5 Reasons to Buy a Hybrid Car

Yes, they're more expensive, but for some people, that cost is justified.

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A decade ago, hybrid cars were few and far between, but today, shopping for hybrids consists of much more than choosing which color Toyota Prius to buy. In fact, the hybrid car market is one of the fastest growing segments of the automotive industry with an enviable annual growth rate.

Although the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid still count for over 50 percent of all hybrid vehicles sold in the USA, luxury manufacturers such as BMW, Lexus, Porsche and Mercedes have all introduced very attractive hybrid versions of their luxury cars. Pick-up trucks are not even immune to the hybrid choice with GMC and Chevrolet both offering hybrid versions of the popular Sierra and Silverado models.

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Why buy a Hybrid?

For some consumers, the additional cost of a hybrid vehicle can be a deterrent, however, owning one is like converting religions and realizing you just spent your life with the wrong group. Customer satisfaction is among the highest with hybrid vehicle owners and the financial benefits can be substantial.

Lower Fuel Costs

The Toyota Prius is the most fuel efficient vehicle in the market by far, according to FuelEconomy.org, getting almost 50 MPG no matter where you drive. Even the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid and others get over 40 MPG. With average annual fuel costs under $1,400, hybrid cars can save hundreds of dollars a year in fuel costs.

Cheaper Car Insurance

A lot of car insurance companies offer instant discounts just for owning a hybrid Car. Companies like Travelers Insurance even have a dedicated hybrid car insurance division which provides discounts of up to 10 percent simply based on the vehicle. This is before good driver, multi-policy and other common discounts. Hybrid car owners typically get cheap car insurance quotes compared to owners of traditional gas vehicles with any auto insurance company.

It’s Hip to be Green

When gas prices rocketed a couple years ago, the whole meaning of going green hit many consumers financially. Although it was always hip to be green the time has come when consumers finally have realized that driving a hybrid car is actually both cool and financially responsible. Car manufacturers also know this as the number of hybrid vehicles available have seen the greatest rise in the last couple years.

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Tax Incentives

Some buyers of hybrid vehicles can qualify for income tax credits and although these vary by state, it’s always worth checking with your accountant about the tax credits available for buying a hybrid car. Sometimes this credit can be quite substantial.

Free HOV Passes

Many states have introduced programs where owners of hybrid cars get free HOV passes and even special parking passes. Although saving money on the cost of a HOV pass is not anything to write home about, you can feel safe driving in the HOV lane without constantly looking around for a police officer and that is priceless.

Alan Dunn is a Serial Entrepreneur and publisher of various consumer education websites, including a site with tips on how to save money and a destination for drivers to compare car insurance rates.