What Is a LPG Car?

An LPG car is a vehicle that runs on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a mixture of propane and butane, instead of traditional petrol. These cars use a separate LPG fuel system alongside the existing petrol system (for converted vehicles) or a specially designed engine that can run on either fuel (for factory-built LPG cars).
LPG cars offer benefits such as lower fuel costs and reduced emissions but come with disadvantages like higher conversion costs, reduced cargo space, fewer refuelling stations, and lower fuel efficiency compared to petrol vehicles.

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What Is A LPG Car?

So you may be considering an LPG gas car, but you’re unsure on exactly what this is, and what it means for you as a car buyer. Well, I can tell you now that LPG cars are different from other cars. In what way?

Well, in the most simple terms, an LPG car is a vehicle that runs on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) instead of petrol. LPG is a mixture of propane and butane, and it’s stored in a tank on the car. From what we’ve seen here in Queensland, mostly these are Fords and Holdens.

LPG cars offer an alternative fuel option to traditional petrol vehicles. They achieve this by using a separate LPG fuel system alongside the existing petrol system (in converted vehicles) or a specially designed engine that can run on either fuel (factory-built LPG cars).

So, in simple terms, an LPG car uses both petrol and LPG gas. This makes your journey more efficient

LPG gas certificates are legally required for the sales/purchases of LPG gas vehicles

That’s right. If you are selling an LPG gas car, or buying one, you will be required to get a LPG gas certificate. Remember, don’t choose a cowboy inspector that might cause you more issues. Speak to our friendly team and book your mobile LPG gas inspection today. 

Types of LPG cars

Converted cars: 

These are standard petrol vehicles that have been modified to run on LPG. This involves installing a new fuel system that includes a tank, a regulator, and injectors. The original petrol system typically remains in place, allowing the driver to switch between fuels.

This has become very popular across Australia, especially in Queensland where the prices of fuel have increased a lot in the last few years. Many Queenslanders want to become more self-sufficient.

Factory-built LPG cars:

Some car manufacturers offer models specifically designed to run on either LPG or petrol. These vehicles have a specially designed engine that can handle both fuels efficiently. They also typically have a switch in the cabin that allows the driver to select the desired fuel source.

Factory built LPG cars no longer exist in Australia, so this means that many Queensland are looking for places to find LPG gas. If you do need to speak to someone about this, then please get in touch with our team who can help you get fixed up.

What does this mean for you?

By using a separate LPG fuel system or a bi-fuel engine, LPG cars can operate on a different fuel source compared to traditional petrol or vehicles. 

This provides drivers with an alternative fuelling option that can potentially offer benefits like lower fuel cost and reduced emissions.

LPG gas certificates are different to caravan gas certificates. If you want to know about caravan gas safety inspections, read our blog. 

Key points: 

  • LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) – a mixture of propane and butane.
  • Lower fuel costs, reduced emissions compared to petrol
  • Conversion cost, reduced cargo space, fewer fuelling stations, lower fuel efficiency than petrol.

PS. You will need to ensure your LPG is gas compliant or safe, otherwise you could end up failing your roadworthy.

Are LPG Cars Worth It?

In terms of cost you’ll end up saving huge money on your fuel bills with an LPG car, at the expense of a little engine power. However, it’s true that a LPG gas supplier can be difficult to find.

Driving long distances can become an issue with LPG cars as they have a shorter range and fuel is less available. But for local drivers with a supplier nearby, LPG is absolutely worth it. Particularly for those concerned about their carbon footprint and bank account. 

The only answer to this question is it depends on the person. Based on the information above, you can choose whether a LPG gas is worth it for you or not. If you don’t care about LPG gas being difficult to find, or if you know a supplier, then the lower running costs might be worth it to you. 

On the other hand, if you don’t know where to buy LPG gas and are worried you might get left short without being able to buy any, then you should consider getting an electric or petrol car instead. 

Performance Of LPG Cars Vs Petrol Cars

Okay so an LPG car won’t necessarily have the same power as an equivalent petrol car, as LPG burns at a cooler temperature and so exerts less pressure per combustion on the piston. About 25% less power in fact

This does mean that the efficiency of the car is going to be less than its counterpart, the petrol engine. However when you factor in the cost of LPG being around 50% of petrol, you’ll end up cutting your fuel bill in half even with a less efficient engine.

