It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

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CNG
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It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#1 Post by CNG » Mon May 03, 2021 8:29 pm

LPG/CNG for a 17 year old?
Let's face it, a 17 year old boy in his first car will shunt it. I did that stuff on a motorcycles at his age, and of course, insurers know it. A 17YO finds premiums start at £3500, and minded to the reality, the price might even be seen as reasonable? Most insures have the sense to refuse quotes.

Now, my boy is 11 months away from his first car, and I'd like to see him running gas. OK, in this case the gas is going to be NG, not LPG but the question is the same. Trouble is, the criteria for this car gets tight. most companies simply won't quote 17YO lads. And when they do, the choice comes down to 1100cc or less. He's set to pay £3500 for a year's cover, this with a 'curfew' telemetrics black-box fitted. Insurers want £6-8000 for anything at 15-1600cc. Girls are 50% cheaper.

Thing is, I'm not made of money, and even if I was, I can't see any point in buying vehicles for much over £1200 - when he'll prang it anyway. Notice I said 'when', not 'if'.

The choices are down to cars under 1100cc and £1200, this leaves a sorry assortment of shonk. I'm thinking a 2000 era Nissan Micra K11, Suzuki Swift etc etc. And no, it can't be a Vauxhal Corsa, the insurers really don't like those...

To get the boy on the road with an all told budget of £5000, means a car with a current market value of £1000ish. It's got to be cheap, and slow, or the insurers won't touch it. And of course, the root of why i ask here, it has to lend itself to a gas conversion.

I think pretty much any glorious pre-2005 shopping-trolley is easily 'gassed'. Am I right?

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#2 Post by Budgetbond » Mon May 03, 2021 9:52 pm

Am interested in this post, am currently looking for a car for my nephew with a similar criteria, he seems quite sensible doesn't want anything flashy but wants a hatchback cos he's "boyish", he's not going to be looking to change it, it 'd be a keeper.
(He actually suggested a diesel, but similar principles apply-i can't comment on the suitability of conversion tho cos I'm not experienced)
I've so far been looking at, with further hints from him.
Ford fiesta - later mk6's seem expensive for there age, can get some early mk7's in the price range (mostly 3 cyl eco turbo-boosts)
Focus es available of the eras mainly seem diesels are more higher cc petrol s 1.6-1.8.

Been looking at later Yarises mk2's (esp 1.4 diesels but not too numerous) as supposed to be v reliable and long lived and look ok in later 3Dr style in a nice ish colour.
No other Toyota's suitable or numerous.

No real Honda options.

I discounted Vauxhall's but maybe unfairly and mite be missing a trick.

Similarly with French cars just to prioritise.

Obviously you've got Polos and the smaller one, can't remember it's name,some Skodas seem better like the Fabias, he'd like a golf diesel but they're higher cc's on the petrol s.
Smaller Seats don't seem too numerous.

Left out anything more sophisticated German wise obviously.

Suzuki Swifts look quite good but not loads for sale.

There's the Micra s but earlier ones perhaps rusty or later ones a bit girly, so I've sort of ruled them out, but good reliable transport.

Can't comment on any of their suitability for conversion at all, but they seem to be my initial obvious contenders, and following this post with interest.

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#3 Post by Brian_H » Mon May 03, 2021 10:11 pm

Eco boost engines are direct injection, so aren't ideal for conversion. Don't know on the rest, but need something with enough space for a tank somewhere.

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#4 Post by Budgetbond » Mon May 03, 2021 10:33 pm

That's a good point do new cars nowadays even have spare wheel wells or d you just get a can of foam!!

I have noticed during this pandemic the supply and this the price of second-hand cars has gone up quite a bit, in general a good time to sell but not quite as good to buy price-wise.

