Rising Costs Of Car Air Con Regas

Many of you may have already noticed the increase in price to regas your car air con. Fact is, the rising costs have affected much of the UK and Europe. So why are motorists having to fork out so much more? Elite Garages is here to answer the question and provide you with important insight.

Regulatory Change In Car Air Con Gas

The reason why you are paying more to regas your air conditioning is as a result of changes to the vehicle air conditioning gas regulations from January 2017. All car manufacturers had to change the air conditioning gas in compliance with the latest European Union environmental requirements.

This applies to all new vehicles with type approval after January 1st 2011. At the moment, HFC refrigerant is most commonly used but they are slowly phasing out hydrofluorocarbons. The EU decided to limit Chinese refrigerant imports and reduce the availability of HFCs in the process. This phasing out approach is until 2030 when they plan to no longer have any of it on the market.

In 2017 there was already an 11% reduction in the availability of HFC refrigerants. Between 2018 and 2020 they expect a further 37% decrease. From 2020, they’re planning another 50% reduction. All of this results in the higher price for the refrigerant, the cost of car air con services and recharging.

Why Do We Need The New Car Air Con Gas?

The main reason for the change is to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions where HFCs are a primary contributor. The new car air con gas is called HFO 1234yf and replaces the older and non-compliant HFC R-134a.

The change in gas has affected vehicles type-approved after January 2011 and any vehicle manufactured after 1st January 2017. All new vehicles are required to use the new gas but there is no confirmation whether existing vehicles must replace the HFC R-134a gas with the newer one.

According to Mike Smith, Fleet Assist joint managing director, “Not only is the new gas causing problems for fleet operators in terms of which service outlets are equipped to work with it and the additional cost, but also in respect of knowing which vehicles have air conditioning systems that use the new gas and those which require the old gas.” 

More on the EU legislation to control F-gasses

How Does This Affect You?

Motorists will feel the impact of the new regulations hard when it comes to servicing or recharging their air conditioning. As we mentioned earlier, the new refrigerant will cost significantly more than the old one. Estimates of recharging a car air con with the new gas are between £150 and £300. That is a massive jump compared to the old price of between £40 and £75.

Of course, price does depend on vehicle make and model, labour and how much gas is held in the system. Considering the recommended interval is 2 years, it might be worth putting some extra money aside.

To differentiate between cars with the new and old gas, the new refrigerant will have different connection types. This means the service centres need new equipment to regas your car air con. While many main franchises will be able to handle the transition easier, smaller outlets will no longer be able to do air conditioning services or recharging.

Does My Car Have The New Air Con Gas?

Several of the big manufacturers have vehicles on the road today already using the new air conditioning gas. The only way to find out if your car is affected is to look at the type of connectors. Alternatively, check this list which indicates all the major brands in the UK and Europe using the new gas as of 2016.

  • BMW i3 Electric
  • Chevrolet Malibu, Spark EV, Trax
  • Citroën C4, Elysëe
  • Ford Transit
  • Great Wall Motor Company Limited – Voleex C30
  • Honda Fit EV
  • Hyundai Santa Fe, i30
  • Infinity Q50
  • Jaguar F Type
  • Kia Sorento, Optima, Carenz, Cee’d2
  • Lexus GS450h
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Opel Mokka
  • Peugeot 301, 308
  • Range Rover and Range Rover Sport
  • Renault Zoe 3
  • SAIC Motor Corporation Limited MG350/Rover 350
  • Subaru BRZ, Forrester, Impreza, XV
  • Tesla Model S
  • Toyota Yaris HSD, Prius Plus, GT86

Related article: ‘What You Need To Know About Your Car Air Conditioning


Air Conditioning Services At Elite Garages

We know how daunting it can be to take your car for a service especially with the new regulations and prices. Some might even be inclined not to bother checking their car air con but that would be a mistake. If you don’t do regular vehicle maintenance, including air conditioning, the resulting damage could cost more than doing a normal service.

One way or another, you are in great hands with Elite Garages. Our staff are trustworthy, knowledgeable and provide expert advice, always putting your best interest first. We keep our customers informed and will never do any work unless you give us consent.

When you are ready, get in touch with us for more information on air con servicing, prices and more. You can also book your vehicle for an MOT, full service or tyre check among many other services we offer.