Were you thinking about a new car anyway? Do you find yourself doing a lot of stop-and-go urban driving? Would the gas savings of a hybrid vehicle save you a good chunk of cash? Maybe it’s time to sit down and do the math.
Hybrids are paying for themselves more quickly now than ever before, and the options are getting more diverse. Whereas the Toyota Prius was once more or less the only game in town, the number of vehicles with hybrid versions is growing, and even more are on the way.
For instance, the front-wheel-drive 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid will save you $839 a year over its non-hybrid counterpart, according to fueleconomy.gov. In five years, you’ll save $4,195, assuming the average price of gas remains in the ballpark of $3.94 — not an inconsiderable amount of money. The savings gap grows even wider when you compare a hybrid SUV to a less-fuel-efficient non-hybrid model.
Even if you’re not looking to buy a new car for a few more years, it’s probably wise to give heavy consideration to a hybrid when you do begin car shopping. If you’re in the market now, the numbers are much more in favor of hybrids than they’ve ever been before.