Is a Hybrid Vehicle Right for You? – Valley’s Blog

Is a Hybrid Vehicle Right for You?

April 28, 2014 3 Comments

If you are in the market for a new or slightly used vehicle, you may be thinking about purchasing a hybrid car. Hybrids are an eco-friendly alternative to standard autos. If you are in the market for a new truck or SUV, you can find a few hybrid models now available in the U.S.

The idea of purchasing a hybrid vehicle appeals to many people because hybrids are a green alternative to traditional vehicles. Though hybrids will cut your gas costs down, you will need to invest a few thousand more dollars up front to purchase the car. Expect to pay $2000 or more for a hybrid than for a comparable conventional vehicle. Some hybrids can cost in excess of $5000 more. If you commute a considerable amount, you will likely recover your initial investment in no time. However, if you don’t drive a lot of miles on a regular basis, you may want to consider another alternative.

What Does “Hybrid” Mean?

To determine if a hybrid is right for you, first you must understand exactly what defines a vehicle as a “hybrid.” A hybrid vehicle is one that contains both an electric engine and a gas-powered motor. The internal combustion engine is the main source of energy for the vehicle, and the electric motor is used as a back-up power source. The electric motor also functions to capture and reuse energy, which contributes to greater fuel efficency.

Electric vs. Hybrid

Hybrids are different from electric vehicles. With an electric vehicle, electricity provided by battery packs is the main power source. Electric vehicles also contain a gas-powered engine which is used for a backup power source. With an electric vehicle, you must regularly charge the battery packs just as you would fill a combustion engine with gas. The gasoline engine provides power in case of a low charge during travel.

The hybrid vehicle uses gas, but less gas than a conventional vehicle. The electric motor recycles energy that is normally lost in a standard vehicle. An electric vehicle will save you a lot of money on your gas bill, but you must have a charging station installed at your home and/or place of business to keep your car fueled. The charging station will inevitably contribute to your energy bill, so be sure to evaluate the cost of higher electric bills and installing a charging station if you are considering an electric vehicle.

You can find plug-in hybrids, as well. This vehicle is a cross between a hybrid and an electric car. The hybrid vehicle is the best of both worlds in terms of convenience and energy consumption. The hybrid’s main source of energy is the gas-powered engine so your normal routine of putting gas in your car is still applicable, however, you will be able to travel for longer distances before filling up at the gas station.

How Are Hybrids Green?

Hybrids are the greener alternative to conventional vehicles for several reasons, including:

– Energy Consumption

Hybrids consume less fossil fuel per mile traveled than combustible engine. Therefore, hybrids are more environmentally friendly. However, hybrids also recycle energy that is lost in standard vehicles. This formerly unharnessed energy source is used to supplement the gas-powered engine. When the hybrid vehicle travels downhill, or when the car is idling, the gas-powered motor switches off and the electric engine switches on.

– Fewer Toxic Emissions

When fossil fuel is burned in a combustion engine, toxic emissions are dispersed into the atmosphere. Because hybrids use much less fossil fuel to operate, these vehicles emit fewer toxic chemicals into the environment.

– Lighter Body

Hybrid vehicles are also manufactured with lightweight materials. Therefore, a hybrid vehicle uses less energy during travel. You will not only save on fuel with the electric motor components, the lighter body saves energy because it takes less energy to move the vehicle.

– Reduce Noise Pollution

Hybrids and electric vehicles are much quieter than gas-powered cars and trucks. If you have ever stood by a busy highway, you probably noticed the loud traffic noise that is emitted from standard vehicles. Hybrids and electric vehicles are significantly quieter, reducing noise pollution in the community.

The Pros

Owning a hybrid car provides the owner with many positive outcomes, not the least of which is saving money for his commute. However, additional benefits may include:

– Tax Incentives

The days of tax incentives for standard hybrids are over. However, with the new plug-in hybrid models emerging onto the scene, new tax breaks are now available. You may qualify for a tax incentive up to $7500 for purchasing a plug-in hybrid car. Keep in mind, though, that much of the incentive will apply to the price difference between the hybrid and a standard car.

