- How will converting my car to LPG save me money?
- Why is LPG better for the enviroment?
- Is LPG safe?
- LPG Safety
- What is LPG?
- Does it matter what system I put on my car?
- How does an LPG conversion work?
- What happens if I run out of LPG?
- Can I still drive on petrol?
- What happens to the spare wheel? What if I get a puncture?
- Where can I refuel?
- Can I convert my diesel to use LPG?
- How much does it cost?
- What about servicing?
- List of insurers
- Will the conversion improve the resale value of my car?
- What is going to happen to LPG prices?
- Can an LPG system be removed?
- Removing and Transferring LPG Systems
- Will LPG take off?
- Will I be exempt from Congestion Charging?
- How long does the conversion take?
How will converting my car to LPG save me money?
Autogas is half the price of diesel or petrol. This is because the tax is far lower in recognition of its environmental benefits. There are also benefits such as a small reduction in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for cars registered after 2001 (£20 per year) and reduced engine wear.
Why is LPG better for the environment?
Two reasons. Firstly the simple chemical nature of the fuel ensures that it burns cleaner producing less pollution. LPG has the potential to make a huge difference to local air quality, particularly in urban areas, see table. Secondly, it is produced as a by-product of oil extraction and refining operations. The UK produces a surplus of millions of tonnes each year LPG is by far the most valuable use for it.
Is LPG safe?
Crash and fire tests have proved that the strength and integrity of tanks fitted to LPGA safety guidelines (CoP11) make the LPG fuel system safer than petrol. There are now over eight million LPG vehicles around the world. The Queen has four of them.
The safety record of autogas is at least as good if not better than petrol or diesel.
Autogas is fully contained under pressure in solid tanks in a sealed system. Conventional petrol systems are far more prone to leaks and vapour escapes.
A risk assessment carried out by TNO, a Dutch research institute, in 1998 concluded that the safety of modern autogas vehicles was marginally better than for gasoline vehicles.
Other recent studies by the Belgian research organisation, DNV, have demonstrated that the risk of tank rupture is greater for petrol than for autogas. Many years of operation worldwide have amply demonstrated the integrity and safety of bulk LP Gas/autogas transportation and storage containers, as well as on-board vehicle tanks.
What is LPG?
Liquefied Petroleum Gas, often called autogas when used to as a vehicle fuel, is made up of propane and butane. It is a by-product of oil extraction and refining operations. The UK has an abundant supply. Currently the UK exports LPG and imports petrol.
Does it matter what system I put on my car?
Yes it does – . It is crucial to have both the right system for your car and to have it fitted by a mechanic trained to LPGA standards.
How will it affect my car’s performance?
Modern LPG conversions suffer no noticeable loss of performance. Engines will run smoother and be slightly quieter.
How does an LPG conversion work?
The conversion adds a second independent fuel system, making the car bi-fuel or capable of running on either petrol or LPG. This requires a second tank, usually installed in the spare wheel well.
What happens if I run out of LPG?
All modern gas injection systems are dual fuel so when the car runs out of LPG it will automatically switch to petrol. This is quite normal, hardly noticeable and causes no damage to your engine. The car will cold start on petrol and then quickly switch over when the engine is warm.
Can I still drive on petrol?
The conversion adds a second fuel system, leaving the original petrol system in place. Therefore the car drives as before on petrol and will normally cold start on petrol. You can switch to petrol at the push of a button on the dashboard. When you’re used to the low cost of driving on gas there really isn’t any need to use petrol unless of course you are out of gas.
What happens to the spare wheel? What if I get a puncture?
You have a number of options depending on the your requirements and preferences.Some people rarely use all their boot space so the spare wheel can stay in the boot area. If all the boot space is needed then there are further options available, these are:
- Use run flat tyres – expensive.
- Puncture-proof the existing car tyres. This costs approx 100 pounds and is best done when tyres are new or have plenty of tread on them. This is best left to the specialist as the tyres can become unbalanced if too much sealnt is used. Our preferred product is Protex. This will treat up to 20 punctures per tyre , treats punctures up to 5mm dia. and vehicle can still be driven at speed.
- Compressor and sealant. This costs 72.50 for a high quality product. This reflates the tyre and seals the puncture until you can get it properly repaired. Some manufacturers adopt thismethod for cars produced without a spare wheel.The advantage of this over puncture proofing is that it can be used on your next set of tyres. The disadvantgaes are that you cannot drive over 50 mph.
