LPG (liquified petroleum gas) has gained a steady following amongst car owners over the years.
Its main attraction is that it is taxed at a much lower rate than petrol, making it much cheaper. LPG vehicles are also eligible for discount/exemption from the London Congestion Charge – reason enough for some drivers.
LPG has much cleaner emissions than petrol or diesel, making it attractive from an environmental point of view, too. Petrol engines can be converted to run on LPG relatively easily and can still be run on petrol after the conversion, if necessary.
Is converting my car to LPG a good idea?
Probably not. LPG conversions cost quite a lot and usually result in a loss of boot or spare wheel space where the gas tank is fitted.
LPG installations also require an annual service (seperate to the rest of your car) and there are not that many LPG specialists in the UK.
Finally, LPG is only cheaper because it is taxed differently. If the tax applied to LPG was the same as that applied to petrol, there wouldn’t be much difference in price between them.
This possibility makes LPG even less attractive, since LPG usually gives poorer fuel economy than petrol.
What about buying a car that’s already converted to LPG?
This is a slightly better idea, as someone else will have absorbed the cost of the LPG conversion. You shouldn’t expect to pay much more than the price of an unconverted petrol model for an LPG vehicle.
You will be able to benefit from cheap LPG for as long as it lasts. The only downside will be the additional annual servicing requirements.