This page attempts to give some general information aimed at drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and coaches who use motorway services. As always, this is only a brief overview and for answers to specific queries you should ask the operator.
Coaches are valuable to service areas as they bring a large amount of custom, but this custom can lead to sudden surges which the services struggle to handle. This also means that the services only benefit when there are many passengers present, so to prevent people using the discounts in other circumstances strict and frequently changing rules often apply to them.
The different schemes are listed and compared below. To find out which service area is owned by which operator, use the Services Search. These discounts are for vehicles carrying passengers only.
|Operator||Full details||How to apply||Restaurant Discount||Retail Discount||Prize Draw?||Other Benefits|
|Moto||Website||No club - approach staff in WHSmith||1p food voucher||£2 retail voucher when arriving with 25 passengers or more||No||Special offers advertised online|
|Welcome Break||Website||No club - approach staff in WHSmith||£6 meal voucher purchasable for 1p, redeemable in Burger King, KFC, Subway, Harry Ramsden's or Pret a Manger, or £5 Starbucks voucher||£2 WHSmith and Waitrose voucher when arriving with passengers, or £1 Love2Shop||No|
|Roadchef||Website||Apply online||Points can be converted to £5-£10 meal voucher when arriving with passengers||Points can be converted to WHSmith, Days Inn or Love2Shop vouchers||No|
|Extra||Website||Not necessary||No||Access to Cobham toilet drop|
|Westmorland||Website||Mailing list||none||none||No||Used to keep members informed on specific offers and news|
Coaches can often use services aimed at HGV drivers only. Please note that this table is meant to be a guide but is checked periodically for accuracy.
A common complaint from coach drivers is that HGVs will use their parking spaces. This is something many operators will tell you they are working to enforce - check with them for more details.
Although lorry drivers don't bring any custom with them, they are regular users of motorway services and as a result the operators are keen to have them use as many facilities as possible. Most services these days now provide showers (the quality of which varies) and allow you to open up an account for parking on request.
Westmorland operate a special truckstop at J38 of the M6, as do Moto at J20.
Following a drive (pun not intended) by the Road Haulage Association there are set to be improvements to the provision for facilities for HGV drivers on the motorway. Lorry-only services will soon be permitted directly on the motorway, as well as more support for truckstops from the Highways Agency.
Unfortunately, there is a history of HGV drivers causing more trouble than any other class of vehicle at service areas. Many services have introduced a no-tolerance policy for HGVs parking in the wrong place, even if it was a mistake, and will clamp on sight. There have also been reports of some drivers behaving irresponsibly, which little can be done about, but it does weaken the case for improving facilities for HGV drivers. Improvements start at the centre.
- Transport Cafe - a website providing details on smaller facilities aimed at HGV drivers