How Long Until A Hybrid Car Actually Saves Me Money?

Image courtesy of Roger H. Goun

Because common sense is more common than you might think, sales of hybrid cars are down now that gas prices have fallen as well. That makes sense. Yet there are some circumstances where it makes sense to buy a hybrid car, even when fuel costs are low. How do you know if that includes your situation? The government is here to help.

The site helps you compare between a hybrid car and a similar non-hybrid model. The sticker price on hybrid cars is higher, and in theory the better fuel economy should offset that. I plugged in my real-life driving numbers (not very many miles, mostly not on the highway) for a Prius and a similar Toyota Corolla, and found that it would take me nine and a half years to make up the difference in gas savings.


Where this tool also reflects the real world, though, is that you can also calculate how much more it will cost you to recoup the cost with a loan: most people don’t pay for a $25,000 vehicle with cash, after all. For me, the hybrid would add more than a year to the amount of time it would take to recoup the cost.

Can a Hybrid Save Me Money? [] (via Two Cents)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.