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LPG powers £2,000 annual saving for driving instructor Nigel

Going it alone as an approved driving instructor often means working hard for every penny of income, but Aylesbury-based tutor Nigel Franks is making his car work for him and cashing in on fuel savings of £2,000 a year, thanks to running on cheaper LPG autogas.

Nigel, who named his business Learn Pass Go as a nod to his choice of alternative fuel, originally had his Ford Focus 1.8 converted to LPG autogas in 2010 – and hasn’t looked back since.

Explaining what attracted him to the idea of an LPG conversion in the first place, Nigel says: “Like most people it was the money-saving element that was the biggest factor, although I was also keen to be as clean as possible. My car obviously spends a lot of time in town traffic, stopping and starting, and manoeuvring slowly outside people’s houses, so the fact that so little comes out of the exhaust is great.”

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After spending £1,000 on having the LPG autogas system professionally installed, Nigel found that he soon made his money back. “It took about six months for the money I was saving on cheaper fuel to pay off the cost of the conversion,” he says. “The car does around 25,000 miles a year and I was planning to keep it for some time, so it made financial sense as I would carry on getting that payback, and more, every year.”

The money he’s saving on his fuel bills also means that Nigel has nothing to fear from any routine or discretionary repair costs. “I generally get through a clutch every year, as well as other wear and tear items,” he reports, adding with a laugh: “I’ve probably replaced most of the parts on the car over time! As I’ll probably be keeping the car for another four years it makes sense from a business point of view, and the fuel savings more than help to pay for that maintenance.”

Running his tuition car on LPG autogas has even helped Nigel to market his services – directly and indirectly. “I called the business Learn Pass Go to promote the fact that I use LPG, and I have a website that goes into some of the environmental benefits,” he explains. “However, the thing that most 17-year-olds are most interested in is what lessons are going to cost them, and I can certainly offer keen pricing because of my lower fuel costs. I’m often asked why I’m cheaper and I always say it’s because of LPG!”

What’s more, Nigel’s enthusiasm for LPG autogas rubs off on some of his young charges. “Sometimes I fill with gas when I’ve got a pupil with me, and they all ask what it is. A few of them go away with an interest in LPG cars and say they’re going to get one themselves. I don’t know if they do, but at least they start their driving lives knowing what the benefits are.”

So, does the future of Learn Pass Go still include LPG? “Yes, definitely,” Nigel replies without hesitation. “It’s the way I want to run the business and it’s financially sensible. I’ll be keeping this car for a while more as it’s got plenty of features I like, spares are easy to get and because of its age I don’t mind if it gets the odd scrape on the kerb.

“At some point I’ll have to decide what to get next, though,” he concludes, “and I will convert it to LPG because the financial savings are great. It’s cheaper fuel, keeps the money in my pocket, and I’m quids in!”

To find out how much you can benefit by switching to LPG, use our fuel savings calculator here or use our enquiry form to get in touch to ask about your car

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