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Jun 10, 2008

Rethinking the cost of hybrid cars

Toyota Prius (Y! Autos)green.yahoo - [... ] A lot of people get sticker shock when they look at the price of a new hybrid. They figure that the added expense won't pay itself back very quickly on fuel savings alone.

And in some cases they're right. Even with $4 gas, someone who drives 15,000 miles per year won't necessarily recoup those added costs in the first year of ownership. Depending on the non-hybrid car used for comparison, it may take two or more years before the gas savings alone equals the up-front premium for the hybrid.

But this quick analysis misses a number of hybrids' other economic benefits.

For starters, hybrids are holding their value better than non-hybrid cars. This means that, even if you don't recoup the extra cost of the hybrid in gas savings, you're likely to get more money out of the car when you decide to sell it.

In addition to resale, some lenders -- typically credit unions -- offer discounted loan rates for hybrids. And some insurance companies -- including Geico, the Travelers, and Farmers -- offer discounted premiums.
The federal government is also offering tax credits of up to $3,400 for hybrids -- but only for the first 60,000 vehicles, which means that Toyota and Honda models are no longer eligible. Some employers offer incentives for hybrid vehicles as well.... selanjutnya.


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