Rising oil prices are making all of us think about cutting our expenditure on oil related products. It seems an increasing number of people are turning to LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) to reduce their motoring costs.
LPG is an oil based gas that exists in liquid form, but as it burns in a much cleaner way than petrol or diesel, it has many environmental benefits.
Being greener than unleaded or diesel, LPG use is being encouraged by the government, who charge less tax on LPG than either petrol or diesel.
In fact LPG is taxed at only 16.5p per litre whereas diesel costs include a 64p tax charge per litre. This difference in taxation means that LPG costs around half that of unleaded or diesel.
Although LPG prices have been rising with the higher oil costs, LPG currently costs around 65p per litre, compared to £1.30 for diesel.
So it is not surprising that in a recent survey, MotorInsurance.co.uk found that one in four motorists want to convert their cars to LPG.
It seems large organisations are seeing the benefits of converting their fleets to run on LPG. For example, Alan Hocking, Fleet and Supplies Manager at Humberside Police comments that using LPG is helping to reduce the cost of keeping the local community safe as well as tackling climate change.
“We made the move for environmental reasons and the reduction in fuel costs is an additional benefit. Every penny that we save from the budget can go directly to supporting front-line policing for the community”, he says.
The main problem with converting your car to run on LPG is that it can be difficult to find a filling station that supplies Liquid Petroleum Gas. This is why the research found that 20% of people would switch to LPG as long as their car could also unleaded or diesel, if no LPG was available.
The dread of running out of fuel with no LPG supplier in the area is creating a huge barrier to the take up of this fuel, even though there are significant environmental and cost saving benefits.
It seems, however that there is a misconception about the poor availability of LPG. I entered our nearest town (Chelmsford) in this LPG locator and found 11 petrol stations supplying LPG.
When I searched for LPG suppliers in a rural town, Swaffham in Norfolk, 3 stations were found to supply the fuel. Polperro in Cornwall, a small tourist destination, also has three LPG suppliers in the vicinity.
Rural LPG outlets are often in supermarkets to which most of the locals have to travel anyway, so there is little inconvenience in using LPG, even for rural communities.
Converting to LPG does require modifications to your car, however now that insurance companies are more willing to insure professionally converted vehicles, now may well be the time to help your wallet and the environment by switching to LPG too.