Whether you consider yourself an environmentalist or you want to do a small part to help the future of our planet, buying a hybrid car seems like a good idea. After all, these vehicles are known for distributing less pollutants in the air and saving on natural resources. However, while these vehicles do a lot of good, there’s more to them than what meets the eye. In fact, before you purchase a hybrid vehicle, you need to be sure you fully understand what you’re getting and how it can affect your budget. Below are five things you need to know before buying a hybrid car.
There May Be Incentives
Some government agencies are giving drivers an incentive for going green with hybrid models. This means you could end up with a tax break or get a nice refund just for buying a hybrid vehicle. Be sure to do the research and see if your state or local government is offering these hybrid incentives for making the change to hybrid. For instance, those in Colorado will likely get a $5,000 state credit while those in California can receive $2,500. Understand these incentives can change, so you want to be sure you are well aware of what’s available when you’re going to purchase your vehicle.
They’re Better In Cities
While most hybrid models get great gas mileage, it’s important to understand how their efficiency works. These vehicles typically charge the battery when pressing on the brake, which means you get better efficiency when driving in the city. If you live or work in the city or find that you’re driving in the urban areas more often than not, then a hybrid model makes a great deal of sense for you. However, because the efficiency tends to be lower on the highways, your long commutes to and from work may not make sense with a hybrid model. However, technologies in these hybrids is constantly changing, so do your research on the different models available to you before making your final decision.
Maintenance is Expensive
Vehicle maintenance is a big expense for many vehicle owners, and hybrid models will cost extra than what you’re used to paying. That’s because these models work differently than traditional vehicles, which means mechanics needs to be trained and service centers need to have the right equipment on hand to treat these vehicles. In addition, hybrid models use more battery than a traditional vehicle, which means hybrid battery repair can be extremely expensive. In fact, many vehicle owners would be better off purchasing a new hybrid model than paying to repair or replace a hybrid battery. However, what you also need to understand is that hybrid batteries are meant to last a long time, so this isn’t an expense you’ll find yourself facing annually.
Initial Cost is Expensive
If you have a tight vehicle budget, then a hybrid model may not be in store for you. That’s because these hybrid models have a high initial cost that can make them unaffordable for some people. However, if you have good credit and can get a good car loan, or if you are going to take advantage of one of the incentives offered, it can help to make this initial cost less of an issue. In addition, when you factor in what you’ll save on fuel costs, it could also make the initial cost less of an issue when you consider the cost of the car for the duration you own it. Before deciding on a hybrid vehicle though, it’s important to determine if all these other costs and added savings make sense for your bottom line.
They’re Constantly Expanding
The thing to fully understand about hybrid models is that they’re constantly expanding. A decade ago, the only hybrid model on the road was a Toyota Prius. Today, you can find a hybrid model as a compact car up to an SUV. As the use of hybrids becomes more mainstream, you can expect things to continue to change. For instance, different fuel types will be introduced, costs will be lowered, and other benefits will come to the table. If you’re not in the market for a new car right now, it may be smart for you to wait a few years and see what the future hold for hybrid vehicles.
No matter what you decide to do, a hybrid vehicle is a new take on an old classic. By having a better understanding of the hybrid models, you can make a better choice for your vehicle needs.