My husband and I have been exploring the idea of buying a hybrid car. Last week alone my husband drove enough to put $120 of gas in his PT Cruiser (an above average week of driving but it hit the point home, gas is really expensive). So I started looking at the options.
First, I looked to see what cars come as hybrids. I knew there was not alot but I was suprised how few. Here is what I found when I looked at the “hybrid cars” section on MSN Autos on msn.com.
Not a huge selection right. So we looked at the list and decided which ones we thought we liked. Here are the ones we are considering:
- Honda Civic
- Ford Escape
- Toyota Highlander
- Tried to talk him into a Prius, he said no way and since he drives ALOT more than I do…
So the Highlander gets 27 mpg and is priced $35,000-$40,000 which is more than we wanted to spend since we are looking to save money because of fuel costs 27 mpgs are not worth our while. So it is basically down to the Ford Escape and Honda Civic.
I called the Honda dealership that I bought my last car from and asked them how long the wait was (I knew there was no way they had any for sale) and they said they would have a shipment in September. He then proceeded to try to talk me out of it. He said that based on average use (I do not know what that means to him but lets assume the national average of 12,000 miles per year) the extra cost of a hybrid Civic from an average Civic is about $5,000. He said if gas stayed at $4.00 a gallon (which it already is not in most of the country) it would take 8 years to pay off the difference. Is he right? Kinda here is the math
Gas cost on a regular Civic per year: (12000 miles/35 mpg X 4.00) $1371.42
Gas cost on a Hybrid Civic per year: (12000 miles/45 mpg X 4.00) $1066.67
Annual savings of about $304… So yes he is about right it takes a long time to make your money back.
Same scenario more miles and higher gas price:
Gas cost on a regular Civic per year: (16000 miles/35 mpg X 5.50) $2514.28
Gas cost on a Hybrid Civic per year: (16000 miles/45 mpg X 5.50) $1955.56
Annual savings of about $589 and if gas prices soar at the same rate they have been $5.50 could be a very low estimate.
Of course the comparison here is between an already extremely fuel efficient car and hybrid so the difference in minimal.
While the dealer is probably right if you drive 12,000 miles or less and you need a new car anyway a regular Civic is not a bad choice. However, if you want to take into consideration the fact the gas prices can continue to soar the balance of savings starts to diminish.
I will keep you updated on the research that I do and the comparisons.