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#5 Post by Gilbertd » Mon May 03, 2021 10:37 pm

A mates son wanted his first car and had nothing going for him as far as the insurance companies were concerned, 18 years old, only passed his test a couple of moths previously and a student. He was looking at an old Fiesta but they still wanted stupid money so his dad offered him his old Peugeot 405 diesel. Insurance for under a grand. Insurance companies are much like bookies, they look at the odds and set a premium from that. The chances of an 18 year old crashing a Fiesta, Corsa, Saxo or any other small hatchback are near 100% but how many 18 year olds crash a Peugeot 405? Probably none as none of them would be seen dead in one but if all he wants is transport and doesn't care about image, then think out of the box a bit. So you may find that something that on the face of it seems to be too big and with too big an engine, is far cheaper than a shopping trolley.
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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#6 Post by Budgetbond » Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm

Yeah that's a good point Richard, the other thing I've noticed is that the ubiquitously popular shopping trolleys can be relatively much more expensive to buy due to that popularity than the less humble and more common fleetish type vehicles.

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#7 Post by CNG » Tue May 04, 2021 6:15 am

The chances of an 18 year old crashing a Fiesta, Corsa, Saxo or any other small hatchback are near 100%
Absolutely correct, they're bookies under another name. The blunt reality is that the boy will have to suffer something 'uncool' if he wants transport in any form.

I feel some of you are not answering as your 17YO self. It's your 17YO self that needs to answer this question. At 19YO it's different again.

Fiesta? Corsa? Saxo?? Forget it. There's reason you see more young girlies on the road. They can get cover, nonetheless, one silly bint near 'took me out' a couple of months ago. The girls don't have fewer shunts, yet there's are at lower speed, thus the claims are less. Next-doors' girlie had a Micra K11 and it lasted three weeks.

98% of cars are off-limits. Fiesta, Corsa, Saxo etc are two years away, our 19th birthday with 2 years NCB, and a job in McD's/Tesco shelf-filling. Load-space? With our 17YO self's head on straight, there's no jam on it... We're 17 and we have no option, and what does our 17YO self want to carry anyway? Whatever vehicle it is, we already expect it to be tiny, 'uncool', slow and the tank to remove near all load-space. A gallon of pimple-cream goes in the passenger foot-well.

At my age, I pay £120 a year for a Land-rover and £230 for a Volvo. If you want a laugh, take your 17YO self off to one of those comparison sites, you'll not have any NCB etc... Now 'attempt' to insure yourself in anything close to your current vehicle. I got quoted £43,000! - I think they just conjure a number?

This lad's dream car isn't a Lambo, it's of all things a late 90s Honda Civic hot-hatch? I'm afraid, that's not going to happen They're priced at £5K+ for anything decent, thus he won't see the road for under £20,000. As a general rule, take the value of the car, crash it 4-5 times, and you've got the premium quote.

We're 17, and we KNOW FOR FACT we're the world's best driver - what car do we want here? The black-box is watching, past 8pm, we won't be out in it. Think boring, pre-2005, slow, small and easy to convert...

That makes a K11 a likely contestant. Or some other 'shed'. But are they easy to convert?

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#8 Post by LPGC » Tue May 04, 2021 10:00 am

How my son's first car ended up viewtopic.php?p=102137#p102137

Things have changed from years ago when we first passed our tests, back then the cheapest way to legally drive was to be be a named driver on a parents policy until we reached maybe 19. It did mean you could drive dad's powerful car, though dad risked losing his ncd if you crashed... But dad's policy for a big car even without his ncd would be cheaper than kids policy for a little car with ncd.

Iirc the 1.2 Corsa cost around £2k for son to insure, I couldn't put him on my policy because I had a trade policy... Even if it would have been possible to put him on it as a named driver I'd have thought twice because the trade policy costs more than a kids policy (don't want to be losing ncd on that). The £2k was around double what it cost him (me) to cover him to learn to drive in the Corsa... but when they're learning they're going to have dad sat beside them and won't be doing any Schumacher moves in the wet.
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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#9 Post by Pinger » Tue May 04, 2021 12:01 pm

With two big problems - insurance cost and finding a good example of anything at a decent price - why complicate it further with a fuel conversion?

I've seen this question raised on more heavily populated forums and the options invariably are the small hatch that doesn't attract the big premiums and has some reliability left in it (typically, a Toyota). Or, as Gilbertd alludes, something larger and leftfield that may well have had an easier life and is innocuous enough not to get the insurance companies salivating.
Option # 3 (mine) run a two-wheeler for a few years until his age makes car insurance worth considering.

