United Kingdom
Sector: LPG

Brits open to LPG

According to a recently held survey, a remarkable portion of British motorists would consider ditching petrol in favour of LPG for their cars. What made the most common alternative fuel so popular among drivers all of a sudden?
LPG dispenser at a station in Scotland© gazeo.comBrits already have approx. 1400 of these and want more

The survey, commissioned by the company Autogas and conducted by the ComRes agency, was a nationwide one. The results showed that almost a third (31% exactly) of drivers would take into consideration converting their petrol-powered cars to run on LPG instead. In London the ratio of motorists interested in slashing their fuel bills through switch to autogas was palpably higher at 46%. No wonder why – autogas is 69 pence per litre on average, which is nearly a half cheaper than petrol (1,3 pounds/l). Not only the Scots are tempted by that.

The popularity of autogas has been growing steadily and today there are approximately 155-160 thousand motorists in the UK using it. They have some 1400 refueling stations at their disposal across England, Wales and Scotland (the figure doesn't include Northern Ireland, although LPG is also available there). The cost of conversion is around 1500 pounds and pays back within roughly a year, not without the help of a lowered road tax for all autogas users. Also, those who were unsure of future savings have had their confidence restored when the British government annouced stable fiscal policy for the next 10 years – drivers can invest their money in conversions and be sure that the excise tax won't go up and ruin the whole thing.

As the survey also revealed, Britons would enjoy the possibility of choosing from among a number of new cars offered with LPG conversions. At the moment the only autogas-powered car available straight from the showroom is the affordable, but not particularly attractive Proton Gen-2 ecologic, but the market is definitely ready to accept more factory-converted models – 38% of all drivers declared a desire to buy a new LPG model the next time they change cars. Again, Londoners are ahead of the national average with a ratio of 43%.

The survey results reflect an appetite among consumers - particularly in London - to save money by potentially switching to an LPG Autogas as an alternative.

Linda Gomersall, general manager of Autogas

What do the above figures actually tell us? Not much by themselves, but Autogas intends to turn the survey results into a plan of specific actions to be undertaken in the near future. These will be aimed at untapping the potential of the market revealed by the survey. First and foremost, the company hopes to convince car manufacturers and importers to offer LPG-powered models (Vauxhall should be the number one target since its sister brand Opel has a full line-up of autogas-powered cars), but also they wish to further develop the refueling network across the country and work with the government to extend the LPG support beyond the year 2024. We're looking forward to hearing news of some tangible effects of Autogas' actions.


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Robert Markowski
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