Energy

Comprehensive Analysis of the Environmental and Financial Benefits of Hybrids

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Most of us actively try to find new ways to save the planet and reduce our carbon footprint, which we incorporate into our everyday routines. We may consciously flip off the lights when leaving a room, or turn the water off while brushing our teeth as every little bit counts.

One way that many people have decided to help the environment is by purchasing a hybrid car. This can be a very important way to reduce your carbon footprint. Cars and trucks collectively account for 20% of all emissions, so switching to eco-friendlier versions is very important.

Hybrid cars run on both gas and electricity, which saves on the amount of gas used in the United States. But the real question is: do hybrid cars end up saving you money? And are they really beneficial for the environment.

Learn more about hybrid cars and whether or not they are a sound investment for the wallet and the planet.

Hybrids are great for the environment

Some people remain skeptical of the environmental benefits of hybrid cars. One study illustrates the benefits for the planet. It found that they produce fewer emissions than gas and petrol cars in 95% of the regions around the world.

Hybrid cars will likely end up saving you money on gas.

According to the Chicago Tribune, buying a hybrid car will likely cost a little more than $4,000 over the average cost of a new traditional gas-powered car. While that extra money may seem steep in the beginning, over the years, you could recoup that cost and more, every time you fill up at the gas station. Essentially, the longer you keep your hybrid car, the more savings in gas you will see over its lifetime.

Check for car insurance discounts on hybrid cars.

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One way hybrids may save you money is through your car insurance policies and premiums. Some auto insurance companies like GEICO or State Farm will give a decent deduction, with some by as much as 10 percent. Typically, this discount is applied because they know drivers of hybrid cars will not be traveling as much as those of other types of cars. A discount like that can add up over time, which could potentially make the higher price tag of these new cars worth it. Your auto insurance company should be able to provide you with a car insurance estimation and quote, that will outline your discount and how much you may be able to save if you opt to purchase a hybrid vehicle.

Note that the discount may only apply to certain parts of your auto insurance policy and not others, such as personal injury protection or uninsured motorist coverage that are often mandated by state law. Your insurance agent can walk you through this information easily enough.

Hybrid cars can be more expensive to fix, though.

If your hybrid car’s performance starts to deteriorate over time, then you may be facing a hefty repair bill. Sometimes, these cars start to lose battery power around the 80,000-mile mark. When this happens, you might need to replace the battery altogether. That can cost around $4,000, which may end up negating the savings you made by not using as much gas. The battery life is also affected by how often you drive the car, heat, and climate.

Should you buy a hybrid car to save money?

Ultimately, the choice to buy a hybrid car is up to you. If you are looking to help the environment in some way and are not just aiming to save money, then it may be a good choice for you and your family. The questions is a little trickier to answer if you are wondering whether you should buy a hybrid to save money.

However, if you are simply trying to cut down on transportation costs in an attempt to save money, it might be prudent to explore investment alternatives that can expand your financial portfolio in other ways, like a hedge fund, mutual fund, or even investing in real estate. The risk factor in alternative investments should be relatively low and you could end up seeing much better rate of returns on them. Speak with a financial adviser as soon as possible so they can help guide you toward the best way to save money and then capitalize on those savings with savvy alternative investments that will provide you with an all-round good rate of return, and thus an extra cash flow.

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