Long term tests

Alpina B10

As fuel prices drop, the LPG savings are harder to spot on our Alpina 10

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m finding the falling price of petrol rather frustrating. Why? Because it means that the time it will take us to make back the £2400 we invested in the Alpina’s LPG conversion is getting longer. When the extra tank was fitted back in August we were saving about 10p per mile, but now, with unleaded back down to around 90p per litre, our saving is closer to 7p per mile, which means we’ll have to cover nearly 30,000 miles to get our cash back.

The cheapest we’ve paid for LPG this month is 47p per litre, and it’s now Asda that is consistently the cheapest provider. It’s weird, but when filling up with petrol I just pull into the nearest station, irrespective of price, but now I’m on gas, saving a couple of extra pennies has become an obsession, and finding a cheap source of LPG before the thirsty 4.6-litre V8 reverts to unleaded has developed into a weird game of chicken.

Mind you, there are other ways we can save money too. We’re currently getting the Alpina registered for free access to the centre of London. You can’t just scoot into the Congestion Charge zone and ignore the payment demands, you have to first fill in a form (www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/CC-discount-alternative-fuel.pdf.pdf), send it off with a £10 fee and then wait ten days for it to be processed.

More on that next month, but before I sign off, a quick thank you to Nick August, who has emailed us details of the filler adapter needed for the continent. It costs £12, and as we found out last month, it’s absolutely vital for LPG escapades in France!

Running Costs

Date acquiredAugust 2008
Total mileage101,575
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month1463
MPG this month28.1 (petrol equivalent)

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