Using A Green Car To Save On Your Finances

Categorized | Automotive, Transportation

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Green Cars Save Money

This is a guest post by Sheila Barnett of http://www.financialcalculator.org.

If you’re in the market for a new car, or a new-to-you car, you may be thinking of going green. Hybrid and electric cars are all the rage right now and their cost savings, over time, can be quite attractive. However, you should know that the jury is still out on whether or not you will experience a significant cost savings by going green when it comes to your vehicle options. But why is that?

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Because the price tag on a hybrid vehicle can be $5,000 or more than its gas guzzling counterparts. If you’ve got the money to spend on a hybrid or electric car, by all means, do so! If, however, you are considering a hybrid thinking that you will save money by purchasing one, you may be in for a surprise. Financial experts have revealed that it can take 27 years to simply break even.

Toyota's new Prius V hybrid car
Image by Robert Scoble on Flickr.

Don’t let this information discourage you. If you have the initial funds for a hybrid, or have found a used vehicle that is similarly priced to a new, gas-fueled vehicle, you will experience significant cost savings when it comes to fueling and maintenance. Here are ways that you can expect to save money by driving green:

Depreciation

When the time comes to trade in your vehicle, depreciation is always a factor. IntelliChoice has shown that a hybrid vehicle depreciates, on average, two to seven percent more slowly than a similarly designed gas fueled vehicle. It is expected that as gas prices rise, hybrid vehicles will remain in high demand, allowing for their value to remain more consistent.

 

Fueling

You’ll have to do the math on your own, depending on the hybrid you are looking at; however, you can expect a significant cost savings when it comes to fueling your car. With gas prices hovering around $3.40/gallon, you can easily pay more than $50 a month for gas, depending on your driving habits. An electric car costs about $2 per night to recharge and a hybrid typically gets five to ten miles more per gallon than its counterparts. These savings will be significant over the lifetime of your vehicle.

Maintenance

Owners of hybrid vehicles claim that the cost of general car maintenance is often less for their cars than for those using gas. Though repairs can be more costly, these are often covered by your car’s warranty and shouldn’t be a factor in your consideration. When it comes to oil changes and tire rotations, you can expect to pay less, overall, with your green car.

Commuting

Many localities have initiatives to encourage people to drive green vehicles. You may find that you can drive in the car pool lane for free, cross major bridges at no cost or even receive a discount at the toll booth. Check to see if there are any of these savings available along your daily route; you may be pleased at what you find.

Chances are that driving a hybrid will not net you an immediate cost savings. It can, however, save you money over the long run. Jot down the numbers and do the math; the cost savings may just be enough to make deciding between “normal” and green an easy one.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

About Sheila Barnett

Sheila Barnett writes on personal finance and budgeting for http://www.financialcalculator.org, a site with helpful tools and information about options trading, investments, loans, net worth; there's even a calculator that figures out your savings from quitting smoking.

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