Eco-Living Magazine

Seven Things You Should Know Before Buying a Hybrid Car

Posted on the 05 April 2012 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

Thinking about buying a hybrid car? Hybrids offer several advantages for many drivers, but they also have their limitations. Here are seven things you should consider before making the hybrid plunge.

  1. Battery life: Hybrid car batteries are rumored to give out in five years, leading to an expensive replacement cost for the vehicle owner. According to auto manufacturers, this just isn’t true. Most car companies claim that a hybrid car battery is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. Automakers back up this claim with warranties that last 10 years or more, which is definitely a vote of confidence for hybrid batteries.
  2. Common repair costs: Keep in mind that when it comes time to service your hybrid car, you’ll have to take it to a certified mechanic. Hybrids will often cost more to repair since hybrid cars are more complex. So be prepared for the extra cost.
  3. Cost increase over traditional vehicles: A hybrid car usually costs about $3,000 to $6,000 more than a comparable gasoline vehicle. This is due in part to the large car battery that powers the vehicle’s electric motor. Over time, the price of large lithium ion car batteries will drop dramatically, making hybrids more competitively priced. But for now, hybrid owners will have to pay a premium for a “green” vehicle.
  4. Gas mileage: Since most hybrid cars depend mainly on electric motors running at slow speeds, gas mileage is significantly higher than in traditional vehicles. The exact gas mileage will vary by make and model, with a range of somewhere between 30 and 60 miles per gallon.
  5. Payload capacity and truck space: Modern hybrid cars require a large, heavy car battery to operate. The additional space and weight of the battery can reduce trunk space and lower the payload capacity of a hybrid vehicle.
  6. Available models: If you’re looking for a traditional gasoline vehicle, you have an overwhelming number of options from which to choose. Hybrid cars are more limited: Though vans, SUVs and trucks are available, you will be restricted to certain manufacturers and models.
  7. Auto insurance: Before buying a hybrid car, consider how your car insurance policy will be affected. Pricier cars usually come with higher premiums, so be sure to factor that into your budget. To find affordable insurance, compare at least three vehicle insurance quotes before settling on a provider.

Author: Dale Cooper

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