Are South East motorists paying too much for breakfast? Huge prices differences identified elsewhere

New research carried out by Vansdirect has found that drivers in the South East of England are paying much more for roadside breakfasts than their counterparts in Scotland. 


The study also found that Scotland was offering the cheapest motorway breakfasts in Britain, and the North West currently delivers the best value fry-ups across all regions examined during the research. Travellers using the M3 and M27 in the South East were paying the most for their breakfasts, and the M60 was offering the best value roadside breakfast in the North West.


Regular users of the M74 in Scotland currently enjoy the biggest breakfast savings. A typical quality breakfast on the M74 is setting motorists back just £3.20 on average. This is a huge £2.70 less than what drivers using the M3 in the South East are paying, with their breakfasts costing £5.90 on average.


Cheapest UK motorway for breakfast


Motorway Average price of breakfast items
M74 £3.20
M42 £3.50
M8 £3.60
M61 £3.80
M20 £4.00
M56 £4.10
M62 £4.10
M11 £4.20
M23 £4.20
M6 £4.20
M4 £4.30
M60 £4.30
M1 £4.40
M40 £4.50
M25 £4.60
M66 £4.60
M5 £4.90
M18 £5.00
M27 £5.90
M3 £5.90


The research also found that the M8 in Scotland was offering exceptional value when it comes to breakfast treats. Breakfasts were costing just £3.40 per café on average, which was £1 less than the national average of £4.40. 35% of the top 20 cafes for low-cost breakfast sandwiches are located in Scotland.


Other zones offering big value for money included the M42 in the West Midlands and the M61 in the North West. These areas were typically charging less than £4 not only for bacon or sausage sandwiches but for entire fry-ups. 


The study also aimed to find the best café in terms of price, convenience and quality. This appeared to be the Crossburn Kitchen Café, located just two miles from the M74. This Scottish café was selling bacon or sausage sandwiches for just £1.70 and had an average customer rating of 4.45 out of 5.


Cheapest roadside cafes for a breakfast sandwich


Motorway Café Sausage sandwich Bacon sandwich
M74 Crossburn Kitchen Café £1.70 £1.70
M42 The Deanery £1.90 £1.90
M74 Abbeygreen Café £1.90 £1.90
M74 Aroma Coffee and Kitchen £1.90 £1.90
M66 The Café £1.90 £2.00
M8 Snax Café £1.90 £2.00
M8 The Farm at No 12 £2.00 £2.00
M8 Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch £2.00 £2.00
M11 Café Blue £2.10 £2.10
M18 BEE JAY’S Café £2.10 £2.10
M23 Parkside Café £2.20 £2.20
M66 Pinto’s Sandwich Bar £2.20 £2.20
M6 Café 28 £2.30 £2.30
M61 Katy’s Kitchen £2.30 £2.30
M74 Route 74 Truckstop £2.30 £2.30
M42 Nibbles Café £2.20 £2.40
M61 The Cottage Tea Room £2.50 £2.40
M20 The Happy Chef £2.45 £2.45
M42 Ye Olde Pound Café £2.45 £2.45
M25 Wonder Café £2.50 £2.50


Britain’s cheapest quality roadside fry-up was deemed to be Bee Jay’s Café along the M18 in Yorkshire. This Rotherham greasy spoon was charging just £3.20 for two slices of bacon, two sausages, egg, beans and tomatoes. The North West was identified as the best region for a cheap fry-up, with 30% of its cafes featuring in the top ten for this category.


Cheapest roadside cafes for a fry up


Motorway Café Price of fry up


M18 BEE JAY’S Café £3.20
M61 Katy’s Kitchen £3.50
M42 Nibbles Café £3.50
M62 Bex’s Coffee Shop £3.55
M23 Parkside Café £3.90
M62 LA Café £3.90
M4 The Café at Ridgewell £3.95
M42 The Deanery £4.00
M66 The Café £4.00
M66 Pinto’s Sandwich Bar £4.00
M56 Momma ‘B’s £4.00
M8 Snax Café £4.30
M42 The Kitchen Café £4.40
M20 The Happy Chef £4.55
M61 Pine Tree Farm £4.59
M20 Mickey’s Rock Diner £4.80
M42 Ye Olde Pound Café £4.95
M62 Café 8 £4.95
M3 Cafemonde £4.95
M74 Crossburn Kitchen Café £4.99


The customer rating chart saw the M60 in the North West faring the best. Cafes in this area had an average rating of 4.78 out of 5. The M62 in the North West had a rating of 4.61, with the M6 being rated 4.6. The East Midlands topped the chart in terms of individual highest rated roadside cafés, scoring 4.61 out of 5.


There appears to be growing demand for quality affordable breakfasts due to trends such as the rise in courier services. The pandemic has caused more people to shop online rather than offline, which has inevitably led to an increase in hungry value-seeking van drivers on the roads of the UK.



Best value motorway for breakfast, ranked by customer reviews

Motorway Average café rating (out of 5)
M60 4.78
M62 4.61
M3 4.6
M6 4.6
M1 4.59
M74 4.57
M8 4.55
M56 4.54
M25 4.53
M18 4.52
M27 4.51
M61 4.5

M11 4.49
M40 4.48
M66 4.45
M20 4.42
M42 4.41
M5 4.39
M23 4.37
M4 4.34


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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