site has information about buying a hybrid car
Tips for Buying a Hybrid Car
Currently, because of demand, buying a hybrid may take a
little more leg work than with a traditional vehicle. This is especially true
with popular cars, such as the Toyota Prius.
Decide When and How You're Going to Sell It:
The most important decision you'll make is when and how to sell your
hybrid. Your car or truck is the 2nd most expensive household expense next
to your home. Think of it in the same way. Buying a hybrid every two years
is a much different situation than buying a hybrid to keep forever, or
leasing one for your company. You'll gain or lose more money on the sell
than the buy. For example, you can get into a brand new hybrid $0 down and
trade it in every two years as the next generation ones come out. On the
other hand, you can buy a high mileage one on eBay cheap that's beyond
warranty, and add a plug-in battery to get 100 MPG and give it to charity.
Get on a Waiting List Early: Once you hear of
an upcoming hybrid that you’d like to buy, it’s a good idea to get on
a waiting list at your local dealership. This will help you avoid the
longer wait lists that may occur after the vehicle hits the market. You
will also probably avoid paying higher than the MSRP, which may happen
after demand increases. On the downside, you will probably have to put
down a deposit, which may be non-refundable. Also be sure to ask your
dealership about hybrid mechanics and their history of maintenance and
hybrid repairs. Many will say they can work on them, but few mechanics
have lots of experience and hybrid passion.
Get Financed Before You Shop: If you want the
lowest interest rates, go to a credit union. If you want a blank check
fast, go online. If you have bad credit or don't mind paying more, shop
around different dealership finance departments. They can get loans easier
because they bundle several together and approach the same credit unions
you could go to direct. Bottom line, get preapproved and walk into the
dealership and ask for the lowest cash price.
Research Pricing: Find out all the direct
dealer prices online, print them out and bring them to the dealership.
Visit more than one dealership and compare options and pricing. Decide on
which options you're willing to pay for and which ones you don't want.
Know the prices (sticker) and costs (invoice) of every car and option you
are interested in before you visit. If you belong to a wholesale warehouse
club like Costco or BJs, consider using their auto buying programs as well
to get guaranteed hassel-free invoice + negotiated margin pricing.
Shop Online for Insurance: Insurance prices
are based on statistics. Overall, hybrid drivers are safer and get in less
accidents, but each zip code has it's own accident statistics. Each
insurance company also has it's own statistics on hybrids. Try for at
least 10 rate quotes for the same vehicle and same zip code to save 10% on
insurance over a non-hybrid.
Be Flexible with Options: It may be hard to
get your hybrid in the exact color and option configuration you have your
heart set on. If you’re flexible and willing to compromise, you will
increase your odds of getting a hybrid much sooner.
Shop Outside Your Market: If you live in an
area with high hybrid demand or very few dealerships, you more than likely
have to wait longer for delivery. But if you’re willing to travel to
another market, you may find it easier to get your hands on your desired
Get Tax Advice: and ask him when the best time
to buy a hybrid would be for the tax credits. If you're a business owner
or buying for a fleet, talk to your regular accountant too to decide on
financing, depreciation and accounting among other things. Decide exactly
when you want to sell your hybrid (note that Toyota already expects next
generation hybrids to go hundreds of miles without gasoline in other words
electrics are here and all other cars could depreciate) to minimize the
liability. Yes, cars are liablities because of gas prices, insurance
premiums, dmv fee, use taxes, gas taxes, tolls, parking fees, maintenance
charges, parts, cleaning fees, sales taxes, etc.
Check Your State Laws: Some states give
special treatment to hybrids, ranging from tax breaks to carpool-lane
access. These laws vary widely by state, are subject to change and are
often complex (e.g., not all hybrids qualify for carpool lanes in
California), so be sure to research how your state treats hybrids before
Size Up the Premium: Hybrids generally cost a
few thousand dollars more than comparable non-hybrid models. If you're
buying a hybrid to save on gas expense, you should compare that cost
premium with those potential gas savings. Here's a handy calculator that
helps you estimate those savings for different models. Don't forget that
there are often some Hybrid Tax Credits for owning a hybrid, so you should
factor those into your calculations too.
Buy Used: When all else fails, buy a used
hybrid. Believe it or not, hybrids are very well made. They have high
quality built in and most parts will outlast warranties. Even so,
manufacturers will sometimes work with you if you complain or write
letters. You can buy used hybrids for less than ten grand and convert them
to plug-ins that get 100 MPG. If they break down, go back to step one and
car share while you're fixing them. The battery packs are nothing to worry
about, look at the RAV-4 EVs that have gone 300,000 on one battery pack.
Compare that with a conventional car's engine at 100,000 miles and you may
find a used hybrid is the cheapest way to reduce the 2nd largest sucking
sound on every American's household each month: transportation.
Car Share Before You Buy: Join a company like
FlexCar or ZipCar and test drive hybrids in real life. You can rent them
for an hour at a time and take them anywhere without a salesman breathing
down your neck. You can truly test them for your own driving style and
needs. These companies will give you FREE gas, FREE insurance and FREE
mileage in exchange for a modest yearly membership fee and hourly rates
less than 10 bucks. You can test drive Honda Accord Hybrids, Honda Civic
Hybrids, Prius Hybrids to your heart's delight.
Rent a Hybrid Before You Buy: An alternative
to joining a car share company like FlexCar or Zip car, a small but
growing number of firms rent hybrid cars. Fox Rent a Car though a
partnership with EV Rentals rents Prius, hybrid Highlanders, hybrid
Accords and Civic Hybrids for very competitive rates.
The above is provided for your information. There is no warranty as to its
accuracy, completeness or fitness for any use or purpose.