Hybrid cars have been around for a couple of years now. Interestingly enough, the first hybrid car was a Lohner-Porsche petrol-electric “Mixte”, built by Ferdinand Porsche at age 27, in 1902.
However, the first mainstream commercial hybrid was the Toyota Prius released in Japan in 1997 and in the US in 2000. Since then there have been several hybrid models released by many major automotive manufacturers. And ever since the first Prius was released, people have been asking the same question: “Is it worth investing the extra money?”
The answer depends in large part on the alternative car you would purchase. If you would normally purchase an economical car for $20,000 or under, then your equation involves several other factors. These include:
- How much do you drive? This has a direct effect on how much fuel you purchase on a regular basis. If you normally drive 100 miles a week, you’re saving less money with a hybrid than if you drive 1000 miles a week.
- Of course, another factor that comes into play in this equation is the cost of fuel. When it topped $4.00 per gallon, people were scrambling for more fuel-efficient automobiles. However, as the gas rate drops, the demand falters a bit.
- What about tax credits? While there used to be a tax credit for hybrid cars, for many models they’ve been cut significantly and but check with your state to see if they are still being offered.
What about your other car options?
If you’re not the type to purchase an economical car (we’re talking about a car that costs less than $20,000), then you’re likely to save significantly more. A basic comparison between purchasing a Toyota Prius and a Toyota Camry driving 10,000 miles annually at a rate of $4.00 per gallon gives annual savings of around $10 for the Prius. Essentially you break even and if you drive that car for 10 years, assuming the repair costs will be equal over that period of time, then you’re saving $100 over the course of ten years by purchasing a hybrid. However, if you’re comparing the Prius to an Escalade with the same mileage and fuel costs, then you’re saving about $50,000 each year.
So is a hybrid car worth investing the extra money?
It depends on the car you would purchase otherwise. Generally, if you’re purchasing comparable cars financially then you’ll come out even. If you’re purchasing a car that would normally cost much less than a hybrid then yes, you’ll most likely save enough money on fuel to cover the extra cost of a hybrid in the first year or two.
And a hybrid car will continue to save you money year after year. Couple that with the knowledge that you’re doing what you can to help preserve our environment, and a hybrid car can be a very smart and conscientious purchase. Check out the hybrid vehicles at Reedman Toll Auto World for some great deals!