The true cost of converting to LPG
Converting your car to liquid petroleum gas, or LPG, has many benefits financially and environmentally. Reductions on road tax, cutting CO2 emissions by up to 20% and an everyday saving from having ‘bi-fuel’ capability rather than using petrol alone, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mentioning the positives.
However, there are some costs that need to be factored in if you are going to make such a decision.
Ninety percent of cars in the UK have potential for conversion, yet only 200,000 out of some 35 million have made the change. The first cost that has to be factored in is the initial fees for having the system fitted into your car. This will set you back between £1,500 and £2,000. Due to LPG being almost half the price of other fuels because of lower rates of tax, the initial payout probably won’t seem so painful when you weigh up the long term savings.
With autogas, servicing intervals are usually once a year. The mechanics will ensure that there is no leakage, change the filter and run computer diagnostics. This can cost between £20 and £100+, but is highly recommended if you don’t wish to run into a bigger (and more expensive) problem in the long term.
Increase in consumption
LPG has a higher octane rating and energy value than petrol, but a lower energy density. This means consumption when it comes to autogas is always higher than with petrol (around 15-20%), a range of about 150-200 miles per tank, although this can vary dependent on different factors.
For the prevention of valve burning, loss of compression or engine failure, certain engines will require additional lubrication. This adds around one litre of lubricant per 6,000 miles to your overall costs.
Running on LPG has many benefits overall. It can prolong the life of your engine, as it is a clean burning fuel, as well as increase the sell-on price of your vehicle as people look increasingly at different ways to save money and be less of a detriment to the environment.