Five Hybrid Car Buying Tips

hybrid car

Sound advice to help simplify the hybrid car buying process

For most people, buying a hybrid car can be a big step, not to mention a big transition. We understand.  Hybrid cars are a relatively new technology — one that takes a little getting used to.  Because this technology is still quite new, you might not know which questions to ask when it comes to buying a hybrid car.  In this section, we outline five hybrid car buying tips, to help you go green.

Tip 1:  Choose the hybrid car that's right for you

When hybrids were first introduced, there were only two models to choose from. Today, buyers have a choice between more than 20 models ranging in size from compact sedans to nine-passenger SUVs. Start the hybrid car buying process by asking yourself how you plan to use your hybrid. Will you be driving alone most often? Do you have a large family to haul around? When it comes to fuel economy, size matters. Larger vehicles weigh more than smaller ones and require more energy for motion, thus requiring more fuel. Your best first step is deciding what type of hybrid car is right for you.

Tip 2:  Be mindful of interior room

Early generation hybrids had limited interior space for passengers and cargo because of the location and size of the car's battery. While today's models offer more interior room, some models are still lacking.  If you use your vehicle primarily for hauling a large family or cargo, consider a larger hybrid vehicle such as an SUV.  Make a smart hybrid car buying decision by being mindful of interior space and realistic about your every day driving needs. 

Tip 3:  Decide between ultra-efficiency and performance

Some hybrids get better fuel economy than others. That's because some hybrid cars focus more heavily on fuel efficiency, while others focus more on performance - great news for you since both get good fuel economy.  But at the end of the day, you'll need to decide between ultra-efficiency or sacrificing a bit of fuel economy with performance, such as enhanced speed, acceleration and handling.

Tip 4:  Forget the hybrid repair myth

Owners of first generations of hybrids may have reported hefty fees for repair and maintenance; however, today's prices are normalizing to levels of conventional car repair and maintenance.  Furthermore, virtually every hybrid comes with a comprehensive warranty (in some cases upwards of 10 years/100,000 miles). What's more, you should find that today's routine maintenance costs for hybrids are comparable to those of conventional cars. Finally, even if you do pay a little more in hybrid repairs, you can offset these costs with fuel savings.  In a hybrid car, the gasoline engine is smaller than conventional cars and the electric motor kicks in to do half the work.  As a result, you won't need to fuel up as often.

Tip 5:  Determine your driving needs

Most hybrid vehicles use a mechanism called Regenerative Braking — a technology that allows the motor to capture energy traditionally lost in braking to recharge its battery. It would make sense, then, for someone who does a lot of city driving (or stop and go driving), to consider buying a hybrid car. If most of your driving is highway driving where Regenerative Braking isn't as impactful, a hybrid car might not be the right car for you.  Determining your driving needs, including where, how and how often you drive, is an important factor in deciding whether or not to buy a hybrid car.

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