9 Ways That A Hybrid Car Can Make Economic Sense

(ref: Green America’s RealGreen Newsletter, Spring 2009 www.coopamerica.org)

"A lot of people get sticker shock when they look at the price of a new hybrid… the added expense won’t pay itself back very quickly on fuel savings alone… But this quick analysis misses a number of hybrids’ other economic benefits." — Bryan Palmintier, "Rethinking the Cost of Hybrid Cars", blog post.

  1. Federal Incentives – New hybrids may entitle their owners to federal tax credits ranging from $250 to $3,400. Check out http://www.irs.gov for more info.
  2. State and City Incentives and Perks — Some states offer incentives for hybrid drivers, including tax credits and ability to drive solo in "HOV" (high-occupancy vehicle ‘diamond’) highway lanes and even free or discounted parking privileges.
  3. Employer Incentives and Perks – A growing number of employers are encouraging their workers to commute in hybrid vehicles… [offering up to] $5,000 for purchasing or leasing a hybrid. See www.hybridcenter.org for a list of companies offering incentives.
  4. Loan Discounts – Many banks, especially credit unions, offer preferential loan rates for hybrid cars.
  5. Insurance Discounts – Farmers, Geico, and Travelers are among insurance companies offering discounted insurance rate to hybrid drivers in some states.
  6. Repair Costs and Brakes — Technology that a hybrid uses to recoup energy during braking can actually result in that hybrid car’s brake pads lasting three times longer than a conventional car.
  7. Resale Value — Hybrid car owners have been delighted to find that their cars have held their value better than non-hybrid versions of the same model. In California, only a limited number of "Clean Air HOV" stickers were made available. Those are transferable when the car is sold adding to the car’s resale value.
  8. Gas Savings — Even if gas prices have dropped temporarily, they will be going up again as we continue to reach the limits of our world’s oil supply.
  9. Benefits Beyond Money – Don’t you feel better driving a more fuel efficient car for those times you need to drive a car? (Along with other things you are hopefully doing to lower your carbon footprint on the planet)

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