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Advantages to Buying a Hybrid Car – Consumer Reports Was Wrong – Some Hybrids Are Worth the Extra Money – Save on Travelers Insurance

March 15th 2006

Advantages to Buying a Hybrid Car – Consumer Reports Was Wrong – Some Hybrids Are Worth the Extra Money – Save on Travelers Insurance

Honda Civic Hybrid

There are many motivational factors that might entice people to buy hybrid cars.  First off, they can save money on gas.  Hybrid cars use less gasoline than conventional non-hybrid cars, and buyers will continue to save money every year they own the car.

Consumer Reports recently looked at hybrid cars and came to the conclusion that none of them would be worth the extra cost.  Hybrids do cost a few thousand dollars more than conventional cars.  After considering the savings in fuel and adding the extra cost of registration, interest on the price difference and other factors, the magazine concluded that hybrids were not such a bargain.

It wasn’t until Consumer Reports mailed out their special Automotive Issue to their subscribers that they realized that they had made a mistake in their calculations, and two hybrids were actually worth the extra initial cost. 

 

The consumer advocate magazine had to change their position on the Toyota Prius hybrid and the Honda Civic Hybrid. These two vehicles would save the buyer money over a five year period.  Of course it was too late to stop the presses, and their magazine was already sent out.

Reports like this are important because consumers need to know what they are getting in to.  Hopefully they are unbiased and accurate.  Out of all the consumer reporting agencies, Consumer Reports is the most likely to be fair.  The problem is: They can’t predict the future.

 

What if the price of gas increases considerably over the next few years?  Prices tend to go up, and looking at the historical trend, gas will likely go up in price over the next few years.  This will change the equation considerably for those who opted for the hybrids. 

This is a good year to buy a hybrid car. The Federal Government is offering a tax credit on most of the hybrid vehicles.  This credit will be realized on your 2006 tax returns due April 15th 2007. We have compiled a chart with estimated tax credits, and they may really help offset the added cost for hybrid vehicles.  The actual credit may vary, so always check with the dealer for their estimate.

 

Last year the Feds offered a $2,000 tax deduction.  Deductions are usually not as good as tax credits.  For instance, if you made $50K, your gross income could be lowered to $48K.  Your tax savings may not be that much.  But if you made $50K and owed $6K in taxes, the credit would be deducted directly from your tax bill, not just your income.  You would only owe $4K, if the credit were $2K.  It is a bigger savings.

There is also the savings to the environment. Less burned gas will equate to less emissions.  Also, think of the savings on future smog checks.  The cars do produce less emission, so they will likely pass smog checks easier in states that will require them. 

There may be savings on travelers insurance as well.  CBS News reported that “Some auto insurance companies are also giving hybrid owners the key to savings. Travelers insurance, for example, is now starting to roll out a discount plan for hybrid owners.”  The discounts can be as much as 10%, according to Greg Toczydlowski, of Travelers Insurance. "And it applies to the majority of the coverages."

 
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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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