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Diesel and the Budget - Simon
Has anyone got any ideas what our new Shylock of the Exchequor will do to the price of heavy oil?
The company I work for is reluctant to purchase Golf TDi 115 PD's due to fear of heavy-handedness on the smelly stuff. Instead they are proposing the 1.8 or 2.0 petrol with LPG conversions.

Thanks to any Mystic Meg's out there.

Re: Diesel and the Budget - Michael
I read somewhere that prudence is to relax the charges on "clean" diesels. The only diesel that meets that criteria (I think it relates to Euro iv or v emission standards) is the Peugeot 607. None the less, the indications are that views on NEW generation diesels are changing.
Re: Diesel and the Budget - Paul Robinson
The UK is already out of step with most of Europe in that diesel is usually more expensive than regular unleaded.

Whilst as a nation we seem unable to afford significant reductions in duty, it would be odd if we moved further out of step.

So my bet is no change for the foreseeable future.

Re: Diesel and the Budget - Stuart B
Simon, this is a really difficult question, like impossible to answer objectively even for Mystic Meg, and she never got me a lottery winner >£10.

You dont say what is the ultimate motivating force in the company to make the decision, is it environment, economics or a mixture?

On the environment front if its because there is someone in the company avidly anti diesel then for what its worth if you see my answer on the Peugeot 306 thread just a few down you will see what I think about the emissions side, and that is why I drive a diesel plus the economics of starship mileages. The statements in that thread are backed up by scientific reports subject to peer review.

But having said that to bring LPG into the frame re the various pollutants then I guess LPG has to be better than most of them talked about in that post except it produces significantly more C02/km than diesels and a bit more than petrol, and of course they produce more CO than diesels, though I guess at this point we will get a thread from Guy Lacey about his national treasure golf GTI etc etc. ;-)

As far as particulates I think LPG will be best, but there will still be some simply because of the fact that the car uses lubricating oil and its an internal combustion engine burning a hydrocarbon fuel for want of a better description. Nobody really knows what particulates an LPG engine produces because a) they are very very small and I reckon there is not a technique to measure them and b) because of a) nobody has really looked yet.

As for the economics side, well who knows what is right and what is wrong? It certainly seems that the Government and media have changed a little from their previous rabid anti diesel chant. So maybe diesel will not go up unduly? I ask the question, what is Gordon Brown going to do on LPG tax if enough people take it up and he starts losing revenue on petrol and diesel? Well he will put it up of course, but by how much and when? I believe there is a moratorium on increasing tax on LPG for a while, and maybe that is long enough for the LPG economics to make sense during the fleet life of cars being purchased now.

Then you get the question what will the cars be used for, will drivers put up with loss of boot space or not having a spare wheel but a tin of puncture fix and a mini air compressor.

Afraid have asked more questions than given answers, but hope this gives some more info on what is actually a very difficult technical and financial decision.

BTW the Golf TDI 115 Pumpe Duse is a complete hoot!
Re: Diesel and the Budget - Neil
Unless you have ready access to LPG then diesel would be the most convenient route for the user. And if the car is used for driving round the country then there are few LPG outlets and the cost of travelling to the few there are to fill up may outweigh the low costs of the fuel itself.

The company may also have to factor in the cost of conversion as the contributions offered for conversions are or have been reduced. I don't know if there are any consumption differences between LPG and petrol, but at around 50-55mpg the GT TDI PD is great.

As people have mentioned above if LPG becomes popular enough it will probably be taxed. What will the CO2 rating of the LPG car be as this will affect your company car tax liability!

There's more company car advice on:
Re: Diesel and the Budget - Tom Shaw
I think Gordon has got to be a bit careful after last years fuel protests which were led by those who use diesel, the hauliers etc. Had it not been for this we would be paying at least 10p a litre more for diesel and petrol by now.

The govt got a bloody nose last year, and it made them realise that they can only go so far before the normally placid general public demonstrate that enough is enough.
Re: Diesel and the Budget - Neil
I've not been able to find official LPG consumption figures but Shell do have a search engine to find your closest LPG station. Mine appears to be 10 miles away.

You can't, though, base the decision on a single factor - a good fleet manager will look at whole-life costs, the tax impact on the employee, and so on.

It's worth noting that the Golf is not much more expensive than Ford's unavailable Focus Ghia diesel or Peugot's 307 diesel.
Re: Diesel and the Budget - Brian
With the heavy-handed clamp-down on alcohol and tobacco imports by Customs and Excise, although the limits are being queried as being far too low by Brussels which, for once, is on the side of the consumer, I can see diesel smuggling becoming more attractive.
How about a white Tranny with 200 cigarettes and 3 bottles of whisky being waved through, but 150 gallons of DERV in extra tanks?
I have never seen a definition of "reasonable personal consumption" for fuel. After all, if you are allowed to bring in several months' stock of booze and baccy, why shouldn't the same apply to fuel?.
cooking oil - Andrew Barnes
Is it true you can use cooking oil instead of diesel? I have seen drums of it for about 35p/l in Costco.

