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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.
All gas cars sold in Finland can be filled up with either biogas or natural gas, both of which are methane (CH4). This means you can fill up with the same gas every time or swap between them at any time. Biogas and natural gas are both available at all Gasum filling stations. You can also refuel your car with biogas at other operators’ stations.
Biogas is transmitted via the gas pipeline network to gas filling stations from Gasum’s four local biogas plants: from Espoo, Lahti, Kouvola and Riihimäki.
The Turku filling station, which is not within the reach of the pipeline network, receives gas from the Pori LNG terminal. The gas delivered to Turku has been issued the Biogas Certificate. The certificate means that an amount corresponding to the biogas sold at the Turku filling station is produced at a biogas plant.
Renewable biogas produced in Finland does not generate any carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas are around 25% lower than from gasoline.
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 1,400 km. The operating range varies depending on the model. For example, you can drive a Skoda Octavia, Audi A3 or Volkswagen Golf for 400 km on gas and another 900 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.
• Car tax
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. The percentage rate used to calculate the tax is determined on the basis of the carbon dioxide emissions stated in the car’s type approval. For older cars for which no emissions rating is available, a tax rate based on the car’s total weight (mass) and driving power (fuel type) is applied. The purpose of the amendments to the Car Tax Act that entered into force on January 1, 2016 is to ease the taxation of low- and medium-emission cars so that the amount of tax will be reduced in accordance with the car’s carbon dioxide emissions by 0–5.4 percentage points by 2019.
• Vehicle tax
The basic tax for passenger cars and vans is as a rule determined in accordance with the carbon dioxide emissions reported by the vehicle manufacturer. Gas vehicles taken into use before 2006 and vehicles for which no emission data is available are taxed on the basis of their total mass. From January 1, 2017 the basic tax component of the vehicle tax increased for all passenger cars and vans by €36.50 a year.
Tax on driving power
The tax on driving power is determined on the basis of the driving power and mass of the vehicle. For a medium-sized gas car the tax on driving power is around 200 euros per year, while the tax for a corresponding diesel vehicle is around 360 euros.
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.