LPG fueled cars are a bit of an urban legend as everybody knows somebody that knows somebody that has a car that runs on LPG but most have never been in, let alone driven an LPG fueled car.
However when you hear about them it’s nearly always the same, people can’t wait to tell how cheap they are to run and how cost effective the conversion is. Yet the idea of it still isn’t mainstream and even though more garages are stocking LPG these days there still isn’t a lot.
So here at the LPG blog we decided to put together a little checklist for you to help you decide if LPG is for you and if it’s worth that initial outlay because lets be honest most of us don’t have £1500-£2000 lying about.
A key advantage for LPG (autogas) motorists is the often dramatic reduction of their fuel bill. Even though gas is less efficient, it usually returns around 10% less than petrol, the considerably lower price per litre means that in the long term good savings can be made.
The actual performance of the car is relatively unaffected, there is a small loss of power on acceleration but you would really have to be paying attention to notice it.
All of the original fuel fittings remain the same, so you can switch from gas to petrol at the flick of a switch.
By having both petrol and gas on board you can extend your range or time between refills.
The vehicle will actually run smoother as Auto gas has a higher Octane content and being a gas burns more efficiently.
The actual life of your car will be extended as there are no acids or carbon build-up, and the servicing is reduced as the engine oil doesn’t get diluted and therefore can be changed less frequently.
It is also promising from an emissions point of view as there is hardly any CO2 from the exhaust and when compared to petrol and diesel the other nasty emissions are also greatly reduced.
The actual LPG conversion is not cheap to carry out, a recommended budget would be between £1000-£1500 for a car and even more for something bigger like a 4 x 4. However because of the fantastic savings once the conversion is in place it is common for people to take out a loan, or even increase the amount of their car loan in order to have the LPG kit fitted.
If you choose to go down this route it is likely that you won’t have the money just lying around therefore you must be very careful to make sure that the finance you take out has repayments within your monthly budget as even though LPG can save you a lot of money it is over a long period so be certain you can afford the monthly payments in the short term.
Fortunately there are a lot of lenders that offer a loan repayment calculator on their website, this will allow you to determine the full cost of the loan as well as the required monthly payments without having to apply in full so I’d thoroughly recommend checking what you can afford that way as you can keep trying different amounts till you get within your budget and it won’t affect your credit rating.
Space is also an issue as the tank needs to go somewhere and so it’s basically a trade-off between size and range. You can get small 40 litre tanks that fit in the spare wheel well, right up to 130 litre tanks for bigger vehicles. So you need to carefully consider what you carry in your boot, the types of journeys you do and what you regularly carry in the boot.
Actually buying Auto gas, still isn’t as easy as people were expecting. Although there is a great number of LPG stations throughout the country it may still require some research to find in your area.