Do Hybrid Cars Really Save You Money?

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Hybrid cars can save you money in more ways than one. Here are a few cost differences that you should consider when purchasing a hybrid vehicle…

Do hybrid cars actually save you money in the long run? This has been a hotly contested debate in the automobile world over the past decade.

Fueling the debate are several studies released by Consumer Reports and other review agencies that have shown that on average, you don’t actually save money by buying a hybrid vehicle.

However, most of these studies only take into account the difference between gas mileages. They don’t take into account many of the other factors that go into calculating the total cost of car ownership.

A comprehensive survey done a few years ago by Intellichoice, an independent vehicle research center, showed that hybrid vehicles can indeed save you money in the long run.

In addition to fuel savings, these are some of the ways that hybrid cars may save you money.

1.) Better Value Retention

Have you ever heard the saying that your car is worth 30% less the moment you drive it off the lot?

That’s true of every new car – except the hybrid. A hybrid vehicle retains its value better than any other type of vehicle.

This value retention is true in the first year, as well as five years down the line. This means that if you sell or trade in your hybrid, you are likely to command a higher resale value than you would for a similar non-hybrid vehicle.

2.) Federal Tax Credits

There are a number of tax credits you may be able to advantage of by driving a hybrid vehicle.

These tax credits can range anywhere from $250 to $3,150 depending on the state, the time period and the vehicle you’re driving.

3.) Lower Maintenance Costs

Although a hybrid car costs more to purchase upfront, their maintenance costs are significantly lower than the average vehicle.

According to the Intellichoice report, the cost of the average non-hybrid vehicle of a comparable nature to the Prius over a five-year period was $33,305. Conversely, the Prius incurred only $19,897 in costs.

4.) Differences in Financing Options

One big hidden cost to buying a vehicle is financing. The interest rate you pay on purchasing your vehicle is a very significant part of the total cost of your purchase.

Special financing deals specifically for hybrids can usually be found from most major manufacturers several times per year.

That means that if you wanted to buy a Toyota Prius, for example, and just waited until a 0.9% APR deal came around, you could save a significant amount of money over the course of your car loan.

5.) Insurance Costs

Insurers also take the driving habits of hybrid owners into account. If you own a hybrid, average accident rates are lower than most other types of car owners, which in turn lowers your insurance costs.

When you take all the various factors into account, not just the differences in fuel costs, many hybrid vehicle owners really do end up saving money in the long run.


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