A courier has saved £20,000 over the past 11 years by running his Ford Transit on LPG autogas compared to the equivalent petrol or diesel model.
Andy McGarvey's van was supplied with a factory-fitted LPG system when he bought it with 10 miles on the clock in 2003. In the 11 years since then, he’s racked up a further 225,000 miles on regular jobs travelling between his Preston base and London.
“When the recession hit, I was able to cut my prices because I was using LPG,” McGarvey said. “At the time I also had a diesel Mercedes Sprinter 311CDI with about 50% more loadspace than the Transit, but everyone went for the cheaper Ford, because it cost less even if it needed two trips that the Mercedes could have done in one.”
Explaining what attracted him to the LPG-powered Transit in the first place, he said: “As a logistics company I’m always looking for new opportunities to cut costs.
“LPG costs me about half what petrol or diesel would. To get to north London from Preston is 230 miles, which costs £38 on gas but would cost £80 in petrol.
"The last six years have been very tough financially and without the big savings I’ve made using LPG I’d have gone bust. I’ve kept my head above water thanks to LPG so it’s no exaggeration to say it’s been a real lifesaver for me.”
McGarvey would like to have another LPG-powered Transit but Ford no longer offers one.
“I looked into buying a new one but Ford stopped doing its own LPG models, which was a massive disappointment that I hope Ford is reconsidering,” he said. “To be perfectly honest I’d buy another used van that’s been converted to gas rather than change to diesel now. Once you’ve made the move to gas you’ll never go back.
“My goal, in about five years, is to have 10 vans, with three people in each, running on LPG, and serving the north west and London like I do at the moment."