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Interested in driving on gas? We have put together an information package giving answers to frequently asked questions about driving on gas.
Based on life cycle analysis, the use of natural gas reduces greenhouse gas emissions around 25% compared with gasoline, and biogas helps cut emissions by up to 85% over the entire life cycle of the fuel. Gas-fueled cars produces just a fraction of local emissions compared to conventional fuels and this in turn improves urban air quality.
The official CO2 emissions rating for gas cars is given on the basis of emissions from natural gas regardless of the fuel the vehicle is actually powered with. The emissions rating of retrofitted gas cars is given on the basis of emissions from gasoline.
Gas cars sold in Finland are bifuel models, which means that, in addition to the gas tank, they also have a gasoline tank that in most models is normal-sized. Depending on the car model, the combined operating range of the fuels (gas + gasoline) can be up to 1,000 km. The operating range varies depending on the model. For example, you can drive a Skoda Octavia or Volkswagen Golf for 500 km on gas and another 200 km on gasoline.
A gas car will perform in cold weather in the same way as a gasoline-fueled vehicle. The gas car will switch on with gasoline and switch to gas in a few seconds’ time.
At Gasum filling stations you will find comparative prices per equivalent liter of gasoline separately for biogas and natural gas. Gas is measured and sold by mass in kilograms.
Gas is sold by mass in kilograms, with 1 kg of gas corresponding to 1.56 liters of gasoline and 1.39 liters of diesel fuel. The energy content of natural gas or biogas is 50 MJ/kg, while the corresponding figure for gasoline is 32 MJ/l and for diesel fuel 36 MJ/l.
The safety of gas cars is guaranteed by the physical properties of the fuel as well as the strictly defined compulsory gas system safety devices.
Methane is lighter than air and therefore gas evaporates quickly into the air if there is a leak. Methane has a very high autoignition temperature, above 600 °C, while the autoignition temperature of diesel is around 210 °C and that of gasoline around 260 °C. Methane will only burn when mixed with air in concentrations of 5–15%.
Gas car maintenance costs are about the same as those for corresponding gasoline or diesel-fuel cars. Gas cars usually have a fixed oil change interval, which means that in practice oil has to be changed at least once a year. On the other hand, in gas cars you will not need to use the more expensive longlife oil usually used in cars these days.
Vehicle taxation in Finland is composed of the once-off car tax and the annual vehicle tax consisting of the basic tax and the tax on driving power for vehicles that operate with power or fuel other than motor gasoline.
The car tax must be paid on new vehicles and on used vehicles imported to Finland. The car tax is calculated on the basis of the car’s retail value in the Finnish market. According to the basic rule for cars, the percentage rate is based on the carbon dioxide emissions (g/km) stated by the car manufacturer that correspond to the car’s specific consumption in combined urban and extra-urban operation (l/100 km). The tax rate varies depending on the emission rate, with the rate increasing to reflect increases in carbon dioxide emissions. Minimum and maximum percentage rates have been determined for the car tax. In 2019, the car tax accounts for a minimum of 2.7% and a maximum of 48.9% of the consumer price of a new car.
The basic tax is primarily determined in accordance with the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reported by the vehicle manufacturer. If no emission data is available in the register, the basic tax component is determined on the basis of the vehicle’s total mass. Emission data measured in conjunction with vehicle inspections does not have any impact on the amount of tax.
Tax on driving power
The tax on driving power is determined on the basis of the driving power and mass of the vehicle. As a general rule, the tax on driving power for gas-fueled cars is €0.031 per day for each complete or partial 100 kg of total mass. For a medium-sized gas car the tax on driving power is around €200 per year, while the tax for a corresponding diesel vehicle is around €360.
The tax on driving power for gas-fueled vans is €0.09/day/complete or partial 100 kg
The City of Helsinki grants a 50% discount on parking fees for low-emission cars. The discount is also available to people who are not Helsinki residents. Gas cars the CO2 emissions of which are a maximum of 150 g/km are eligible for the discount.
For more detailed information about the parking discount visit the City of Helsinki website.
Gas car models not sold new in Finland (Volvo v70, Volkswagen Passat, Mercedes-Benz E) can be bought in countries such as Sweden, Germany and Holland. Second-hand gas cars can also be inexpensive outside Finland.
When importing a gas car you must follow the normal procedure, i.e. you must submit a declaration of use as well as a car tax declaration for your vehicle to the Tax Administration as well as have it undergo registration inspection before registration.
Gasoline-fueled cars can be converted cost-effectively to gas by qualified service retrofitters.