- AA or RAC cover. Depending on your policy, the breakdown services will either take you to a garage or get a mobile tyre fitter to replace the tyre at the roadside.
- Tyre Weld Aerosol can that seals and inflates small punctures. Very cheap – about a tenner. Doesn’t seal large punctures.
Where can I refuel?
The industry has invested over £100 million in the infrastructure and there are now over 1300 LPG refuelling stations in the UK. If you do run out then the car will automatically switch over to petrol.
Can I convert my diesel to use LPG?
Yes, but the savings are not as great and the system cost is more expensive. This is only worth doing if you have aver thirsty vehicle or do a lot of miles , 50,000 plus per year.
How much does it cost?
This depends on the vehicle to be converted. Use our instant quotation service to find out the cost of converting your car.
What about servicing?
The LPG system should be inspected annually or at least every 15000 miles. Cost at present is 120 plus vat (141) Will it affect my insurance? You will have to notify your insurance company. The major companies will not increase your premium provided that the work has been properly carried out.
List of insurers
Insurance of Gas Powered Vehicles
A conversion of a vehicle to run on LPG is a modification and as such must be advised to your insurance company. In a survey undertaken in November 2002 the following companies advised that they will not charge an additional premium if the conversion is by an LPGA Approved Installer:
AIG Europe (UK) Ltd (http://www.aig.com/)
Allianz Cornhill (http://www.allianzcornhill.com/)
AXA Insurance UK plc (http://www.axa.co.uk/)
Chubb Insurance Co of Europe (http://www.chubb.com/)
Churchill Insurance Co (http://www.churchill.co.uk/)
Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd (http://www.cis.co.uk/)
Cornhill Direct (http://www.cornhilldirect.co.uk/)
Direct Line Insurance (http://www.directline.com/)
Groupama Insurance (http://www.groupama.co.uk/)
Legal and General (http://www.legalandgeneral.com/)
Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company (http://www.liverpoolvictoria.co.uk/)
MMA Insurance (http://www.mma-insurance.co.uk/)
National Insurance and Guarantee Co Plc (http://www.nig-uk.com/)
NFU Mutual and Avon Group (http://www.nfumutual.co.uk/)
Norwich Union (http://www.norwichunion.co.uk/)
Provident Insurance plc (http://www.provident.co.uk/)
Prudential Assurance Co Ltd (http://www.prudential.co.uk/)
Royal & Sun Alliance (http://www.royalsunalliance.co.uk/)
Zurich Financial Services (http://zurich.co.uk/personal/)
If a conversion is not undertaken by an LPGA Approved Installer then 20 of the companies would not insure the vehicle AT ALL.
Will the conversion improve the resale value of my car?
This depends on the quality of the system fitted and the type of car. A good quality, reliable system is like to having a half price fuel button on the dashboard and will be a good selling point. Unreliable equipment without proper certification will lower the value of the car.
What is going to happen to LPG prices?
The Government has committed itself to reducing pollution. The environmental credentials of LPG are proven. Therefore it is extremely unlikely that the duty differential between LPG and petrol and diesel will be reduced.
Can an LPG system be removed?
The system can be taken out and put on another car but there are some important issues to consider.
Removing and Transferring LPG Systems
Your LPG system can be removed from your vehicle should you wish. This is a much simpler exercise than the installation however it must be carried out by a properly qualified technician so that all systems are properly isolated and the vehicle returned to its original specification. It involves the following:
Removal of the LPG filling point, fuel tank, injectors, vaporiser fuel switch and gauge
Isolation and/or removal of the LPG wiring loom, connections and ECU
Making good to the dashboard, bodywork and inlet manifold.
Systems can generally be transferred from one vehicle to another, so long as the number of cylinders are the same and the tank will fit the new vehicle.
Will LPG take off?
Recently Brian Wilson, the Energy Minister, unveiled the 100,000th LPG car in the UK, which represents an investment of over £150 million. The Oil industries have invested over £100 million in the fuelling infrastructure. Globally there are now more than eight million vehicles powered by LPG. LPG offers one of the best routes to cleaner transport and better air quality since it is practical, proven and will save the user money.
Will I be exempt from Congestion Charging?
Contrary to what is sometimes said, not all LPG conversions qualify for CC exemption. To qualify the car has to meet Band 4 (40% improvement on Euro IV) emissions targets.
How long does the conversion take?
Generally four to five days to allow time for system testing.