Considering a Hybrid Car?
Pros and Cons
Hybrids are cars with two engines: A standard gasoline engine for faster speeds and an electric motor with a battery pack for slower paced rides. Hybrids differ from EVs (Electric Vehicles) mainly because you do not need to plug in a hybrid to recharge. A hybrid relies on a clever braking system to recharge its battery during highway driving.
Hybrids are by and large more expensive than regular cars the same size, as long as you do not include luxury vehicles.
Who Benefits From Owning a Hybrid?
A hybrid is ideal for city driving. Depending on the make and model, you can save, on average, 15 to 70 percent on fuel if your driving takes place mainly in the city. This is because the gasoline engine takes over at higher speeds. So, if you do a lot of low speed driving in stop-and-go traffic, you're an ideal candidate to buy a hybrid.
Since hybrids are by and large more expensive than regular cars the same size, (as long as you do not include luxury vehicles in the comparison) it’s probably a good idea to rent a hybrid before you buy one to be sure you like it.
The insurance on a hybrid will be higher. Due to the engineering, they can also be more expensive to repair and repairs should only be done by mechanics that are properly trained and certified to work on a hybrid. Usually, they are only found at the dealerships.
The best time to buy a hybrid appears to be when the price of gas is high. When gas was expensive, they were long wait lines at many dealerships selling at manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). You might have a little more bargaining power when the price of gas is low.
Fact versus Fiction:
There are a lot of ill-founded rumors about not buying used hybrids because replacing the battery can be very costly. But, the truth is that most new hybrids come with an eight year warranty and the battery is expected to last at least that long. And, another positive consideration is that hybrids, for a variety of reasons, have to be well built. The standards are higher and so is the subsequent quality. So, buying a used hybrid can actually be a good idea.
It is not true that hybrids guarantee you better gas mileage than everything else out there. There are some small cars, or diesel engines, that actually get comparative mileage. Also, a hybrid is not more efficient on the highway. Most reports indicate that hybrids only get average mileage on the highway.
If most of your driving takes place in the city, in stop and go traffic, you’re willing to pay a little more for higher standards and the price of gasoline is high; it might be a good time to look into hybrids.
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