The Benefits of Hybrid Cars

Hybrid car instrument cluster
 

A look at the obvious and not-so-obvious advantages of buying a hybrid car

There are some obvious benefits of buying and driving a hybrid car, such as saving the environment and saving money at the pump in the process. While these are the most obvious, there are other not-so-obvious upsides to owning a hybrid.  In this section, we shed light on the lesser-known benefits of driving a hybrid car.
 

All alone?  Drive in the carpool lane anyway

How many times have you been stuck in rush hour traffic watching those lucky ducks pass you by in the carpool lane? Instead of buying a mannequin to double as your "passenger," consider buying a hybrid car.  Some states have passed legislation to allow single-occupancy hybrid car drivers use of the high-occupancy vehicle lane (HOV), when the car is properly registered with the state. Check your state's Department of Transportation website online at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/webstate.htm to see whether hybrid HOV perks are offered in your area.
 

Prime parking for free

Believe it or not, some cities offer free metered parking for hybrid cars. What's more, certain college campuses offer discounted parking rates to students and faculty who drive hybrid cars.  The reported savings can be significant — sometimes by as much as 50 percent.

Additionally, there are stores, office buildings, hotels, and even airports, like Boston's Logan International, that offer reserved prime parking spots for drivers of hybrid cars, similar to premier parking for handicapped individuals and expectant mothers.
 

Employer incentives for going green

A growing number of environmentally conscious, forward thinking companies are encouraging employees to drive green by offering incentives for hybrid car purchases. Some of these incentives include bonus payments of anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for use towards the purchase or lease of a hybrid car. So before you buy or lease, be sure to ask your employer if they offer any incentives or benefits for buying a hybrid car, or if they plan to in the future.
 

Hybrid resale values a plus

Hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius, have been shown to maintain their resale value better than conventional gas-powered cars due in large part to the ever growing demand of green cars.  Rising fuel costs and environmental awareness have played a major role in generating that demand, making hybrid cars a hot commodity.  In turn, people want pre-owned hybrids and are willing to pay more for them when compared to conventional used cars.
 

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