– Proven Technology

The first hybrid cars appeared on the scene more than a decade ago and they have matured and developed into acceptable replacements for standard vehicles. When you purchase a hybrid in this day and age, you will no longer be considered an “early adopter.” After a decade, many of the bugs have been resolved and the new hybrid you purchase today is much more reliable than the one you might have purchased 10 years ago.
– An Environmentally Friendly Choice

When you drive a hybrid, you make a statement to the world that you care about the Earth and the environment. Ownership of the car says that you are making a contribution to keep the air cleaner and reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil.

The Cons

Though there are many benefits to owning a hybrid car or truck, there are a few drawbacks, as well. Some of the drawbacks may include:

– Handling

You may find that a hybrid handles quite a bit different than a standard vehicle. The hybrid is lighter and will tend to handle curves differently than a conventional vehicle.

– Slower Pickup on the Highway

When you drive a hybrid, you should expect slower acceleration than with a conventional car. This can be challenging for highway driving and maneuvering busy streets. You will not be able to get out of the way of a semi or some other obstruction as fast as you would in a standard vehicle.

– Maintenance

Maintaining a hybrid may not be as simple as dropping the car off at the local auto repair shop for a few hours. You must have your vehicle maintained by the dealer or a shop that specializes in hybrids and electric cars. Check around your area before making your car purchase to make sure that you have local options for regular standard maintenance.

– The Cost

You may pay from $2,000 to over $5,000 more for a hybrid than for a comparable conventional car or truck, so it only makes sense to calculate if you will save money over the life of the car. People who commute several miles to work each day, or those who travel a great deal in their vehicles may realize a substantial savings by purchasing an environmentally friendly vehicle. However, if most of your driving is within your local community, your gas savings may not be significant enough to cover the extra cost of the car.

Research your choices and consider your options. Take into account how much you drive and how your family will use the vehicle. When you decide to start shopping for your new car, let Valley Auto Loans help you find the loan for your purchase. Owning a hybrid is not for everyone, but you may conclude that a hybrid is the right choice for you.

Valley Auto Loans

When you get ready to buy your next vehicle, whether you decide on a hybrid or not, consult with Valley Auto Loans for financing. We specialize in finding financing for those with less than perfect credit. You can own the hybrid of your dreams, even if your credit score is not in the “Pre-Qualified” range. Valley Auto Loans will locate financing for your car, but we will also help you find a dealer in your area that you can work with to find the right car for you.

Complete the online application, and then a Valley Auto Loan specialist will match you with a lender that understands your personal situation. There are many reasons why people may have less than perfect credit, and our lenders understand the problems you may face when seeking to obtain financing for a car.

Let Valley Auto Loans find the loan with the best interest rates for your credit standing. There’s no need to deal with a Buy Here Pay Here dealership when you can buy the car you want from a reputable, honest dealer. Let Valley Auto Loans find the lender to make your dream of owning a hybrid a reality. Valley Auto Loans is here to serve you.

Is a Hybrid Vehicle Right for You? by Jordan L Bourland

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3 thoughts on “Is a Hybrid Vehicle Right for You?”

  1.  src= Randee says: May 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Very informative article. I would love a Hybrid SUV, but still have issues with the higher cost compared to a regular SUV. I’m hoping the difference in cost will diminish in the next couple of years.


  2.  src= natalie says: May 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    i am really considering to sell my car next year, with the price of gas these days i think a car like this would save my lots of money. i will definitely be looking into this.


  3.  src= Caroline Kaugher says: May 30, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I found this to be very useful information. I’d love to go green, but as your article points out, those of us that don’t drive that much won’t recoup our money quickly. I did not know this about the acceleration, and other things, so I’m glad you’ve taken the time to point this out.