Thinking about going green when it comes to your next car purchase? You’re not alone. Both on the streets and in dealerships the number of fuel-efficient, hybrid cars available continues to grow, as does their popularity. Before you decide if a hybrid car is the right choice for you, consider these pros and cons to getting a hybrid vehicle.
Pros to getting a hybrid:
1. Better gas mileage One of the top reasons people are swayed to switch to a hybrid vehicle is the fuel efficiency of these vehicles, and the money that can be saved on gas. Take, for example, the Toyota Prius. The best-selling hybrid car on the market today, the Prius get an average of 50 miles per gallon. Compared to the 24.9 miles per gallon that you’ll get from the average new car, you’re talking double the mileage.
2. Insurance discounts and other incentives Many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers of hybrid vehicles. At Farmer’s Insurance, for example, you can get 5% off for driving a hybrid.
3. Feel good about what you drive Those who want to live a greener lifestyle can feel more at ease if they decide to purchase a hybrid vehicle. Though not completely emission-free, hybrids emit half the amount of carbon monoxide as traditional cars.
Cons to getting a hybrid:
1. Tax credits are dwindling (if existent at all) Many of the major tax credits and incentives offered for purchasing a hybrid ended at the end of 2010. Unless you’re looking into getting a plug-in hybrid or electric car, you’ll be hard-pressed to find tax credits or large discounts just for choosing to drive a hybrid. Though, as mentioned above, many insurance companies do offer insurance discounts for going green.
2. Vehicle maintenance and battery replacement costs The costs to replace parts or get work done on a hybrid can be much pricier than that of a regular car because of the lightweight materials hybrid cars are made of. The battery of a hybrid car, said to last 8-10 years, will cost a whopping $3,000 to replace.
3. Less horsepower Though newer models continue to bridge the performance gap between regular cars and hybrids, hybrids still do not compare to the horsepower you get in a regular car. The smaller engine in a hybrid may not suite those with a need for speed.
Just like with any car purchase, it’s important to consider your own driving habits, what kind of car you want and how often you’ll be using the car before making a decision about getting a hybrid vehicle.