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Save Money and the Planet at the Same Time

The higher cost of hybrid cars is worth it in the long run, according to a comprehensive new study. When considering not just fuel economy but insurance, maintenance, depreciation and other factors, a Toyota Prius owner can expect to save $13,408 over five years, compared with a non-hybrid in the same class.


Los Angeles Times:

In recent years, studies by Consumer Reports and others have shown that most hybrids won’t save owners enough money on fuel alone to make up for their higher initial prices.

But a new study by Los Angeles-based Intellichoice.com, which specializes in automotive cost-of-ownership data, says that hybrid buyers are still the winners when you factor in costs of financing, fuel, insurance, state taxes and license fees, repairs, maintenance and depreciation.

“Across the board, we found that all 22 hybrid vehicles have a better total cost of ownership over five years or 70,000 miles than the vehicles they directly compete against,” said James Bell, Intellichoice.com’s publisher.

“Hybrids are proving themselves to be an excellent alternative for car buyers,” Bell said. “Even when factoring in the additional upfront costs for their purchase, the long-term savings hybrids generate makes them a sensible and attractive purchase.”

There is no better example, the study says, than Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius. The study concludes that a Prius owner over five years will save $13,408 over a similar-size sedan that is not a hybrid.

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