Customers of the UK's motorway services have to put up with poor hygiene in eating areas and toilets and abysmal service from surly, unmotivated staff, a report warned today.
Although the services are improving, catering is still "uninspiring" and hygiene "a lottery", the AA study said.
It rated five out of six UK service stations either "poor" or "very poor" for their prices.
The survey of nine countries found a "small meal" was most expensive in the UK - £16.69 for a bottle of water, a cappuccino, a meat or poultry dish and a small salad.
That was ordered at Clacket Lane Services on the M25, which is run by RoadChef.
The bill was £2.65 more than in traditionally high-priced Switzerland, and more than Spain (£13.45) and Denmark (£12.09).
However, Martin Grant, chief executive of RoadChef, claimed the survey was "a heap of rubbish".
"The survey involves sending a couple of Germans around Europe," he told The Times.
"They've visited six in the UK, yet it's portrayed as something quite comprehensive and authoritative. But frankly it's a heap of rubbish that doesn't stand up statistically."
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.