Does Buying a Hybrid Car Make Sense?

The thought of getting nearly twice the miles per gallon of a car’s conventional counterpart is very tempting with the price of gasoline today. So the question you really want to answer is whether buying a hybrid car makes sense for you. There are several variables that you will need to address before you can make a good car buying decision which include miles driven, type of driving, intended length of ownership and last, but not least the make and model hybrid you are thinking about buying.

One of the best ways to decide if buying a hybrid car makes sense for you is to calculate the amount of time it will take for the fuel savings to recover the extra expense of buying a hybrid. Choosing a hybrid over a similar non-hybrid vehicle comes at a cost and depending on your vehicle of choice those costs could be anywhere from a few to several thousand dollars. So unless your only motivation for buying a hybrid car is to reduce emissions and our dependency on foreign oil you need to do the math.

Calculating the financial benefits of purchasing a hybrid car and determining if it makes sense for you may sound complicated, but it’s fairly easy to do. Simply determine the amount of miles you drive on average and then figure out the miles per gallon estimate of the hybrid you are considering and the non-hybrid model. The chart below can give you an idea of the savings possible with a generic hybrid car.

Based on the information above buying a hybrid car that cost several thousands of dollars more than a conventional car probably would not make good economic sense. Perhaps if you drove 20,000 miles a year or more it might be a better idea, but based on the information I used above it would be five years before you would ever realize any kind of savings. If you aren’t committed to keep you vehicle for at least 5 years it doesn’t make any sense to buy a hybrid vehicle. Gather the miles per gallon ratings on the hybrid vehicles you are considering and do the math.

I have talked to many people that very happy with their hybrid car and even happier with the amount of money they have saved over the long run. After talking to them and asking them some questions I found that all of them drove in excess of 25,000 miles a year and usually keep their cars 6 years or 150,000 miles. For these types of drivers buying a hybrid car makes sense. Before you take the plunge take the time and work out the numbers to see if buying a hybrid car is right for you.

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