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Tree surgeon chops his fuel bills with LPG

A Buckinghamshire tree surgeon has saved more than £3,500 in fuel costs by switching to autogas LPG. Graham Free was looking for a new van for his three businesses almost seven years ago and having found the ideal vehicle to end his search, Graham noticed the van had previously been converted to run on autogas LPG. Although he was already aware of the fuel, he was unaware of its money saving and environmentally friendly benefits.

Delving deeper and researching autogas LPG in more detail, Graham found that the price comparisons – in which motorists can save up to 40 per cent in fuel costs – made the decision to purchase the van a “no brainer”.

Despite being a relatively low mileage driver, accumulating fewer than 10,000 miles annually, Graham says he notices significant savings year on year, with an annual saving of around £500. What’s more, these savings would only increase further with every extra mile Graham drives.

Working predominantly in areas in and surrounding Aylesbury, Graham describes himself principally as a local driver, mostly driving from village to village. However, with business requests coming in further afield, he can find himself utilising motorways around the country on occasions. “As well as the obvious financial savings, another advantage is the availability of the LPG. When I first started using autogas seven years ago, there were only three local stations to choose from. I now have a choice of five within a 20 mile radius so who knows what this could rise to in the future,” he adds.

Since switching to LPG seven years ago, Graham has continued to run his vans on autogas LPG and has not once considered returning to petrol. Graham now drives a Ford Transit Connect, which he bought six months ago, this time having specifically searched for another van already running on LPG so he could continue to benefit from the savings it brings.

Considering the green theme of his businesses, Graham also feels that running his car on autogas complements his business, Florascapes, in a positive way and supports their green image. Producing 33 per cent less CO2 emissions than petrol and 45 per cent less than diesel, as well as up to 82 per cent less Nitrogen Oxide pollutants than petrol and 99 per cent less than diesel, the health and environmental advantages of running autogas are clear. Jokingly, Graham even told how he even has a sticker on his van reading, “Mean, clean, LPG gas machine”!

Highly supportive of the push for Government to advocate the use of LPG, Graham agrees that those in power could be doing more to encourage drivers to make the switch. “Simplifying the process to apply for the reduced vehicle excise duty and helping to demystify the technology could encourage more people to turn to LPG,” he suggests.

Graham also argues that better signage on motorways and at forecourts has the potential to make a difference, adding, “I think often motorists overlook LPG simply because they don’t know it’s there, readily available at the roadside.

Asked if he would continue to run his fleet of business vehicles on autogas LPG in future, Graham confirmed he would, not least because he hates the smell of diesel! Speaking highly of his experience using autogas, he added: “I would entirely recommend motorists switch to LPG, particularly for those who use vehicles for business purposes. My vehicle runs just as smooth and powerfully as any petrol or diesel equivalent, is a pleasure to drive yet also saves me significant costs in fuel bills. What’s not to like?”

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