The Fixer: Should I switch to LPG?

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Dear Fixer,
Living in the country, I have little choice but to drive to and from work every day. However, the cost of my commute has shot up in recent years due to rising petrol prices.

I was talking to a friend about this the other day, and he suggested that I switch to a new type of fuel called LPG.

He said that LPG, which is available at a local petrol station, was cheaper than petrol and should save me money as a result, but that I would need to convert my car to use it.

So my question is this: could LPG save me money? And are there any disadvantages to converting my car to run on LPG rather than petrol?

S Taylor, Derbyshire

Dear Ms Taylor,

Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) is now available in more than 1,400 filling stations - often advertised as Autogas.

And your friend was right; switching to it rather than petrol could slash the amount you spend on fuel by a massive 40%.

However, you have to convert your vehicle to take advantage of these savings, generally at a cost of between £1,500 and £2,000.

You will also face servicing costs of about £120 a year (although this could be done as part of your annual service, cutting the cost involved).

You therefore need to do your sums to see if it is worth making the switch, and to work out how to get to and from work while your LPG tank is being fitted.

If you decide to go ahead, you should only use a UKLPG approved tank installer. And don't forget to inform the DVLA, which will then award you a road tax reduction of between £10 and £15, and your insurer.

Your insurance premiums should not change as a result of the switch.

The Fixer

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