Hybrid and Diesel Tax Credits Will Expire At The End Of The Year

By dancurranjr On December 9th, 2010

If you’ve been putting off buying a hybrid or an alternative-fuel car, you may want to hurry up. Several tax credits are expected to expire December 31 of this year, unless there’s successful (but highly unlikely) lame-duck push in Congress to extend them.

“Hybrid, diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles purchased after Dec. 31, 2010, will no longer be eligible,” said Carroll Lachni of Edmunds.com. “But the tax credits for plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt and electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf are likely to remain in effect for several years.”

Tax credits on some hybrids from Toyota, Honda and Ford have already expired, because the companies have sold more than 60,000 models in the U.S. so far.

According to Consumer Reports, here are the cars that you can still get a tax credit for until December 31:

* Nissan Altima Hybrid, $2,350
* BMW X5 and X6 Active Hybrids, $2,200
* Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid, $2,200
* General Motors full-sized SUV and pickup hybrids (such as the Tahoe and Silverado), $2,200

There are some diesel vehicles that you can also get the credit for:

* Audi A3 TDI, $650
* Audi Q7 TDI, $575
* BMW 335d, $900
* BMW X5 xDrive35d $1,800
* Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTec, $1,800
* Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueTec, $900
* Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTec, $1,550
* Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec $1,550
* Volkswagen Golf TDI, $850 (automatic)/$650 (manual)
* Volkswagen Jetta TDI, $650
* Volkswagen Touareg TDI, $575

There’s also a $4,000 tax credit available on the natural-gas powered Honda Civic GX.

On the other hand, you can still avail of the $7,500 tax credit meant for plug-in electric cars, such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.

In fact, several states are offering additional tax credits on top of what you get from the federal government. See of available credits here.

However, the government grants that will supply 15,000 free electric-car chargers are also set to expire Dec 31, unless Congress extends them, Consumer Reports said.

Having said that, be careful when you buy one of the cars on the list. Dealers are likely to jack up prices on vehicles that are in demand, reducing the effect of the tax credit. Do your homework before you head out to the showroom.

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