I’ve been saying to my husband for a while now that the next car we buy will be a hybrid. Not only do I like the idea of helping the environment in some small way, but I also think there are many financially appealing reasons to go the hybrid route.
For one thing, they get more mileage per gallon (mpg), meaning you can drive farther for less gas. Hybrids I’ve looked at are in the 40 mpg to the 50 mpg—or more—range as new cars are introduced into the market. Gas in Chicago, where we live, right now tops $4 a gallon, so having to buy less of the stuff is a definite selling point to me.
Second, there’s a tax benefit. It differs by model, but you can claim a tax credit on your annual return for purchasing a hybrid car. In some cases, there are additional tax credits at the state or city level. You can check out these parameters on the IRS website.
Third, some financial institutions—such as some credit unions—offer annual-percentage-rate discounts on your car loan if you’re purchasing a hybrid rather than a conventional vehicle. The same can be true for insurance companies offering auto-insurance policies—it never hurts to ask.
A lot of people thinkthat hybrids are a lot more expensive than conventional cars to buy in the first place. This can be true, of course, but some hybrid offerings are becoming more affordable the longer this type of car is on the market. You can always look into used hybrids—a savings double whammy!
Plus—wouldn’t it be great to score one of those “for hybrid vehicles only” primo parking spaces at the grocery store?