Fleet News

Drivers seek bigger grants for LPG cars

COMPANY car drivers expect larger financial incentives from the Government for choosing environmentally-friendly cars, a new survey has found.

The study, by leasing company LeasePlan, questioned drivers' attitudes towards LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cars and found a growing band of drivers – two out of five – would now consider LPG as an option.

But the remaining 60% of respondents who said they would not consider an LPG car cited as their main reasons a perceived lack of Government grants to encourage them and an insufficient LPG refuelling infrastructure.

The drivers said that if the Government is serious about LPG take-up it would offer grants or an incentive to encourage them to change their existing cars, indicating driver ignorance of the company car tax discounts available for selecting gas-powered cars.

LeasePlan commercial director Kevin McNally said: 'Of course there is TransportAction Powershift that helps employers fund some of the extra cost of an LPG vehicle but it would appear from the survey that some drivers feel they could also be better rewarded for choosing an LPG vehicle.'

Awareness levels of LPG have risen strongly among fleet drivers, with 80% of the 358 drivers quizzed by LeasePlan saying they know about the fuel.

But despite the LPG refuelling network reaching more than 1,000 sites nationwide, company drivers remain sceptical about the availability of the fuel, according to the survey.

'Although it has been widely reported that there are now more than 1,100 LPG pumps at petrol stations around the country, drivers still felt that they would have to spend more time and mileage travelling to a place to refuel than the benefits of the economy provided,' it said.

The survey was carried out prior to recent warnings about the quality of conversion work to enable cars to run on gas, with Trading Standards officers warning fleets to avoid becoming the victims of LPG 'conversion cowboys', and to use only approved installers for conversion work.

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