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#10 Post by Budgetbond » Tue May 04, 2021 3:03 pm

I know lpg lends itself more to owners with higher capacity engines to have more 'cake' and be able to run them more cost-effective ly but are there any other things that make converting smaller engines less efficient or rewarding?

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#11 Post by LPGC » Tue May 04, 2021 3:23 pm

The LPG conversion didn't change cost of insurance in son's case. But I understand the concern - @CNG is installing a different CNG system on his Volvo that was originally/factory converted with a CNG system, where-as CNG converting a small car that wasn't originally CNG converted is different (one already has CNG as a fuel type on the logbook, the other doesn't). If/when informing DVSA or insurers about the change of fuel type, who does he say was the competent person who fitted the CNG system? When I LPG convert a vehicle I provide a receipt and inform the customer to photocopy that and send it off with their V5 (with change of fuel type details section filled in) which DVSA accept.

Re. option 3 is if there's similar chance of a 17 year old crashing a car or crashing a bike, rather they crash the car..?

Similar percentage saving for a small car or a big one. If you owned a small car and a big car and did same mileage in both so e.g. spent £30 per week on fuel in the little car and £60 per week on fuel in the big car it would make most sense to convert the big car and save near half of £60 instead of near half of £30.
Last edited by LPGC on Tue May 04, 2021 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#12 Post by Gilbertd » Tue May 04, 2021 3:57 pm

Budgetbond wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:03 pm
I know lpg lends itself more to owners with higher capacity engines to have more 'cake' and be able to run them more cost-effective ly but are there any other things that make converting smaller engines less efficient or rewarding?
Filling up at my local Flogas depot recently and a guy comes in to fill up a 1.0 litre Nissan. He reckoned that he was getting the cost equivalent of 100mpg and his only regret was that he could only get 35 litres at time due to there being enough room for a larger tank. Many systems are Italian and they tend to convert smaller engined cars. There used to be an installer on here (Tubbs) who once asked in Italy why nearly all of the available systems were intended for engines up to 190bhp. They couldn't understand converting a larger engined car as if you could afford to buy it, surely you could afford to run it? Ask yourself why you converted yours? It isn't exactly a thirsty engine.
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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#13 Post by LPGC » Tue May 04, 2021 4:51 pm

In the past I've had customers bring brand new little cars (such as 800cc / 1litre VW Fox's) straight from the showroom to me for LPG conversion, less than 100 miles on the odometer. Usually bought to commute in, thinking that's just about the best fuel economy they'd be able to get and they might as well start running on LPG asap.

On the 'up to 190bhp' it depends which systems we're talking about, most Italian manufacturers made/make a small reducer (maybe up to around 190bhp) and a larger reducer. I originally started out fitting OMVL equipment, before OMVL made the CPR reducer the only one they made was good for around 400bhp.
Last edited by LPGC on Tue May 04, 2021 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#14 Post by Pinger » Tue May 04, 2021 5:49 pm

LPGC wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:23 pm

Re. option 3 is if there's similar chance of a 17 year old crashing a car or crashing a bike, rather they crash the car..?

Yes. But realising it is limbs not bumpers that take the hit - maybe some accidents become avoidable.
Main virtue of two over four wheels for a 17 year old is vastly cheaper insurance. I'd risk it for a few years until old enough for car premiums to be more affordable. At a guess though, given only a car has been proposed, a bike isn't viable. Not least as biking isn't something anyone should merely drift into. Too dangerous for that.

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#15 Post by Budgetbond » Tue May 04, 2021 7:24 pm

Lol could you convert a motorbike? Wonder what the most unusual type of vehicles are converted on the continent etc?

I suppose it lends itself to what sort of (small) vehicles and the characteristics thereof are the easiest and most cost-effective to convert and provide the highest returns using what sort of simple systems perhaps?

