Tuesday, January 22, 2008


They use diesel, and you should make sure you use the cheapest stuff you can get. You can even chuck a gallon of vegetable oil into a full tank, but you are supposed to pay tax on the vegetable oil when you use it as fuel. Daft eh ? You should get around 25 - 35 mpg.


  1. Hi Dis,

    I've built a biodiesel rig to make fuel from used veg oil, so am getting a fairway to run on that. I'm saving up to go all posh and get one from London Taxi Exports - they've been very helpful so far. I've read on the net that someone's run a fairway on bio for over 15,000 miles with no problems, and there are plenty of reports of running them on straight (new, clean) veg oil. That figures as these old engines aren't the tight-tolerance high pressure designs so can accommodate the higher viscosity of veg oil. I'd still be inclined to mix 50/50 with pump fuel -if only during the winter to avoid waxing of the fuel.

    Also, general advice on using bio with older engines is to look out for swelling of rubber hoses.

  2. ref tax duty on veg oil as fuel, you don,t need to pay tax unless exceed a certain number of miles a year, i ca not quote the exact figure, but it is many thousands. You can check the actual up to date mileage on line by googling veg oil fuel.

  3. Dave Holmes (daveholmes@cantab.net)July 12, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    I have just bought a fariway and i am going to upgrade it to run on straight veg oil using the Elsbett system for the 2.7l Nissan engine. All fuel lines are replaced because veg oil can play havoc with old pipe materials and real rubber. They put in some beefy glow plugs to get the fuel warm for startup and there is no need to purge before or after. You have to change the oil a little more frequently (every 5k miles).

    Using straight vegetable oil as a fuel is tax free as long as you use 2,500 litres or less a year. At 30-35mpg this equates to 75,000 to 87,500 miles per year so that is plenty for most of us.

    Rape seed (canola) oil is the best one to use and you can buy it for 80p a litre. If you have space and a 5-ton tank then I saw some people selling it for as little as £300 per tonne = 30p per litre with a 5 metric tonne minimum purchase.

    Using vegetable oil is actually kinder to your engine than diesel because it is more lubricative. HOWEVER you must use a proper kit to get the oil hot. It needs to be the right temperature when it enters the engine or it will burn poorly, start poorly in Winter and coke everything up with unburnt carbon.

  4. there is no way you get 30-35 mpg out of a Fairwat taxi..........on a decent motorway run may but not for every day driving

  5. Just done the sums - fuel gauge stops half way so had to fill 'er up and drive until she stopped.

    Town driving.....

    278 miles, £77 to fill at £1.41 per litre
    £0.28 pence per mile
    23.19 mpg

    Of course, don't have to worry about devaluation:)