Sales opportunities for used cars powered by LPG will not improve in the future unless further commitment is offered by the Government towards the necessary infrastructure and incentives.
According to analysts at Glass’s Information Services, the current number of LPG vehicles registered in the UK – around 107,000 – represents just 0.4% of the total parc. Government fleets and national utilities are the largest users.
Glass’s warns that the market for LPG, both in terms of new and used vehicle sales, will continue to be restricted, because as yet only around 1,400 fuel stations cater for it. The growth in the diesel sector, helped by a pro-diesel company car tax policy, has also meant drivers looking to save on fuel bills will choose diesel over LPG.
Glass’s senior car editor Jeff Paterson says: “New car buyers are presented with scores of fuel-efficient examples to choose from, with nearly all the manufacturers offering a variety of bodystyles and engine options. With LPG cars, only a handful of manufacturers offer factory-fitted conversions from new. There are simply not sufficient numbers of new examples for buyers to consider.”
Retro-fitted LPG conversions may even damage a vehicle’s residual value, he warns, as consumers remain uncertain over the safety of such systems and the compromised boot space from fitting a tank. In a Birmingham Trading Standards study of 20 conversions last year, 19 were found to have been fitted incorrectly.