Gas stations in Scotland

Old Aug 15th, 2012, 04:47 AM
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Gas stations in Scotland

In a week or so, we'll be driving from Edinburgh to Isle of Skye to Inverness to Braemar & back to Edinburgh, and have a number of questions about buying gas.

- How do we pay for gas? Cash, credit card? If credit card, does the card have to have a chip?
- Are most stations entirely self-service or are they manned?
- What days & hours are stations open?
- Are gas stations hard to find on the Isle of Skye or in the countryside?
- Any quirks to using the pumps?
- Anything else we need to know?

Thanks as always for your help.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 05:01 AM
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Although there are less petrol stations in rural areas, they are not particularly hard to find, and my experience recently was that they are open quite late, often because they are coupled to a small shop. Skye, is a popular tourist area and it's probably even easier to find fuel here than on the northern mainland opposite (though that wasn't particularly difficult either).

One of the villages we visited had an unmanned station where you paid at the pump - however we couldn't get cards to work in this, so went to the manned station about half a mile down the road instead. We did wonder whether the facility required some sort of pre-registration (i.e was for locals rather than visitors).

Yes, you can use credit and debit cards generally (do you have debit cards in the US?). Cashpoints at petrol stations tend to charge a fee, so I would avoid those and get cash at a small local bank as and when you come across one in preference.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 05:55 AM
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If your rental is diesel, note that there may be 2 types of diesel pumps. The first pump we pulled up to had a "lorrie" nozzle that was too large for the car.

~Liz
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 06:02 AM
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If your rental is diesel, note that there may be 2 types of diesel pumps. The first pump we pulled up to had a "lorrie" nozzle that was too large for the car.>>

Be VERY careful that you put in the right sort of fuel. diesel and petrol [ie gas] pumps don't look that different and you can expect your rental co. to have a fit if you put in the wrong sort, not to mention the inconvenience to you.

if you have both cards and cash available you should be OK.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 06:03 AM
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One of the villages we visited had an unmanned station where you paid at the pump - however we couldn't get cards to work in this...

Many automated stations throughout Europe require credit/debit cards containing a microchip; these are still uncommon in cards issued in North America. In those cases you need to find a human-powered station.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 06:08 AM
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Be very careful in the Highlands certain routes have sparse coverage. All will accept cards or cash and usually be self service, many will close at 7pm or 8pm. If you are heading on a long journey plan and keep the tank full.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 06:23 AM
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We're British, Gardyloo, and we couldn't get a chip and pin card to work in the automated pump (even though they do work in places like Tescos pay-at-the-pump stations). Just a heads-up that the unmanned stations can occasionally be a problem....
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 07:06 AM
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In rural areas IME there aren't many pay at the pump petrol stations. Mostly they are pay inside. But - you do NOT go inside to pay first like is often the case in the States. The attendant will see your car (probably noting the number plate) and turn on the pump. Then just go inside afterwards to pay.

They just about ALL take credit cards - when you see your petrol bill you understand why
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 07:37 AM
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Opening hours will vary from place to place, but most will be open from 8am to 6pm. Be careful on Sundays,as the smaller manned stations may be closed. Petrol (gas) is dispensed from a pump with a green nozzle in the UK, (maybe in the States too?)whilst diesel is a black nozzle. Look inside the door flap that covers your filler cap to ensure that you use the right fuel.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 07:40 AM
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How much is gas (and diesel) in Scotland?
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 07:46 AM
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It varies, obviously, depending on whether you are in a big city where there are competing retailers and supermarkets (which tend to have cheaper fuel), or in the sticks, where it is pricier.

Noticed it being at least 6-7p per litre more in the remote highland areas than in the south of England where I come from.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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Oh -the green petrol nozzle is important to note, since in the States diesel is the green one.

You know petrol / diesel is expensive when they price by the litre

the prices fluctuate, and locals will know what's what right now (I last dove in the UK in June), but plan on around £1.34 to nearly £1.40 per litre for petrol. A bit more for Diesel.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 08:47 AM
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Currently diesel is about £1.35 in the golden, balmy south and £1.45 oop north where it's a cold, freezy waste (albeit with pretty pointy things and a lot of decent seafood).
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