A hybrid vehicle is one with both an electric engine and an internal combustion engine (petrol, diesel or LPG). These vehicles are an increasingly popular choice for their fuel efficiency and low emissions. Petrol-powered cars travel an average of 14,000 km per year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This means that a typical hybrid will pay for itself through fuel savings after 5-7 years.
Your savings will not be as good if you drive mostly at fast speeds, like when you are on a freeway, but in slow traffic, this is where you can save money. The greater your mileage, the greater your savings.
Aside from fuel, here are some factors to think of when buying a hybrid car:
Hybrid cars are not cheap. You have to pay an extra $3000 to $4000 to buy one.
Compared to conventional cars, hybrids don’t have a great resale value due to some concerns about battery life.
Hybrids have added weight so tires get worn out quicker compared to normal cars, but the difference is small.
Australia hasn’t offered discounts for hybrids unlike in the UK where parking fees are slashed by 20% if you park a hybrid car.
Braking systems feed energy back into the car battery. Hybrids are easier on the brakes than a normal car so you don’t need to service your brakes as frequently.
Hybrid systems are reliable. But since they have two engines, complexity is added to the equation and complex systems are not cheap to fix. So, servicing is more expensive on hybrids. Battery replacement can range from $1000 to $6000.
A hybrid car doesn’t have registration discounts. Registration fees often rise along with the price of the hybrid car.
Insurance procedures between hybrids and conventional cars are pretty much the same. However, much like registration fees, insurance costs are affected by the price of the car.
If you’re considering buying a hybrid car to save money, make sure to do your research first. Check the features first and see if those meet your needs and if you can really expect to save money.
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