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South East breakfasts almost three-quarters as expensive as Scotland’s, says research

New research has found that people in the South East are paying around 74% more for their breakfasts than those in Scotland. 

The research also found that Scotland was offering Britain’s cheapest motorway breakfasts, with the North West offering the best value when it comes to fry-ups. Travellers and commuters driving along the M3 and M27 were paying the most for breakfasts, and the M60 had the best value roadside breakfast in the North West in England.

The biggest savings were to be found on the M74 in Scotland, with diners paying just £3.20 for breakfast on average. This was £2.70 cheaper than those the M3 in the South East of England, where breakfasts cost £5.90 on average.

Cheapest UK motorway for breakfast

MotorwayAverage price of breakfast items

The research, carried out by Vansdirect, also found that Scotland’s M8 had the most competitive breakfast prices, with cafes charging just £3.40 on average. This was a full pound cheaper than the national average of £4.40. 35% of the top 20 cafes for affordable breakfasts were located in Scotland.

Outside of Scotland, the M42 in the West Midlands and the North West’s M61 offered pleasing value for money, with even sizable fry-ups coming to less than £4 on average. The research found that the Crossburn Kitchen Café near the M74 offered the best combination of price, quality and convenience. This eatery offered bacon or sausage sandwiches for £1.70 and had won an average customer rating of 4.45 out of 5.

Cheapest roadside cafes for a breakfast sandwich

MotorwayCaféSausage sandwichBacon sandwich
M74Crossburn Kitchen Café£1.70£1.70
M42The Deanery£1.90£1.90
M74Abbeygreen Café£1.90£1.90
M74Aroma Coffee and Kitchen£1.90£1.90
M66The Café£1.90£2.00
M8Snax Café£1.90£2.00
M8The Farm at No 12£2.00£2.00
M8Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch£2.00£2.00
M11Café Blue£2.10£2.10
M18BEE JAY’S Café£2.10£2.10
M23Parkside Café£2.20£2.20
M66Pinto’s Sandwich Bar£2.20£2.20
M6Café 28£2.30£2.30
M61Katy’s Kitchen£2.30£2.30
M74Route 74 Truckstop£2.30£2.30
M42Nibbles Café£2.20£2.40
M61The Cottage Tea Room£2.50£2.40
M20The Happy Chef£2.45£2.45
M42Ye Olde Pound Café£2.45£2.45
M25Wonder Café£2.50£2.50

Bee Jay’s Café on the M18 in Yorkshire had the most affordable quality roadside breakfast. For just £3.20, motorists could enjoy two slices of bacon, two sausages, an egg, beans and tomatoes. This is almost half of Britain’s average fry-up price of £6.33. 

The research found the North West was the best region in terms of low-cost fry-ups, with 30% of the cafes in the top 20 list being located in the area.

Cheapest roadside cafes for a fry up

MotorwayCaféPrice of fry up
M18BEE JAY’S Café£3.20
M61Katy’s Kitchen£3.50
M42Nibbles Café£3.50
M62Bex’s Coffee Shop£3.55
M23Parkside Café£3.90
M62LA Café£3.90
M4The Café at Ridgewell£3.95
M42The Deanery£4.00
M66The Café£4.00
M66Pinto’s Sandwich Bar£4.00
M56Momma ‘B’s£4.00
M8Snax Café£4.30
M42The Kitchen Café£4.40
M20The Happy Chef£4.55
M61Pine Tree Farm£4.59
M20Mickey’s Rock Diner£4.80
M42Ye Olde Pound Café£4.95
M62Café 8£4.95
M74Crossburn Kitchen Café£4.99

The M60 in the North West topped the customer review chart, with cafes being rated 4.78 out of 5 on average. The M62 and M6 also had some of the best breakfast menus in Britain, with ratings of 4.61 and 4.6 respectively. The East Midlands averaged 4.61 out of 5 in terms of individual highest rated roadside cafes.

The pandemic has caused more and more purchases to be made online, and therefore produced a huge increase in courier services. This means there has been a growing demand for quality roadside cafes amongst those taking new career directions and spending much more time on the road. 

Best value motorway for breakfast, ranked by customer reviews

MotorwayAverage café rating (out of 5)

A Vansdirect spokesperson commented:

“With the pandemic bringing a tidal wave of courier services and other van-related services to our doors, the nation has gradually come to see their van drivers more regularly, perhaps even sparking friendships along the way.

“We’re pleased to see this change of direction, where van drivers are seen not only as vital cogs in the delivery machine, but also as essential figures in the community.

While our research has found there are plenty of top-quality roadside cafes to keep our van driving workforce chugging along, we hope to see this positive spotlight on our nation’s van drivers continue long after the pandemic.”

For further insights about Vandirect’s research, visit the Vansdirect blog.


Notes to editors

Vansdirect collated five of the top-rated cafés for each of Britain’s 20 busiest motorways. Breakfast menu prices, including average cost for breakfast items, and average customer ratings were added to the database.

Cafes in the research had to meet the following criteria to be featured in the research:

They are situated within 10 miles of their respective motorways

They are rated above four stars on both Google and TripAdvisor

For further press information, please contact:

Carly Trigg

About Vansdirect

Vansdirect was established in 1999 in the Welsh valleys and has grown to be the no.1 independent commercial vehicle retailer in the UK. They are the current holders of the Leasing Broker Federation’s ‘Best van leasing broker’ award, having won it for the fourth consecutive year in 2019.

Offering free delivery, industry expertise, and flexible van finance options, Vansdirect are pleased to have satisfied thousands of customers every year since the brand’s inception.

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