Re: cooking oil - Ian Aspinall has plenty of info on this very subject.
Re: cooking oil - Michael
cooking oil can be converted into bio diesel - vw's will run on this. The UK government are not keen but the USA have recently taken a step towards approving its use (can be produced by farmers and not opec dependant). plenty of info on the web just type "bio diesel" into your search engine.
Re: Make your own diesel, update why buy the mag! - Stuart B
An update for Diesel Car magazine readers before they have even printed it.
(as HJ says this is where the *really bang up to date info* is!)

A few months ago I spotted a website which claimed to sell you for £35 a formula to make your own diesel in the garage tax free. It claimed it was all legal because all the ingredients were available over the counter and as you had already paid the VAT there was no more to pay.

Anyway, being a Yorkshireman, albeit living just over the border, no way was I going to invest £35 of my own money in what sounded like a very dubious scam. So I zapped off a short e-mail to the good Dr Diesel in Diesel Car mag to ask "what d'ya fink?".

Month before last, I think, the letter was published and I got the longest answer to the shortest letter ever. Anyway blow me the good Doctor invested £35 of his own money, or rather Future Publishing's dosh and ordered a pack. At the time of publication the website was still making the same claim but Doc had not received his order.

Anyway today I visited the website again, and surprise surprise its changed. Its still selling you the pack for £35 but is now making the statement and I quote, from the FAQ's page
"Is the fuel legal?

United Kingdom - *Updated June 2001*
There is no law against producing fuel but it is your responsibility to pay the Road Fuel Duty (tax) on the fuel.
British drivers pay the highest fuel duty in Europe which is avoided by purchasing the ingredients separately.
The decision to produce your own diesel fuel is with full knowledge that you are bypassing all duties and taxes!"

So it seems to me Customs & Excise has had a little word in someones shell like and the lawyers have been to work. Not going to hear much more from the good Doctor Diesel methinks, so what does the Backroom reckon.

The website is

I await your erudite posts with baited breath.
Re: Make your own diesel, update why buy the mag! - Mark (Brazil)
>>I await your erudite posts with baited breath

Bated here comes from an abbreviation of 'abated' through loss of the first vowel (a process called aphesis), and which has the meaning 'reduced, lessened, lowered in force'. So 'bated breath' means that you almost stop breathing through terror, or awe, or extreme anticipation or anxiety.

On the other hand you may have really meant "baited". I guess you shold ask some very good friends.
Re: English lesson from Mark - Stuart B
Spot on Mark, gave me a good laugh that,..... :-]

Infuriating thing is that why is it with spelling chequers that if ewe right a word incorrectly butt bye miss steak spell another word witch *is* in the database that you dont get the squiggly lion. You kin get the meaning totally different.

Re: Make your own diesel, update why buy the mag! - Alvin Booth
I know from an impeccable source that in certain parts of the Birmingham area orderly queues form every night to buy red diesel in containers.
The garages which supply this are not breaking the law I understand as they are not responsible for what it is used for. I assume that the purchasers all have tractors or similar appliances which are able to use duty free derv.
Personally I never support the breaking of any laws, but must admit that due to the greediness of Government who are determined to tax us until we bleed, I have a certain sympathy for these people who may occassionaly put a drop of this red eye into the metal container or tank on their cars. Which serves as a collecting box for those who know best how our own money should be spent.
I have never quite got my head round this Common market idea which was to lower the barriers to trading when I first voted upon in 1970 I think.
Wasn't the principle that free trading was the origional idea, with no taxes levied upon imports or exports. I must have got it wrong!!1
And the height of impudence was in the Governments assertions that the the protests in fuel prices seen a while ago was the fault of the oil companies and that they would be keeping an eye on these moguls in the future to protect the public from price hikes. I was so grateful........ They have managed to stop me smoking, I drink less.... I have more time to polish the car instead of driving it. I have lost my nationalistic tendancies, I have stopped making racist jokes to my Scottish mate about his meaness in case he reports me.
I am so much happier I could cry......

Concise reply! - Guy Lacey
My prize-winning LPG Golf will pay for itself in 10,000 miles - roughly 6 months.

LPG is 35p/L at my local fill-point.

I still have a spare tyre.

I would argue particulates from LPG are almost negligible.

I have argued before that CO2 emissions are higher due to the more complete combustion of the fuel - i.e. fuel + oxygen = water + CO2 in a perfect stoichiometric mixture.

I have heard rumblings that fuel duty on LPG has been fixed until 2004.

When duty is raised on LPG it will remain relative to the other fuels.

I drove from Taunton to Blackburn to Taunton and it cost £25 in LPG. QED!
Re: Concise reply but unfortunately partly wrong, - Stuart B
Guy Lacey wrote:
> My prize-winning LPG Golf will pay for itself in 10,000 miles
> - roughly 6 months.

I assume you mean the conversion will pay for itself.

> LPG is 35p/L at my local fill-point.

How far is it to that and then to the next nearest fill point?

