Top tips on how to be a winner

Will it be you picking up the top prize at this year’s Forecourt Trader Awards? Read our top tips to help you achieve that great moment of glory.

Tips for success

  • Double-check that your entry form has been completed correctly with the site’s full name, address and telephone details. Please tick the right region and annual fuel volume for your site. You don’t want to be knocked out of the competition because you’ve entered the wrong category.
  • Read the entry form thoroughly so that you understand the rules and what’s expected of you. This is your chance to highlight any big achievements, successes or elements of your business of which you are particularly proud.
  • The form also includes the judging criteria for the specialist categories – use these as guidelines, not just for how to run that particular category of your business, but also as a BIG CLUE as to what the judges are looking for.

Categories to enter

Regardless of ownership or operational status, the main retailer categories will be grouped into two main criteria – region and fuel volume. Retailers can compete for the high-status title of being the Best Forecourt Retailer in one of six regions: Scotland; Northern Ireland; Northern England; Midlands; West Country and Wales; and London and the South East. There is also a category for Best Motorway Services Outlet.

There will be two volume categories – up to 4mlpa and more than 4mlpa. There will be two winners in each region representing the two-volume categories. The overall Forecourt Trader of the Year will be chosen from the regional and motorway winners. Some of the specialist categories require written entries – details are on the entry form. In 500 words, bearing in mind the judging criteria, you should clearly explain the merits of this particular part of your business.


We can’t stress enough the importance of good photographs. The early rounds are judged anonymously – using only the pictures you’ve sent in.


Don’t just send in a picture of the front door (yes, it’s been done!). The photographs should give a good impression of both the interior and exterior of your site. They need to be bright and clear, so try not to take the outside shots on a dull, rainy day, if at all possible.

And if you’re entering a specialist category, make sure the photos show how you are meeting the judges’ criteria. If you have multiple displays for some products, for example, let’s see them.

For the main regional categories, you need to submit: external photos of the forecourt; fuel pumps; external photos of the shop front; till point; and general interior shots of the store.

Once the first round of judging has been completed, a shortlist is drawn up and judges take to the road to visit the top-scoring sites. If the site is every bit as good as suggested in the entry, it goes on to the final round, otherwise, judges will move onto the entry with the next highest score. So don’t let standards slip once the photos have been taken. Best of luck!

Find out more about the categories and how the judging process works.