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My car has LPG, and it all works, however i'm beginning to question its continued worth, especially as its probably wanting some TLC.

The car doesnt run as well on the LPG as it does on petrol, feels a bit flat. Ofcourse thats typically offset by a huge cost saving that makes it worthwhile. Theres also a few drivability issues at high throttle demand.

However as LPG becomes harder to find, (the last few times i've gone to the local place they've been out of stock), i've also noticed the cost saving deminishing to the point of questionability...

My local place is now charging £1 a litre for LPG, vs £1.45 for petrol. However the car uses more fuel on LPG, which cuts into the saving. I recon it uses at least 25% more LPG than petrol. Plus its a bit of a detour to the next town over to buy it, and its the only place around that has it any more.

I've always reconned a tank of LPG at around 85L gets me 200-220miles or so. That works out around 12mpg and at £1 costs about 37p a mile

if we assume 15mpg on petrol at £1.45 thats 43p a mile

It used to be that LPG was half the price of petrol and meant the running costs were down in the 20p range, but 37 vs 43 seems barely worth it?

How are others finding it?

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There's multiple reasons why LPG has gone up in price. It always did rise (and get harder to find) during the winter due to the demand for people using it for domestic heating and cooking, but this year hasn't gone back down. It went up to around a pound a litre when petrol and diesel almost hit two pounds but it hasn't come down correspondingly. The other problem is the Motor Fuel Group (MFG). A few months ago my local Flogas depot was selling at 78p per litre and the 4 Morrisons in my area (Wisbech, St Ives, Camborne and Pinchbeck) were all at 79.9p. Any filling stations operated by MFG, were all selling at 99.9p so not doing much business unless someone had no alternative. The other cheap ones were operated by Euro Garages, owned by the same people as Asda, with a local one selling at 64.9p when Flogas were 78p! The local EG one has changed hands and I suspect is also now run by MFG as they are charging £1.05.

MFG have taken over the running of all Morrisons forecourts and all immediately put there price up to 99.9p, to match the other MFG owned sites. It may be that they have also done the same with ASDA sites too. The takeover of Morrisons was subject to an investigation by the Competition Markets Authority and they were forced to keep petrol and diesel prices down, but obviously not LPG. My local Flogas depot were told by their head office to increase their price to get closer to other sources in the area so are now charging 90p. One area of the country that MFG don't appear to have a foothold is Birmingham. If you look at autogas.app in the Birmingham area, not only are there plenty of filling stations but most are around the 70p mark, if not lower! I was there recently and filled up at one (not far off the M6 either) that only did LPG (no other fuels), 4 pumps, 6 huge tanks and 73p a litre.

So, while the price differential between LPG and petrol isn't great, making it seem like it is hardly worth it, particularly if a car doesn't run well on it. Mine actually runs better on LPG than petrol, probably because it very rarely uses any petrol. I'd say stick at it and wait for the differential to increase. Plus the fact that I do a lot of driving in Europe and the most expensive country is France at 1 Euro a litre (so roughly 85p) while most of the others are less or a lot less (anything between 50 and 80 Euro cents). I'm fortunate in having Flogas locally, and 4 branches of Morrisons all within half an hour but if it gets really difficult I'll just invest £300 in a pump so I can fill from 47kg bottles and that will be enough for my local use (and a fill will easily get me to Dover so I can get on a ferry to more sensible countries). My step-daughter lives in the Netherlands and has two filling station just around the corner from her house. 3 years ago neither did LPG but have both since been refurbished and have had EV charge points and LPG installed. In fact, not far from where she lives a new filling station has been built with LPG, CNG, Hydrogen and EV charge points but no petrol or diesel at all.

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yeah i suspect if your doing plenty miles then it all helps. I only did 2000miles last year in it and we're half way thru this year and its only done about 200miles since its MOT.

I imagine LPG volumes are low at most of these filling stations, so they're increasing the price to help cover their costs. We're no doubt reaching the point where most cars on the road are Direct Injection and cant use it. So its only holdouts like us with 20-30 year old motors that are actually buying any, and those old cars will slowly whittle away.

The only places near me (within perhaps 25-30miles) with LPG at all are a couple morrisons and an asda.

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Direct injection can be converted these days, albeit at a marginally greater cost than a port injection system, the factory fit Dacia range being a prime example. They actually produce more power and are more economical on LPG too.

Agreed, I'm doing 30-35,000 a year, so the cost saving, even if it isn't great, is worthwhile. If you aren't doing the mileage then the benefits aren't anything like as good. I will say though that I attribute running on a cleaner hydrocarbon fuel without any additives to the longevity of my engine. I change the oil every 10,000 miles and it is still clean after that mileage.

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As it happens, the Dacia is port injected. The Nissan HR engine is availalbe in both port and DI variants, with the DI versions used in the higher spec models. The factory LPG Dacias use the port injected version.
I suspect mostly for cost reasons, many small capacity cheap engines are still port injected, but these arent often the types of cars that attract LPG installs, as they're already pretty cheap to run.

You really dont see any newer range rovers etc on LPG these days, whereas it was super common in the P38's years.

I think the high output diesels over the past 10-15 years has really dampened the demand for LPG in large SUV's. In the P38's day and even into early L322 era, the petrol engines had a significant power advantage, making it worthwhile buying the V8 and dealing with the LPG setup... But once you got the likes of the TDV8's producing 300+hp the whole scene starts to shift. Most folk buying the petrol V8 at that point over the diesel probably arent particuarly bothered about fuel consumption, especially with the £735 a year in tax!

And you can see that looking at the numbers on ebay, most of the LPG equipped cars are before 2009, with only tiny numbers between 2009 and 2020, with a bit of an uptick after that which are almost all Dacias.

One positive is that working LPG means i can probably squeak thru an MOT with my worn out catalytic converters. Though i'm not entirely sure thats a good thing 😂

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I've been thinking the same thing recently. In my area there's a single station selling at 90.9p (North East). If they decide to stop selling LPG or increase the price much more then I may consider removing the system as there would nowhere to fill up without a huge detour.

Gilbertd wrote:

I was there recently and filled up at one (not far off the M6 either) that only did LPG (no other fuels), 4 pumps, 6 huge tanks and 73p a litre.

Sounds like "Supergaz" on Washwood Heath Rd? I like that station. They open late and even fill your car for you so you don't even need to get out.

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jacckk wrote:

Sounds like "Supergaz" on Washwood Heath Rd? I like that station. They open late and even fill your car for you so you don't even need to get out.

It was, I was staying a couple of days in Coleshill and it was the nearest one from there, but looking on autogas.app, there's plenty more all around the same price if not lower.