Basic Budgeting: Gas Conversions

Gas conversions for family cars in Australia generally cost between $3,200 and $3,500, depending on the make and model,1 and the cost charged by individual suppliers. The Federal government for some years now, has provided a $2,000 rebate on conversions, (payable through Centrelink), which means that the effective conversion cost is about $1,500. This is about 20-25 tanks of petrol.

Gas costs at service stations have been coming down, possibly because of the rising Australian dollar. In Brisbane, gas costs about 50c/litre, depending where you buy it.

The gas conversion issue has recently been highlighted to us, because the Woolworths Supermarkets have been offering the use of their credit cards, which can be used for the purchase of fuel at many Caltex outlets. Furthermore, for a limited time till the end of June, fuel purchased with these cards entitles buyers to a discount of 10c/litre, which for gas is effectively about 20% off. At the end of June, this may be replaced with another incentive.

So what does this mean? One nearby Caltex outlet in Brisbane currently retails gas for 46.9  cents/litre. With a discount of 10c per litre with a Woolworths credit card, that comes down to 36.9. This week we bought 60.28 litres of gas, for $22.24.

Once the consumer gets over the initial expense of the conversion, running the family vehicle on gas can frequently present a very good saving, often amounting to thousands of dollars a year. Gas is also a cleaner burning fuel than petrol.

1. Current and late model cars may be dearer.

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