How Much Do You Save Buying A Hybrid Car?

By dancurranjr On September 9th, 2008

One of out three buyers is seriously considering a hybrid. Hybrids do get better mileage than comparable vehicles, but usually cost more. Our partners at Consumer Reports, say in many cases, over 5 years, they can save you money.

Sales of hybrids are hot these days. With gas still closer to $4 a gallon than $3, Toyota dealers have a tough time keeping Priuses on the lot.

Our partners at Consumer Reports compared the 5 year cost of owning hybrids compared to similar all-gas models.

Rik Paul from Consumer Reports said, “We compared several factors, including depreciation, repairs and maintenance, and fuel costs, based on $4 a gallon and driving 12 thousand miles a year.”

With some hybrids, you also get a tax credit, so that was factored in. Here’s what they found…

The Toyota Prius can save you $2,000 over five years compared to owning a similar Corolla.

Paying more upfront for the Chevy Malibu hybrid pays off. With a 5 year cost savings of $1,800.

For the Toyota Camry hybrid, the savings are over $4,000.

Buying the Ford Escape hybrid will save you almost $3,000 over 5 years and owning a Saturn Vue hybrid instead of the gas only version means $4,500 in savings.

Finally buy the big Chevy Tahoe hybrid instead of the gas-only Tahoe, and you can save $3,700.

Current federal tax incentives on hybrids range from around $500 for the Honda Civic to more than $2,000 for the Nissan Altima.

But you may not qualify if you pay the alternative minimum tax. And be aware, the federal rebates phase out once an automaker has produced 60,000 hybrids. That’s why there are no more rebates for Lexus and Toyota hybrids. Rebates for the Honda Civic hybrid will run out at the end of the year.

You can read more in the October issue of Consumer Reports, on new stands now.

GM has extended its employee discount to everybody through the end of September.

The offer is good on almost all 2008 models (some mid-sized commercial trucks are not included), and a couple dozen 2009 vehicles.

While the discount varies, it’s usually about 10 percent below the invoice price.

The employee discount is good on GM’s hybrid models as well.


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