The Cost Of Driving A Hybrid
Hybrid cars were a compelling prospect when they first appeared on the market, and there was a lot of excitement surrounding them. Initially, they appealed not just because of the green aspect, but because they could actually save you money through lower fuel costs.
However, since the advent of electric cars, and with a great drop in fuel prices for regular motor vehicles, are they still worth the cost, and do they still live up to their initial hype?
Initial Cost Versus Fuel Savings
The often-cited benefit of a hybrid is that it’ll save you money over time on fuel costs, but it’s not certain how long it’ll take to even break even. As hybrids are usually a fair bit more expensive than their fuelled counterparts, it may take a while to see the benefits.
In fact, if you use your vehicle casually, and cover the average 15,000 miles a year, you might be waiting even years to see those savings. While this calculation depends on a lot of factors, the average extra cost for a hybrid compared with the average amount that you’ll save in fuel will take nearly six years to pay for itself.
If you drive a lot and purchase a cheaper hybrid this period will be shorter, but an expensive hybrid that you don’t drive as much will result in a far longer length of time to recoup the cost, perhaps even longer than the length of time that you’ll own the vehicle for.
Another factor that's very hard to predict is the price of gas itself. If gas prices plummet, so too will your savings through buying a hybrid.
Savings on Upkeep
While the gas savings aren’t a sure thing, savings on repairs are almost a guarantee. Replacing the battery of a hybrid does cost more than that of a motor car, but chances are you won't have to do it for at least 180,000 miles. Motor car batteries usually give out between 30,000 to 50,000 miles, meaning you could go through six batteries before one hybrid battery expires.
A hybrid will often lower your insurance costs, which can be a great form of savings. However, this differs quite drastically depending on location, with insurance in some places actually being higher on hybrids.
Hybrids do usually have a much longer warranty period, with lengths averaging around eight years. Motor petrol and diesel cars average around three years. This means that you can be sure you’ll be using your investment for a decent length of time, thereby raising the value somewhat.
As you most likely know, cars lose their value as soon as you buy them. After leaving the forecourt, the longer you own it and the more miles you drive it, the less valuable it becomes. Often a motor car you bought even one year ago will sell for significantly less than you paid. However, as hybrids are long-lasting and come with a lengthy warranty, people are more willing to buy a used one. In short, it’ll depreciate slower.
If you have the money to afford one, it's always advisable to purchase a new hybrid rather than a used one. If you’d like to buy a used one, be sure that the warranty is still valid or you might end up having to pay another large sum in repairs down the line.
In the modern age, electric cars are slowly taking precedence, and both motor cars and hybrids are becoming less popular in the face of such adversity. If you’re trying to choose between a hybrid and an electric, here are some positive and negative aspects of electric cars: