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Petrol Forecourt Age Checks

How can mystery shopping age checks help petrol forecourt retailers?

Petrol forecourts are critical to the success of a fuel and retail location. Forecourt traders have a duty to ensure young customers attempting to purchase age restricted items from them, aren’t able to do so.

Reputable petrol forecourt retailers will have age check processes in place, however ensuring those processes are being implemented by staff can pose a challenge. Centrebound help businesses ensure that age check processes such as Challenge 25 and Think 21 are being carried out by staff. We do this through age check audits or test purchasing audits.

Preventing underage sales

The primary purpose for most people visiting a petrol forecourt is to buy fuel. Petrol is an age restricted product as it can only be sold to those aged 16 or over. Additionally petrol forecourt staff need to beware of any young people attempting to fill mini-motorbikes or handheld containers with fuel. Forecourt retailers have to ask for proof-of-age identification when potential customers appear to be too young to buy it.

However, as forecourt stores have developed and grown recently, they offer not just fuel, and items such as tobacco, drinks and snacks but also expanded grocery offerings. This expansion in their product range mean there are potentially more age restricted products sales.

To prevent underage sales from occurring, petrol forecourt traders must have a system in place to check and verify customer ages. Many petrol forecourt traders utilize the Challenge 25 scheme to prevent underage sales. Checking that the customer has a valid ID if they appear underage and refusing service is essential for petrol forecourt retailing staff to know.

Why independent test purchasing is important

If you are caught by the authorities to be in breach any of your licence conditions as a petrol forecourt retailer, could be prosecuted under the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928. A result of which could be a fine of up to £5,000 can be imposed in the Magistrates’ Court and an unlimited fine or imprisonment can be imposed by the Crown Court.

So although it is prudent to operate a scheme such as Challenge 25 within your petrol forecourts, you need to ensure your staff are actually implementing it.

Centrebound can ensure your staff are carrying out age checks and asking for valid ID in accordance with your age check process.  We can provide 16 – 21 year olds to carry out mystery shopping test purchases.

All our mystery shopping agents conducting an age-related audits will have had their age validated by Centrebound by either passport, birth certificate or PASS card from the national Proof of Age Standards Scheme.

Our test purchasing and mystery shopping services are available throughout the UK and Ireland.

Mystery shopping agents complete their audit survey within 24 hours of visiting a venue. Centrebound then quality check each report and share the results with the client within 48 hours.

If you would like test purchases carrying out at your petrol forecourts, please get in touch.

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