The BP station in Patea has shut for about three months for an upgrade.

It means Patea residents are having to be petrol savvy.

Patea butcher Grant Hurley said it had been tough on residents because the nearest petrol stations were in Hawera and Waverley.

"You just have to be aware that you need to have your car filled all the time."

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The station has been closed because the tanks holding the petrol had reached the end of their 25-year lifespan.

Patea Four Square manager Fred Patel said they would just have to cope.

"Because there was nothing else we could do except make sure we always had petrol. Being a business made it really important. We can't just run out.''

Patea resident John Kerslake said the closure did not affect him much as he was retired.

"But I make sure when I go through to Hawera once a week that I fill up.''

Because his wife Jenny is out and about regularly she was able to get fuel in other towns, he said.

"So it's not too bad for us, but it will be for others."

"Three months is a long time. But there are quite a few people here without cars so it won't worry them,'' he said.

But the town will be relieved when the station is open again.

"We miss it. It was a good little business run by good people.''