Industry sector:

Garage: What to sell

Fuel sales (wet stock sales)

You will be selling petrol (ultra low sulphur petrol (ULSP) and super unleaded petrol) and diesel (extra low sulphur diesel and possibly bio-diesel). You might also sell LPG (Autogas) and paraffin.

Your pumps must comply with legal requirements. The number of nozzles you have will depend on the size of your forecourt. Don't forget that customers do not like long queues so your aim must be to move as many customers as possible as quickly as possible through your site. Make sure that the layout of the site encourages this and that you install rapid flow pumps. You could also consider installing pay-at-pump technology for motorists who only want fuel. As well as speeding up throughput on the forecourt, this also lets motorists buy fuel when the filling station is unmanned.

You might want to consider installing rapid charging points for electric vehicles as the number of alternatively fuelled cars continues to grow.

Shop sales

You are likely to stock a range of motor accessories such as oil, windscreen washer fluid, car care products and so on. More and more filling stations have diversified into convenience retailing - and more recently post office services - in order to attract both motorists and non-motorists to the site. Before deciding on the range of products to stock it would be wise to thoroughly research the convenience store market. You might also decide to offer your customers:

  • lottery ticket sales
  • CD, DVD and console game sales
  • hot and cold take-away food sales
  • off-licence sales
  • garden products
  • coal and logs, Calor gas

Other sales

If your site is large enough you might install car washing or valeting facilities as well as the usual water and air lines. If you have the expertise and space you might offer servicing and repairs, MOT testing, body shop work and so on.

Your market research will have helped you to identify the range of products and services to offer. Be prepared to be flexible - your aim is to provide your customers with what they want and after you have been trading for a while it may be clear that different ranges would go down well.

You might also offer certain services like an ATM machine for cash withdrawals, bill payment facilities and parcel collection and return services.