Whether you’re interested in doing your part to save the environment or just want to cut household costs, a green car may seem like an attractive option. There are numerous eco-friendly cars to choose from these days, as more and more consumers purchase vehicles with efficiency in mind. Electric, hybrid, and diesel engines can all help save at the pump and reduce emissions. Yet these cars also tend to come with higher price tags.
Do the savings on fuel really justify the higher upfront costs? It’s worth taking a closer look to see how environmentally friendly cars can save the family money.
In a bid to reduce global carbon emissions, many governments are offering tax incentives to consumers who purchase eco-friendly cars. This can put several thousand dollars back in your pocket. Individual regions, such as US or Australian states, also offer their own tax credits and discounts on parking on a more local level. Check with your local council or state board to find out about additional discounts you can receive for driving a green car. Many countries allow hybrid vehicles to use commuting lanes without additional passengers as an added bonus.
The price of gas can fluctuate significantly throughout the year, but overall, driving a green car will save you money on fuel. However, it’s important to note that traditional petrol engines have become vastly more efficient in recent years and many models are approaching hybrid levels of fuel economy. Ford’s EcoBoost engine is at the top of the class in this department, for example. Before making a purchase, you can look at a car news website to see how the latest brands measure up in terms of fuel economy.
Next to the cost of fuel, car insurance is one of the highest expenses for motorists. Insurance companies offer lower rates to drivers of electric or hybrid vehicles at times, but it’s worth shopping around with tools like the Motoring car comparison to find out which cars are easiest to insure. Lower rates are given to encourage the purchase of eco-friendly cars, which tend to be safer and driven more cautiously than traditional vehicles. Purchasing a hybrid car can be seen as a sign of responsibility by both insurance companies and banks. Major brands like Geico and Travelers Insurance are examples of companies offering lower rates to drivers of eco-friendly cars.
Environmentally friendly cars are designed to be as efficient as possible, and as a result they may require less servicing overall. Many are designed to reduce wear and tear on brake pads and other areas of the vehicle, which can save you money on maintenance fees. At the same time, replacing parts in electric or hybrid vehicles can be more costly, because they are often harder to find. You may also have to travel to find a mechanic who specializes in hybrid repairs.
These are just a few factors to take into consideration as you determine whether or not a green car is economically viable for your family. You can certainly expect to pay more up front for one, but if you plan on keeping it for several years you’ll most likely come out ahead after factoring in the savings on insurance, fuel, and servicing.