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#16 Post by CNG » Tue May 04, 2021 8:47 pm

I've just read about 'The boy Ed'. - LPGC's post:
viewtopic.php?p=102137#p102137

Boys will be boys... Thank christ he came out OK, and somehow that 3am call is no less inevitable for my lad. You have to smile.
And again LPGC has it about right, in my case it's a factory-fit NG. I can't see insurers baulking at LPG conversiions for 17YOs but they may well with NG. In my conversion, I keep it stock hence no insurance issues, whereas with the boy, we might need to steer to LPG. Else, come the day there's a loss-adjuster jumping for joy.
In the past I've had customers bring brand new little cars (such as 800cc / 1litre VW Fox's) straight from the showroom to me for LPG conversion, less than 100 miles on the odometer. Usually bought to commute in, thinking that's just about the best fuel economy they'd be able to get and they might as well start running on LPG asap.
Absolutely. As for the argument that conversions are more suited to the big stuff, thus never do a shopping-trolley - I can't see how this logic holds water, anymore than lack of load-space?
If this ever needs to be said again, for cryin' out, you're 17. With your 17YO head on, you'll not get a student-job shelf-filling. You don't get the option. Hence unless you permanently tap Dad for £500, saving £30 here or there, is a lot. Or, at the very least, until you do another "Boy Ed' and roll it, it's more miles to see your mates and the girls. There's LPG kits for mopeds on eBay, and seek out the Indian Gas forums, those Maruti thingies never get over 900cc.

I don't fancy putting my lad on a bike in today's world. I did it, and it was hairy enough then. And yes, I used to drop it... frequently. I had a Garelli Cross at 16, and it cost me £9 to insure. Even then, £9 wasn't a lot, but that was a very different world.



My brother has a factory-fit LPG Daihatsu panel van... it's about 800cc. Worth sweet FA, it might be a candidate, but i suspect they'll not let a 17YO insure 'a commercial' for private use.
Last edited by CNG on Tue May 04, 2021 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#17 Post by CNG » Tue May 04, 2021 9:02 pm

I've seen this question raised on more heavily populated forums and the options invariably are the small hatch that doesn't attract the big premiums and has some reliability left in it (typically, a Toyota).
Agreed, one boring pre-2005 Toyota, Nissan K11 etc. And it won't need to be too pretty, or that reliable. As long as it runs... and can be patched until we prang it. But which?

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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#18 Post by LPGC » Tue May 04, 2021 10:50 pm

CNG wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 8:47 pm
My brother has a factory-fit LPG Daihatsu panel van... it's about 800cc. Worth sweet FA, it might be a candidate, but i suspect they'll not let a 17YO insure 'a commercial' for private use.
Maybe another thing that differs to 'back then'.. Plenty lads used to run 1.6 Escort vans because the insurance was cheaper for a van than 1.6 Escort car.
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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#19 Post by Gilbertd » Tue May 04, 2021 11:33 pm

Step-daughter was recently quoted £440 a year on a 4.6 V8 Range Rover, provisional licence, 1 year no claims (earned on a K12 Micra that cost her £900 a year) but she's just turned 25 so a whole different ballgame. Standard insurance would have been over £1300 but as she's 25 she could get limited mileage, classic insurance.
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Re: It'll be under 1300cc, yet which car does a 17YO convert to LPG?

#20 Post by CNG » Wed May 05, 2021 7:57 am

My brother went round in an Escort van for years, and a Reliant Regal van before that...

The bigger thing for any parent is when the kid does have the shunt....
No matter what you say to kids, and my lad pretty much hangs on my every word, when it comes to a 17YO's right foot, I can't see how words will conquer the urge. Nothing stopped me. Reading 'The Boy Ed's' story, I only see a brilliant outcome. Yes, he trashed the car, but the only thing hurt was pride - and his pride clearly required a proper kicking. When my 3am call comes, if my lad rolls it and just saunters away, and is forced to grasp he can't manage an empty roundabout, I'll see it as a very decent result.
she's 25 she could get limited mileage, classic insurance.
Yes, entirely different ball-game. In this you're 17, you've diddly going for you.

The lad would be driving for about £4500 all in, as a badge of youth, what about a 2003ish Toyota Yaris? Does it convert, and how will it look... on its roof?


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