keep up with the need for convenience and one day the petrol stations we know will be of the past. Of course, right now we have a lot be thankful for and petrol stations are easily a lifesaver for parents in general; pay at the pump, loads of them now have Costa on tap, snack grabbing and car washes (kids love them!) to name a few.

Do you use your petrol station as your local convenience store? Are you one of the really annoying people who leaves your car in a filling up bay while you do said shopping? Do you use the other facilities there, or do you just grab a snack after paying and go? Keep up with the chat using #PetrolInThePast

*This is a collaborative post.

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