A petrol station is a place where petrol and other similar products such as lubricants, kerosene, diesel, cooking gas et al are sold to customers. Normally, petrol stations offer one of three types of service to their customers: full service, minimum service or self-service.

Available statistics show that at the end of 2020, the number of petrol stations in the UK amounted to 8,385. This was significantly less than the number of petrol stations in Italy where there were 21,750 sites across the country. Please note that Esso, BP, and Shell had the highest market share of petrol station outlets in the United Kingdom in 2021, at 14.6, 14.5, and 13.4 per cent, respectively.

Steps on How to Start a Petrol Station Business in the UK

  1. Conduct Market Research

If you are considering starting a petrol station in the UK, you would need reliable market research to be able to maximize profits from the business. The first step in the market research process for your petrol station in the UK should be to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.

You should source for information that will help you maximize your business, give you reliable data and of course clue of what your potential market will be looking out for from a petrol station in the UK and also help you operate your petrol station in the UK with less stress and build the business to profitability.

a. Who is the Target Market for a Petrol Station in the UK?
  • Car owners
  • Trucking and haulage companies
  • Transport companies
  • Taxi cabs
  • Motorbike owners
  • Speed boat owners
  • Shipping companies.
b. Is Petrol Station in the UK a Profitable Business?

Yes, for now, the petrol station in the UK is a profitable business despite the advent of electric cars.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to the petrol business in the UK.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Esso Petrol Station
  • BP Petrol Station
  • Shell Petrol Station
  • Tesco Petrol Station
  • Whetstone Service Station
  • Total Petrol Station
  • Circle K Petrol Station
  • Certas Energy Petrol Station
  • Morrisons Petrol Station
  • Asda Petrol Station
  • Sainsbury Petrol Station
  • Murco Petrol Station
  • Jet Petrol Station
  • Maxol Petrol Station
  • Star Petrol Station
  • Essar Petrol Station
  • Harvest Energy
  • Thames Petrol Station
  • Rix Petrol Station
  • Chevron Petrol Station
e. Are There City Regulations or Zoning Laws for Petrol Stations in the UK?

Yes, there are regulations and zoning laws for petrol stations in the United Kingdom because petrol stations are particularly hazardous workplaces that require to be licensed by Local Authorities because they store and sell a highly flammable liquid.

The major regulator in the industry is your local Petroleum Enforcing Authority (PEA). Please note that anyone interested in opening a petrol station must conform to the following regulations;

  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • The Provision of Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992
  • The Health and Safety (Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996
  • The Confined Space Regulations 1997
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010
  • The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
f. Is There a Franchise for Petrol Stations in the UK?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for petrol stations in the UK. Here are some of them;

  • Esso Petrol Station
  • BP Petrol Station
  • Shell Petrol Station
  • Tesco Petrol Station
  • Total Petrol Station
  • Chevron Petrol Station.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Petrol Station in the UK?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Petroleum License
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A good location
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Supplies
  • Employees
  • Startup Capital
  1. Memorable Business Name ideas for Petrol station in the UK

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a petrol station business are;

  • Gas Zone© Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Cherry Peak® Petrol Station, LLP
  • Tyler Energy© Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Moon Energy® Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Car Way™ Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Joy Energy™ Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Green Gas© Petrol Station, Ltd
  • Donie Silvans® Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Gallows Gas© Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Topmost Energy© Petrol Station, LLP
  • Uranus Energy® Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • King’s Gas® Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Tuesday Energy™ Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Beckham Pekham© Petrol Station, LLP
  • Jupiter Energy® Petrol Station, LLP
  • Chelsea Gas™ Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Venus Energy™ Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Big Gas© Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Tripple Energy® Petrol Station, Ltd.
  • Piston Gas™ Petrol Station, Ltd.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Petrol Stations in the UK?

The United Kingdom has a wide array of options you can choose from if you are looking for a business structure to build your business on. The most important thing is that you should select a business structure that will best serve your overall business vision and mission.

In the UK, you have the option of starting your business as a Sole trader, Limited company, Private limited company (LTD or Ltd), a Public limited company (PLC), a Limited liability partnership (LLP), or a Guarantee Company (LBG).

b. Steps to Register a Business in the UK

One of the most important steps you should take when starting a business in the UK is to register the business name with the regulating authority. You can register your new business at Companies House on GOV.UK. Please note that the entire process will take you about 30 minutes if you have all the required details ready before approaching them.

In the United Kingdom, you can register your business online but it will cost you £12. You can pay this fee via PayPal, debit card, or credit card. It takes on average 24hrs for your company to be registered. To register a business in the UK, you need to submit the following documents and information:

  • A company name
  • Valid ID
  • Address of the company
  • One or more directors’ names and details
  • Details of the company shares, shareholding, and shareholders (with at least one shareholder).
  • A Memorandum and articles of association. This is a standard document that shareholders create and agree to that outlines the company’s written rules, it’s usually very standardized unless you have specific needs.
  • Detailed information on anyone who owns a significant interest or control in the company (this means anyone who owns 25% or more shares or voting rights in the company).
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Petrol Station in the UK?
  • General Business License
  • Petroleum License
  • Fire Safety Permit
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Petrol Station in the UK?

You don’t need any certifications to open a petrol station in the UK.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Petrol Station in the UK?

These are some of the basic legal documents you are expected to have if you want to legally run a petrol station in the UK;

  • Business and liability insurance
  • Council Permit
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering opening a petrol station in the UK, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Petrol Station in the UK?