If you’re willing to give up some power for a bundle of savings LPG is a fantastic option. However, If you’ve got a need for speed then i’d suggest sticking to petrol.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LPG cars:

Now, based on what we know, there are both advantages and disadvantages to LPG gas cars. Really, they impact car owners differently, so for example if you are someone looking to make your long distance trips more efficient, maybe LPG gas is right for you. 

On the other hand, maybe you live local, don’t need to travel far and don’t really consider the efficiency of your car as a factor. Well, in this case, LPG gas might not be worth your time, and could be more of a headache than it’s worth. 

I’ll explain more details about the pros and cons of LPG gas below. 

Advantages

  • LPG gas produces heaps less greenhouse gases than petrol, so owning one of these can really help toward a healthier planet.
  • The most prolific advantage of LPG has to be the low cost. Fuel bills are a huge burden on the wallet for any petrol owner, owning an LPG car would half those costs 

Disadvantages

  • Now there is a high initial cost of converting a petrol car to LPG that you’ll have to get over. Although in the long run you’ll make your investment back and some with the cheaper running costs.
  • It’s worth knowing that LPG cars are a thing of the past, making the LPG fuel scarce and sometimes difficult to find.

Is LPG a Better Fuel Than Petrol?

In terms of power and performance of a car, you’ll get the most out of a petrol engine, as the LPG engine runs cooler, producing less power per combustion. 

In simple terms, the petrol engine is around 25% more efficient in terms of kms/Litre than the LPG engine (So pretty much petrol wins on power and fuel efficiency).

However, when we consider costs of running to the wallet and our planet LPG gas wins all the way. On average, it’s suggested that LPG gas is able to save you up to 50% on your fuel bills. This is great for saving your money and the planet. 

But remember, that’s assuming you can find a local and reliable supplier, and even then travelling long distances may require research and planning for factory gas only cars. 

So which is the best fuel? If you favour power and fuel economy over costs and emissions, then petrol is better suited for you. On the other hand, if you prefer much lower running costs and a reduced carbon footprint, LPG is the better fuel.  

Is an LPG Car Cheaper To Run?

Yes, as shown by our comparison between LPG and petrol above, we can confirm that LPG cars are cheaper to run compared to petrol.

However, the cheapest car to run is electric vehicles. But when compared to petrol, LPG gas comes out as the cheapest.

So, if you are conscious of rising costs of fuel, then you should consider buying a second hand LPG car. Or you could consider converting your own car.

In the long run you can see more savings for an LPG car making it an affordable option for many Queenslanders.

Are LPG Cars Still Available?

Yes, LPG cars are still available in Australia.

The best way to find a LPG car is to buy a used one. There are still some factory built LPG cars around today, although be wary they are coming to end of life so be sure to get a professional roadworthy done and check service history. 

Secondly, you can buy a used car that’s been previously converted. This may come with a higher cost but this way you can have the reliability of a modern car with the running costs of a LPG model.

Remember, Don’t buy a lemon! If you are looking to buy a car you can always get a pre-purchase inspection through us.

*Important note: It’s important if you buy a converted car to get an LPG gas inspection to ensure it’s fully compliant and safe. If you need help knowing how safe your car is, read our blog on car safety here. 

Finally you can convert your own modern petrol engine to run on LPG gas. With a modern car that you plan to keep for a while, there’s no doubt you’ll pass the breakeven point, especially with rising petrol prices in this economic climate. 

Conclusion

So, there you go. You now know that an LPG car can be a good choice for Queensland drivers who prioritise saving money on fuel and reducing their environmental impact. Although, these cars come with limited refuelling options and at the cost of some engine power.

*An important note: If you own or are thinking about buying a LPG car the tank will need to be tested and certified every 10 years for safety purposes. Don’t go with any old shoddy inspector, because this may leave you out of pocket. 

We use Queensland approved examiners so please feel free to get in touch with our team if you require a LPG gas inspection. 

Without us being biassed, you can come and speak to the ASAP Roadworthys team, we won’t bite! 

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