The ever-rising cost of fuel in India is no secret. The price of petrol and diesel are touching the sky making people rethink their travel choices. To top it all, the consumption of petrol and diesel is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases, which are destroying our planet’s ozone layer. The only greener alternative available right now is electric cars and cars that run on CNG. But given the high cost of electric cars, using CNG cars is a cost-effective alternative.
CNG or Compressed Natural Gas is one of the most environment-friendly fuels. It produces fewer unwanted gases as compared to its counterparts. It is also much safer as it disperses quickly in the air in case of a spill. Unlike petrol and diesel, CNG is extremely affordable. Therefore, using CNG in your car can help you save money on your monthly fuel consumption and cut down your travel costs.
To use CNG as an alternative fuel, you can install a CNG kit in your petrol/ diesel cars. It eliminates the need to buy a new car to use CNG just to cut down your fuel expenses. Moreover, motor insurers also provide coverage for CNG kits installed in the car. You can compare car insurance plans to find a suitable plan that covers the damages related to the CNG kit.
Before installing a CNG kit, you must be aware of certain factors so that your installation process is successful. Take a look at eight things that you must know before installing a CNG kit in your car:
Before you decide to install a CNG kit in your car, you must check whether your car is compatible with changing the fuel type to CNG. Your car must be compatible enough for fuel customization to CNG. Older cars are mostly not compatible to be converted into CNG car. Therefore, it is important to check if your petrol/ diesel car can be converted into a CNG car.
The best way to check your car’s compatibility with the installation of a CNG kit is by contacting the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in your area. The RTO issues a list of cars that can be installed with a CNG kit. If your car model is present in the prescribed list of CNG-approved cars, you can install a CNG kit in your car without any second thoughts. Remember that the list of car models permitted for conversion to CNG varies from one place to another and hence, you must make sure to check the list from the RTO of your area only.
In today’s era and time, you can find a fake copy of everything and the same goes with CNG kits. Not every CNG kit available in the market is genuine. It is important to check the authenticity of a CNG kit before getting it installed in your car. To ensure that the CNG kit installed that you have chosen is authentic, make sure to opt for a branded CNG kit and buy it from an authorized dealer only. Avoid buying the CNG kit from local dealers as they may sell you a fake one that may give trouble later.
Once you know that your car is eligible to be converted into a CNG car, you can get a genuine CNG kit installed. However, you cannot use your retro-fitted CNG car legally unless you take approval from your RTO. When a petrol car is converted into a CNG car, the vehicle owner is required to take permission for its usage from the RTO that has jurisdiction for his/ her area.
To do so, you will be required to update the fuel type information on your Car Registration Certificate (RC) from petrol to CNG. The RTO will put a ‘fuel change’ seal on your car’s RC upon approval. After the seal has been put on the RC, you can legally use your retro-fitted CNG car. Remember that updating the fuel type information on your RC can get a little hectic and may take some time.
CNG is more economical than petrol or diesel. However, buying a CNG kit from an authorized dealer can be rather expensive. Usually, the cost of buying and installing an authentic CNG kit from an authorized dealer can take about Rs. 50,000 to 60,000 depending on the make and model of your car.
Fortunately, the amount can be easily recovered within a few years given the low cost of CNG in comparison to petrol or diesel. Installing a CNG kit is a one-time investment. However, maintaining your car with a CNG kit can be expensive. The cost of maintaining a CNG car is also higher than a petrol or diesel car. You will find yourself taking your CNG car to a garage more often than you used to take your petrol/ diesel car.
Before you jump on the decision to install a CNG kit in your car, find out about the CNG fueling stations in your neighbourhood. Unlike petrol pumps, there are fewer CNG fueling stations in India. You may find one or more petrol pumps in a neighbourhood but you can’t guarantee the same for a CNG fueling station.
Even in metro cities, CNG fueling stations are not in abundance and you may have to travel quite a distance to refill CNG in your car. The situation is even worse in smaller cities.
Thus, you need to refuel a CNG car frequently. If you plan to go on a long drive in your car, you must know beforehand about the CNG fueling stations on your route and should also keep a backup container full of petrol/ diesel in case you run out of CNG.
After you start using your retro-fitted CNG car, you will notice that the performance of your car is falling with time. This usually happens because the change in fuel type adversely impacts the engine of the car. Under petrol cars, the fuel acts as a lubricant to the cylinder and the valve and prevents it from corrosion. But in the case of CNG, the lubricant in the form of fuel goes missing making it more susceptible to corrosion. Thus, your car’s performance gets compromised.
As a consequence, you will have to take your car for servicing frequently and your car maintenance cost will go up. Therefore, you must a motor insurance plan that offers best coverage for the CNG kit installed in your car.
As you decide to install a CNG kit in your petrol car, be prepared to pay a higher your car insurance premium. The cost of car insurance increases if the fuel type of the car is changed to CNG. This happens because car insurance prices depend on several factors, including the fuel type of the car.
Therefore, if you change the fuel type, it impacts the insurance premiums. Since the cost of maintaining a CNG car is higher than a petrol/ diesel car, the car insurance premiums also increase by at least 10 per cent depending on its make and model.
You must also inform your insurer about the change in your car’s fuel type to CNG as soon as the kit is installed. Do not wait for your policy renewal to inform your insurer about the modification. This is necessary because your insurer can reject a claim in case they are unaware of the change in fuel type at the time of claim settlement.
Before paying the claim amount, a surveyor sent by the insurer will inspect your car and cross-check the details mentioned in your insurance policy. Any mismatch in the two can lead to rejection of the claim and you may have to bear the cost of repairing your car’s damages on your own. Thus, notify your insurer about the fuel conversion in your car to CNG as soon as the kit is installed
CNG is a greener and more economical fuel alternative to environment-corrosive and expensive petrol/ diesel. But before you install a CNG kit in your car, you must know the crucial things mentioned above to understand its cons. When you install a CNG kit in your car, you must inform your insurer about the modification as your insurance premium will be impacted except in the case of third party car insurance. Make sure to compare four-wheeler insurance plans on Policybazaar.com to get coverage for your CNG kit and related costs.
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#Rs 2094/- per annum is the price for third-party motor insurance for private cars (non-commercial) of not more than 1000cc
*Savings are based on the comparison between the highest and the lowest premium for own damage cover (excluding add-on covers) provided by different insurance companies for the same vehicle with the same IDV and same NCB. Actual time for transaction may vary subject to additional data requirements and operational processes.