Remembering the service station driveway attendant

Remember when there was driveway service at the service station? I mean true driveway service, with the works.

You would pull the car up to the petrol bowser and out would walk the smiling service station attendant. “Good morning Madam, what would you like today?” he would ask.

“$10 worth of super please and can you check the tyres and oil?” would be my response. “Certainly, Madam”. And away he would go – fuel, oil and tyres all done – and with a little extra customer service by way of a windscreen wash. These were the days and I really miss them.


At the risk of offending the feminists among us, I just don’t think it’s right that a girl should have to pump her own petrol! In this realm, I want fully optioned customer service.

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Let’s be honest, the weekly trip to the service station is a stinky, messy job. You stand at the petrol bowser as the fuel goes in, trying carefully not to inhale the noxious fumes. When you’ve pumped the desired amount of fuel, you pull the nozzle out of the car and try carefully not to let any wayward drips of petrol splash onto the car’s duco or, worse still, your suede stilettos. If there is a wayward drip, you pick up the watering can and wash away the excess fuel with water and if the original drip of wayward fuel didn’t hit your shoes, the splashing water used to clean up the fuel drips probably will.

And don’t get me started on the messy business of checking the correct inflation of your car’s tyres. I can do it quite well, provided I go to the service station that features the fully electronic air compressor. But oh, the mess. Brake dust everywhere – so much brake dust that I go through half a packet of wet wipes cleaning it off my hands when I’ve finished. Last time I checked the tyres, I dropped the metal cap from the tyre valve inside the wheel and had all manner of trouble getting it back out. With visions of a metal cap spinning around inside the wheel and causing untold damage if I drove off, I had no choice but to persevere to get that little metal cap back out. Eventually I extracted the wretched thing – but oh, the brake dust. This time I was up to my elbows in it! I suppose I could have asked for help but does a service station console operator know as much about driveway service as our service station attendants of yesteryear? I think not.

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helpful attendant

Please, someone, bring back the service station driveway attendant. Think of all the extra jobs it would create and think of the safety problem we could solve – fewer cars on our roads breaking down because the oil wasn’t checked and fewer crashes because the tyres weren’t inflated to the correct air pressure. You know, I’d even pay extra for the privilege of customer service in the service station driveway.

How about you? What are your memories of driveway service at the service station – maybe you were even employed as a driveway attendant. Are you with me?  Is it time to bring back driveway service at the service station and would you pay a little extra for the service?