Motorists are driving up to 20km to visit an old-school servo that allows them to fill up without leaving their cars.

Balnarring Motors has always provided the personalised service but has seen a rise in fuel customers since the coronavirus crisis began.

Front of house manager and “chief pumper” Brooke Millican said some people were coming from as far away as Mornington to buy fuel.

“We’ve always had loyal customers, who like the service,” she said.

“We like it because it allows you to connect with people in a different way. You tend to chat more with a customer when you’re filling up their car. It tends to encourage regulars too.

“But we’ve noticed more people and new faces coming through and they seem to be coming from further away.”

The Frankston-Flinders Rd business was taking extra precautions to protect the community from COVID-19, Ms Millican said.

“We’re wiping everything down more often and practising social distancing with customers.”

The family-owned auto repair centre is a VACC member and can service and repair all makes and models of foreign and domestic vehicles.

On the other side of the peninsula, Gary Walmsley has been offering a driveway service at Blairgowrie Automotive for years and said he was “flat chat” over the past weekend.

“It’s been steady all week but it was crazy on Sunday,” Mr Walmsley said.

“People can still fill up themselves if they like, and lots are wearing gloves but I’ve noticed more are getting me to do it for them.

“Really it makes sense. More servos should be doing it. Think how many people touch the pumps on a regular day?”

Mr Walmsley said the independent service station sells United Petroleum “cheaper than anywhere else” in the region.

“We’ve got it for 113.9c a litre today (Tuesday) and it’s in the 120s everywhere else,” he said.

“I don’t understand it. We are always cheaper yet we provide a much more personalised service.”

Balnarring Motors is at 2994 Frankston – Flinders Rd, Balnarring.

Blairgowrie Automotive is at 2867 Point Nepean Rd, Blairgowrie.

Extracted from Herald Sun