> I still have a spare tyre.

But do you still have the same boot space?

> I would argue particulates from LPG are almost negligible.

I would agree that they are not a lot compared to petrol & diesel. Its even better from CNG, but even fewer fill points. System being brought out so you can fill your car overnight from your gas mains. Takes 8 hours to pump enough in to get bit more than 100 ish milesworth.

> I have argued before that CO2 emissions are higher due to the
> more complete combustion of the fuel - i.e. fuel + oxygen =
> water + CO2 in a perfect stoichiometric mixture.

Wrong: quote from Vehicle Certification Agency.

"LPG fuelled vehicles tend to fall between petrols and diesels in terms of CO2 performance, this is due to the lower carbon and higher energy content by mass of the fuel.

In addition LPG vehicles tend to have lower CO and HC emissions compared to an equivalent petrol vehicle. CNG offers even lower CO2 emissions than LPG, typically on a par with diesels. This is coupled with low CO, HC and Particle emissions. The durability of the emissions performance of LPG and CNG vehicles will depend upon the quality of the conversion. New LPG and CNG fuelled vehicles are required to meet the same emissions limits at type approval as petrol engines. As emissions limits for petrol and diesel engined vehicles become tighter the gap in emissions performance between LPG and conventional fuels is narrowing."

/end quote

So *I* was partly wrong in my original post, just like the police I'm not perfect. ;-) I thought that LPG was worse than petrol on CO2, but it appears not, however both are worse by quite a margin than diesels, sorry about my mistake.

> I have heard rumblings that fuel duty on LPG has been fixed
> until 2004.

Agree also heard this, not sure of the date, and believe me if this lot had done anything to fix taxes do you not think that we would have been subjected to more spin than we are getting from Shane Warne at Lords!

> When duty is raised on LPG it will remain relative to the
> other fuels.

Hmmmm as you know who might say, thats your opinion and OK I must accept that but as you know my opinion is different. Only time will tell which of us is right. I hope you are right FWIW.

> I drove from Taunton to Blackburn to Taunton and it cost £25
> in LPG. QED!

Yep, give you that one no problemo. That would have cost me £33 assuming you mean Blackburn Lancashire and not the one in Grampian.

Dont take it to heart Guy, not too seriously
More Info - Simon
This might help to focus the possibilities.

The company runs a fleet of ten Vectras 2.0 with LPG tanks in the boot. They are bought less than a year old with <10k on the clock. Our bods put 55k a year on, and the result is that by 18 months they are sh@gged, with residuals of bvgger all.

The majority of the cars run like dogs on LPG, but it varys across the fleet. However, the quality of the LPG in the tank in our yard is always questionable. We are encouraged to fill up here, as the company get some discount. But all this does is make people *forget* to avoid poor performance.

The national LPG sites are not always convenient, so it is 70-80% petrol on average that is used. However management are working their figures on the reverse of this scenario. At least diesel will be a more predictable cost, with the TDi PD having more of a residual value......

I was just trying to get the concensus of opinion.


Re: More Info - David Lacey
Simon said:-
The majority of the cars run like dogs on LPG, but it varys across the fleet.

It depends upon the quality of the conversion, in my experience
There should be little difference in performance and engine running quality. I have found that most cars run smoother on gas than petrol

LPG Filling Stations &amp; Old Wive's Tales! - Guy Lacey
I have 5 filling stations within 10 miles - 1 Sainsbury's and the other independents. A good way of supporting small local fuel stations. Local = 35p/L - Sainsburys = £38p/L.

The M6, for example, has LPG at every BP service station.

I have lost boot space but you don't buy a 3-dr Golf for boot space!

£33 for same journey - 550 miles? In a diesel at 60mpg at 78p/L I assume. Very high economy - must be a Lupo diesel!

Regarding the duty - raising it overnight on LPG to match petrol/diesel would not be feasible. Bit like raising duty on Vodka by over 100% but not on beer - now there's something close to my heart.

There is one drawback with LPG - people come over at fuel stations and expect a 10-minute guided tour and discussion on the economics every time you fill up. :-)
Re: LPG Filling Stations &amp; Old Wive's Tales! - Stuart B
Guy Lacey wrote:
> £33 for same journey - 550 miles? In a diesel at 60mpg at
> 78p/L I assume. Very high economy - must be a Lupo diesel!
I calculated it @ 481 miles (autoroute) 50 mpg 75.9p/litre round here
50 mpg is in a Vectra basically on a long run keeping up to the limits as appropriate. If I take it steady say 60mph then on a run like that, ie mostly M-way its a gnats above 60mpg. Week in week out its 45mpg plus without trying to be economical. Did drop to 38 on a recent few hot days in 80% urban traffic with the aircon on full welly.

For 550 miles, it would be £37.90, BYW 550 miles? I can recommend the Philips Navigator map book if you keep getting lost.

Its like I've said before, there is no right and wrong answer on this one.
BTW have you shot that Jonathan Livingstone Seagull yet?

Cheers, have a nice rest of the weekend

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