Are petrol stations open on Christmas Day 2022? Festive and Boxing Day fuel pump opening times explained

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Opening hours are set to be different for businesses including supermarkets and banks on Christmas Day and Boxing Day - so how will petrol forecourts be affected?

Christmas 2022 has finally arrived, with most people across the country having clocked off from work for the festive season.

Festive bank holidays mean most of the nation will be gorging themselves on mince pies and Christmas TV - including our first King’s Speech since 1951 - for at least some of the next week.

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These bank holidays also mean banks and building societies, along with some of the UK’s biggest retail chains, will be closing for several days over the festive season - arguably the first non-Covid Christmas since 2019.

While many major businesses are likely to be closed (a list of those that will be open can be found here), you can still expect plenty of traffic to be on the roads as people travel home or to their families for Christmas Day 2022.

But what opening hours will petrol stations observe over the Christmas period? Here’s everything you need to know.

Petrol station opening hours may be different over Christmas 2022 (image: AFP/Getty Images)Petrol station opening hours may be different over Christmas 2022 (image: AFP/Getty Images)
Petrol station opening hours may be different over Christmas 2022 (image: AFP/Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

When are the Christmas bank holidays?

We are set to get several bank holiday dates over the next 10 days, with three UK-wide public holidays and an additional one in Scotland.

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Given Christmas falls on a Sunday in 2022, not only is Boxing Day (Monday 26 December) a bank holiday, but we will also get an extra public holiday on Tuesday 27 December. This unusual arrangement happens every time Christmas and/or Boxing Day falls on a weekend day.

New Year’s Day 2023 will also occur on a Sunday, which means Monday 2 January is going to be a bank holiday. In Scotland, the following day (Tuesday 3 January) is also classed as a bank holiday, which means some banks and shops may be closed.

Are petrol stations open at Christmas?

Given you may well be driving somewhere on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, it is useful to know when and where you can expect to fill your vehicle with petrol or diesel.

If your journey is taking in a major route, like a motorway or a major A-road that is classed as a motorway (such as the A1(M)), all of its service stations will be open. This is because they are mandated to be open 24 hours, 365 days a year by law.

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While you will be able to fill up your vehicle, it is unlikely the full range of food, drink and convenience services will also be available to drivers. Service station operator Moto has said that Costa, Greggs and WH Smiths will be the only stores open at its facilities on Christmas Day (albeit with some exceptions).

Larger petrol stations may stay open over Christmas (image: Getty Images)Larger petrol stations may stay open over Christmas (image: Getty Images)
Larger petrol stations may stay open over Christmas (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Other motorway service station shops should be open on Boxing Day, 27 December and New Year’s Day. Fuel will be available throughout these dates.

For those travelling on A-roads (also known as trunk roads), petrol stations are not mandated to remain open on bank holidays. However, most larger sites are likely to continue to operate.

Meanwhile, supermarkets are unlikely to open their petrol stations on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (although unmanned sites may be in operation). Be sure to check with your local store before heading out.

Here’s how to find your local petrol station and to see whether is open:

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