There is no clear-cut startup cost for a petrol station in the UK, but available data shows that the cost of starting a petrol station in the UK ranges between £350,000 to £1 million. But if you intend to buy a BP petrol station franchise, then know that the average turnkey investment is approximately £800,000 plus, a franchise fee of £20,000.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Petrol Station in the UK
  • Business Registration Fees – £120.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – £4,300.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – £1,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – £2,000.
  • Insurance – £5,400.
  • Rent/Lease – £135,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery (£500), and phone and utility deposits (£1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – £30,000
  • Start-up Inventory – £50,500
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – £1,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping the Petrol Station – £50,000
  • Website: £600
  • Miscellaneous: £1,500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Petrol Station in the UK?
  • The size of petrol station
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • Other related products retailed in the petrol station
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the petrol station
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost for insurance policy covers
  • The cost for registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost for the grand opening of the petrol station in the UK
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your petrol station especially if you are buying over an existing petrol station or franchise, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own petrol station facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a petrol station facility will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Petrol Station in the UK?
  • Supplies (inventory expenses)
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
  • Maintenance of fuel dispensing machines and trucks (tankers)
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner) – £85,000 Per Year
  • Petrol Station Manager – £35,000 Per Year
  • Accountant – £25,630,000 Per Year
  • Petrol Station Attendants – £20,000 Per Year
  • Truck (Tanker) Driver – £22,100 Per Year
  • Cleaners – £12,000 Per Year
  • Security Guard -£12,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Petrol Station in the UK?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Jupiter Energy® Petrol Station, Ltd. is a registered petrol station in the UK that will be located along a busy road in Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire. We have been able to lease an old petrol station that will fit into the kind of petrol station we intend to buy and the facility meets all the expected safety standards of Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire.

b. Products and Service
  • Petrol
  • Lubricants, kerosene, diesel and cooking gas et al, Beverages and water.
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish a petrol station in Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire that will operate 24 hours and 7 days a week.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to build a petrol station that will sell franchises all across the globe.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a petrol station in the UK are to provide a retail outlet where vehicle owners can go to buy petrol and other similar products such as lubricants, kerosene, diesel and cooking gas et al.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Operating Managers (Owner)
  • Petrol Station Manager
  • Accountant
  • Petrol Station Attendants
  • Truck (Tanker) Driver
  • Cleaners
  • Security Guard

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • Ideal location for a petrol station in the UK
  • Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
  • Access to finance from business partners
  • Access to supplies
  • Operating 24 hours and 7 days a week.
  • Reliable and efficient inventory management system.
  • Financial constraints may restrict the publicity and branding of the business
  • A new business that will be competing with well-established petrol stations in the UK.
  • Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want during the teething stage of the business.
  • Loads of vehicle owners within our location
  • It’s Easier to Franchise
  • You Can Be More Creative
  • More Financial Aid Options
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
  • The advent of electric cars
  • Fluctuation in global oil price
  • The arrival of new petrol station within our market space
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Liability problems
  • The UK government could change its regulatory status and decide to enforce strict regulations that can strangulate new businesses like ours.
b. How Does Petrol Stations in the UK Make Money?

Petrol stations in the UK make money by selling the following products;

  • Petrol and other similar products such as lubricants, kerosene, diesel and cooking gas et al
  • Franchise
c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your petrol station by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to car owners, transport and logistics companies, trucking and haulage companies, taxi companies, bikers, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your petrol station is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your products.
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

The average price of petrol in the United Kingdom is 1.512 U.K. Pound Sterling per litre, and 5.724 U.K. Pound Sterling per gallon.

b. How Much Profit Do Owners Petrol Stations in the UK Make a Year?

On average, a petrol station owner rakes in nothing less than £75k revenue and £10-30k net profit per year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the petrol station
  • The types of related products retailed in the petrol station
  • The location of the petrol station
  • The management style of the petrol station
  • The business approach of the petrol station
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the petrol station
  • The number of years the petrol station is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Petrol Station in the UK Product/Service?

The profit margin of a petrol station in the UK is approximately 2 per cent.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a petrol station in the UK. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year: £540,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: £750,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: £1.5 million
  1. Set Up your Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Petrol Station in the UK?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to people that own petrol-powered vehicles
  • The demand for petrol and other similar products such as lubricants, kerosene, diesel and cooking gas et al in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of petrol stations in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Petrol Station in the UK?
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle
  • Auckley, South Yorkshire
  • Dorchester, Dorset
  • Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
  • Prestwich, Manchester
  • London
  • Bradford, West Yorkshire
  • Birmingham-Wolverhampton
  • Leeds-Bradford
  • Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire
  • Southampton-Portsmouth
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Petrol Station in the UK?
  • Petrol Dispenser
  • Card – lock (or pay-at-the-pump) system
  • POS Machines
  • Fire Alarms.
  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard petrol station in the UK, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer (you can occupy this position), petrol station managers, account clerk (cashier), petrol station attendants, truck (tanker) drivers, cleaners and security guard. T.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

You can choose to use a party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

The bottom line is that with proper launching of the petrol station in the UK, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that your petrol station is open for business.

a. What Makes a Petrol Station in the UK Successful?
  • Choose a good location to launch the business
  • Aside from petrol, make available other similar products such as lubricants, diesel and cooking gas et al (give your customers options)
  • Throw an open house grand party before officially opening the petrol station
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your petrol station
  • Leverage on all available online and offline platforms to promote your petrol station
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Petrol Station?
  • The petrol station is open for the day and properly cleaned
  • The readings of the storage tanks are taken
  • The readings of all the petrol dispensing pumps are taken
  • Customers are attended to all through the opening period
  • Schedule maintenance and safety routine are carried out
  • Supplies of petrol and other similar products such as lubricants, kerosene, diesel and cooking gas et al are ordered for
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Petrol Station?
  • Excellent customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining skill
  • Work experience in a petrol station
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in safety procedures