Wednesday, August 06, 2008

8 Reasons to Buy a Hybrid

With gas prices putting a strain on everyone’s wallets, hybrid sales are soaring. But do not let the sticker price of a hybrid vehicle scare you – there are plenty of incentives to consider both before and after the purchase. Although we all probably know a handful of obvious reasons to buy a hybrid vehicle, there are actually a lot of incentives that you may have never heard of.

1. The Obvious

Gas consumption levels are much lower for hybrid vehicles (up to 50 mpg in city driving conditions). Studies show that by the 2nd or 3rd year (less if you commute or drive often) of owning the vehicle, the gas you’ve saved will have already paid for the car.

2. Future Value

Hybrid vehicles hold their value very well. After years of well-kept ownership, the value of hybrids usually only drops a few thousand dollars. This is partially because hybrids have low idle rates as their engines usually shut off at stoplights, and turn back on when you press the gas pedal again. This causes much less stress to the vehicle’s engine.

3. Maintenance

Hybrid vehicles, particularly the Toyota Prius, are made with parts that do not require much maintenance. As a Prius owner, you will only need check ups and oil changes as often as you do with normal cars.

4. Tax Incentives

Although the tax breaks have definitely decreased over time, certain tax cuts are still available to some hybrid buyers in many states. With the ongoing energy crisis, there is also growing pressure on Congress and the President to extend the old hybrid credits, or even create better ones.

5. Insurance Savings

A decent amount of insurance companies are also beginning to offer discounts for hybrid car owners. Before you buy a hybrid, call around a few different insurance companies to see if you qualify for any alternative fuel discounts.

6. Low, Manageable Leases

Major car companies, such as Toyota, have recognized the demand for hybrids is increasing and offer impressively low leases (as low as $219 a month) to help consumers who cannot afford to buy a new car.

7. Impressive Warranties

Toyota, Ford, and Honda all offer extended warranties on hybrid specific parts of their vehicles. The battery packs alone in the Toyota Prius have warranties that average out to about 12 years of use.

8. Funding a Good Cause

Buying a hybrid vehicle is one way to directly fund fuel-efficient technology. By buying and using a hybrid vehicle, you are making a statement on the ongoing energy crisis in this country.

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