5th September 2022

LPG cars last more miles than any other cars

This series of blog posts reveals some of the insights we have found whilst analysing the MOT history data in the UK and creating our AI model the predicts how long a car will last. In our first post we looked at which car on average did the most miles. We found that London taxis did car more miles than any other car. However we also saw there was a huge variance in how many miles a car does. Over the next few posts we will look in more depth at some of the key factors that effect how many miles a car does before it is taken off the road.

In this post we are going to explore the effect of fuel type. We collected data from more than 50 million cars MOT histories, grouped them by what fuel they use and averaged how many miles they did.

LPG fuel station

The Results

Starting from the top petrol cars on average do the fewest miles of all fuel types. Unsurprisingly diesel cars do more miles than petrol. This is widely known to be the case and is normally put down to the more resilient components in a diesel engine. Diesel fuel is also able to lubricate the cylinders due to its light consistency, helping to preserve the engine. Hybrid and electric cars are in the middle. However you can see from the distributions below that they both have big tails up into the high mileages, showing that it is possible for them to last alot of use. Most surprising to us was that LPG did the most. Our bets had been on Diesel doing the most but the data shows otherwise.

London Taxi

Why LPG?

So why do LPG cars last the most? It is not the first thing that comes to mind when we think about LPG cars. But from a bit of further research it turns out LPG has a clean burning nature resulting in less wear on the engine allowing them to often last longer. Also most LPG cars were originally Petrol or Diesel cars that owners have paid to have converted. Maybe this upfront investment in converting a car means owners are more willing to pay to maintain the cars for a longer period of time?

Looking in more depth at the MOT histories gets even stranger with LPG cars on average having the most advisories per test. This could indicate a higher cost of running and repairing. Something you would think would cause them to be taken off the road sooner.

Its worth highlighting the fact that electric cars have a considerably lower number of advisories per test, potentially supporting the idea that electric cars are cheaper to run. Mainly because they have less components to go wrong.

Whilst we can't answer for sure why LPG reach such high mileages our results do show fuel type to be a big factor in how miles you can expect a car to last. We think this nicely highlights how important it is to be informed about the specific car you are looking at buying. All the data and insights we have collected about cars in the UK is available for free to everyone. Just type in a registration number and instantly get all the related data to that specific car and also get a prediction for how long that car is likely to last.

Next week we will be looking at how the engine size effects how long a car lasts. Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to get updates on our posts.