Service station sign and jargon breakdown

19 October


Day-to-day commutes are littered with a wide variety of different road signs, many of which are instantly recognisable to us.

Yet many locations, particularly service stations, seem to use signs, symbols and jargon that many of us have never seen before. Below is a guide on some of these lesser known road signs and jargon, allowing you to be more clued up next time you’re on the road.

Services signs on a white background 

Some service stations are more accessible than others, as those who have driven a fair way from the motorway to find one will have found out. Yet there is a sign to show when these stops are not instantly accessible from the turn off. Service signs that are placed in a white background like in the image above, signify that the services are a further drive than just after the turn off. This is something to note for future reference, particularly if you are in a rush.

Automated site

The phrase ‘automated site’ is becoming more and more commonplace in services. Yet to someone not in the know, it seems a fairly vague definition. An ‘automated site’ is the term used for modern ‘pay at pump’ style fill up points. So if you see ‘automated site’ you’ll be able to pay with your debit or fuel card at the pump, quickly and efficiently.

Bunker site

A ‘bunker site’ is a term that describes the best value sites for use of a fuel card. For example, using your Allstar card at one of these sites will often be the cheapest method of filling up versus a non-‘bunker site’, so keep an eye out. 


HGV is an initialism for Heavy Goods Vehicle, and consequentially, LGV is an initialism for Large Goods Vehicle. The terms both have the same definition: a vehicle with a gross combination mass of over 3,500 kilograms.


This stands for Light Commercial Vehicle, which is defined as being a commercial vehicle which weighs in at less than 3.5 tonnes. It’s important not to get mixed up with its LGV counterpart, particularly if you’re thinking of heading down a tailored lane for the vehicle.

MWSA – motorway service station areas

MSWA simply means motorway service station areas. Don’t fret about remembering the initialism of this sign as it will be very rare that you don’t see a further sign offering more clarity.

Motorway fuel price incorporated signs 

As of 2014, the government gave the green light to introduce service station signs that incorporated digital petrol prices. The aim of the game here is to encourage competition and aid the consumer in finding the best price possible for their fuel. They are still relatively rare in this early stage of their roll out, but be sure to keep an eye out on your commute and don’t miss the chance to put together a quick price comparison.

An Allstar card is much more than a fuel card - Find out the reasons why on our website

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