Will that Hybrid really save you Money?
Unquestionably, hybrid cars are a remarkable technology, and no one can argue that they can’t save you money in fuel costs. But, the overriding question is whether or not they can save you money in the long run. With everyone feeling the sting of higher gas prices, the idea of hybrid cars suddenly looks very enticing. But for the average person, it is important to do the math. If you are purchasing a hybrid purely from an economic standpoint, it may not payoff as well as you think.
The first consideration is the cost of the vehicles. Most hybrids are priced at a significant premium over fuel-based cars – as much as three or four thousand dollars difference. While you would realize immediate savings from fuel costs, you would be paying several hundred dollars more a year in financing costs which may simply offset the gas savings. So, it may take as many as five to eight years to begin realizing any true savings. Of course, the higher the price of gas, the sooner you can realize your net savings.
For some people, owning a hybrid is as much about their concern for the environment and reducing the country’s dependence on oil. So, they may receive more intangible value even without the actual cost savings. If you are simply trying to save fuel costs, do the math. You may be able to do as well with a high mileage fuel-based car.