Sometimes you have to spend money to save money. After saving and saving for months, we recently converted our regular gasoline-burning car to burn LPG (liquid petroleum gas), a mixture of propane and butane that is sold at select gas stations around Greece.
We are extremely happy with this investment. Yes, the upfront cost was eye-watering. But the LPG fuel gets the same mileage as gasoline, and costs exactly half the price. We actually made up the first 10% of the difference within the first month of converting.
We can still use gasoline if we choose to – the car has the factory gasoline tank and a new LPG tank. This effectively doubles our range, but in practice we rely on the LPG exclusively now because of the price.
One concern I had was if we would be able to find LPG easily. And in fact, it is not so easy to find. The number of gas stations selling it is growing, but it is still only a small percentage of the total. There are three gas stations in our town that sell it, but there are plenty of places where there are no stations, so if anyone is thinking about doing this, do a little research first and make sure you can fill up in your own city. Unfortunately none of the Greek islands with the exception of Crete, Lefkada, Kefallonia, and Evia have gas stations selling LPG, so this is not going to be a solution for the islanders. But on the mainland, the situation is much better.
Be prepared to spend a lot up front – prices vary a lot; the range is anywhere from around €700 to €1300. We did ours at our dealer to keep it under warranty. The car has to pass an inspection before it can go on the road, but it’s not a complicated process at all.
Once we did ours, our friends who had done theirs started to come out of the woodwork. We have three or four friends our age who have converted their cars in the past two or three months!
With our LPG, we are now paying only about $3.92 per gallon, instead of $7.84. We had been paying as much as $10.80/gallon for gasoline at various times over the past twelve months. We are so thrilled that we did this in time for summer trips to the beach!