The Benefits of Owning a Hybrid Car

By: Thomas Jones

The hype about hybrids is a lot like any other trend with tons of conflicting opinions and pushes towards going eco-friendly. The fact is, though, no matter how green you may want to go, there's got to be something in it for you, the consumer, right? Otherwise, while self-sacrifice is noble, it doesn't exactly help when the car payment comes. So, let's take a look at some actual benefits you'll personally see when you own a hybrid car.

1. Lay Off, Uncle Sam!
There's no mistaking that taxes are rising more and more each year, so wouldn't it be nice to see the Powers That Be take a little less from you this year? The fact is, the government has been giving back to those who invest in more eco-friendly goods since 2000. You know those swirly bulbs that look cool and last forever? Yeah, they're eco-friendly, and there is a tax incentive for them. The same goes with any large eco-friendly appliance like a new refrigerator or washer and dryer combination. Then, when the hybrid was invented and environmentalists' concerns about emissions in the air got louder, the government decided to help the rest of us go green. And they did that with incentives for anyone who decided to pick up an eco-friendly hybrid. By buying a hybrid, you are looking at up to $3,400 that you'll get back in tax credits.

2. Your State Will Love You
Not only are you looking at federal incentives, but your state government might be one of the many that is letting hybrid owners drive in the HOV lanes, as well as get free parking at city meters. On top of saving all those quarters better spent on something else, you don't need to worry about Rita. Although, guys, that does mean you'll have to start looking elsewhere for your hot dates. Also, considering the hybrid is a lighter, smaller car, the HOV lane is a much better place to drive during rush hour traffic.

3. Thank You, Gecko, But I'm Fine
Looking for the best insurance company for your needs is always tricky, but if you have an insurance company that wants hybrid drivers, you could get kudos for having a hybrid, as it makes you a responsible driver. Sounds a little PC, but being seen as more responsible can reduce your insurance rates. Considering the high upfront expense that the hybrid has, any bit helps, especially on your insurance.

4. Want Cash Now?
So, you know that the tax credits are going to save you some major bucks, but you won't really see it until next year when you do your taxes. So that means you'll still want to see some cash savings upfront, right? After all, if you shell out the money for the car, you'll need to see something. So, consider the other ways you can keep those green bills from flitting out of your wallet. By being able to drive twice as long, you will cut your visits to the gas station in half. The engine is unlike a conventional engine, so oil changes will only need to be done two times a year as opposed to three. That is about $200 that you can save a year. Also, less regular maintenance on the vehicle, combined with the smaller, lighter parts available, will make repairs for some hybrids much easier.

5. Find Somewhere to Store Your Extra Seconds
It may sound a little fishy, but the fact is that you will actually save more time since you won't be pumping gas every week or getting oil changes. When saving money in a hybrid, you're probably saving time as well. With a 12 gallon gas tank, up to four whole hours can be saved per year that won't be spent on pumping gas, then another one or two hours on an oil change.

In the end, the hybrid is not a cheap car, but the investment towards going green, you'll find that the vehicle has enough benefits to help pay for itself.

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