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LPG in Europe
Autogas is catching on across Europe, so driving your own LPG-powered car is hardly a problem, no matter how remote the part of the Old Continent you choose to travel to is. And even if you happen to run out of the cheaper, greener fuel, petrol is always there to save the day. But who wants any petrol when you can fill up at half the price, right? Right, so take some time to plan your journey thoroughly to make sure there are autogas filling stations all along your way. And, mind you, you may need some extra hardware.
See, there are several coupling standards for autogas refilling. The Italian dish is probably the most common one across the continent, but there are some countries using the Dutch bayonet (not necessarily just Holland), while some others use the Belgian ACME system (again, not just Belgium). Apparently, there is also a Russian standard popular East of Poland, but little is known about it. Anyway, checking the standards of countries you are going to pass through and buying appropriate adapters would be a reasonable thing to do. Just to be on the safe side, for many filling stations have their own sets of adapters and will lend them to you, although sometimes demanding a deposit in return (e. g. 20 euros in Germany). You may also come across a dispenser with two filling hoses, each equipped with a different coupling nozzle. This solution is particularly popular in Germany.
OK, so you know your route, you have all the adapters you need and off you go! Wherever you go, LPG will be there waiting for you to fill up with it. Well, unless you decide to take a holiday in Finland (actually, autogas is available there, but not to individual motorists), Iceland (who would drive there, anyway?) or Moldova – forget about getting autogas in those countries. Also, remember that in some regions of Europe (like Poland or Germany) LPG stations are very common (almost all forecourts offer it), while in others you will only find the cheaper alternative to petrol at selected facilities, most probably those located along major highways. Numbers of stations in given countries vary from below 20 (in Austria or Luxembourg) to over 6700 (Germany), so with some destinations you will need to be extra careful (for instance, if you miss a station in Austria when you are already running low on LPG, you may have to switch to petrol before you reach another, for there is often no turning back), while with other ones opportunities to refill with autogas will be aplenty.
You should also be aware that most countries have self-service autogas refilling as standard. In fact, it is common virtually everywhere except for places like Poland, Czech Republic or post-Yugoslavian countries. It is probably a matter of time before self-service becomes the standard everywhere (actually, it will be introduced as an option in Poland towards the end of 2013), but for now you need to remember that right now there are places in Europe where you will be served in terms of LPG refilling. And it is not for you to choose – even if you want to refill on your own, it is simply forbidden.
Driving on your own has a number of advantages: you get to plan your own route, you can change your mind and take an alternative one any moment and you can make as many stops as you like. You may save time and use highways or bet on views instead and travel smaller roads instead, which seems particularly plausible when you are heading South, e. g. to Italy. If you are looking for the ultimate reason to help you make up your mind, think autogas – it will add the bonus of low price. And do not forget to consult our data sheet (below) for local prices (all given in national currencies) and coupling standards. As for filling station lists, you will find them here.
Autogas prices in Europe (updated on 26.06.2014)
|Country||Coupling standard||Petrol price||Autogas price|
|Germany||1,57 (E10 petrol)||0,60|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2,35||1,10|
|Finland||1,64 (E10 petrol)||no data|
|United Kingdom (smaller islands and Northern Ireland)||1,31||0,71|
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