Being environmentally aware often comes at a cost. For example; eating organic food, buying organic clothing or taking the extra effort to recycle. However, there are rare cases when being green is not only noble, but can even be lucrative. Driving a hybrid car, for example, is an excellent way to save both money and the environment at the same time.
The biggest way that a hybrid saves you money is by nature of its design. Hybrid cars have two engines: one is a traditional engine that uses gas and the other one is electric. While driving in the city, very few people actually get to use their cars to their full potential and instead drive slowly and brake often. This wastes a lot of fuel. A hybrid uses the electric engine for such slow driving and only starts using the gas-powered engine when it gets up to speed. In other words, the driver saves on all of the fuel they would be using normally while driving at slow speeds. For a person that does this kind of driving on a daily basis, the savings can add up to a lot of money. However, the savings do not stop there. Besides the fact that hybrid cars use electricity to power them, when they do have to use gas, they use it efficiently. A hybrid car gets great gas mileage. Most hybrids average around 40 miles per gallon and sometimes even more. The well-known Toyota Prius has an average consumption of approximately 44 miles to the gallon, depending on the model you select. This is above what a regular sensible city car can achieve and way more than what the big gas-guzzlers are capable of. In these times when fuel prices are already high and will most likely go higher, this can save you a lot of money now and help protect you from any future energy price shocks.
With the popularity of being green continuously rising, it is no surprise that many governments have chosen to show their support as well. They are encouraging as many people as possible to switch to hybrid cars by offering incentives and discounts for the drivers. For example, Brittan is currently offering the buyers of hybrids and electric cars grants of up to £5000 and France is offering incentive bonuses as high as €7000. At the same time, America is offering its incentives in the form of tax credits that can reach as high as $7500. In addition to America’s Federal credits, individual USA states are also offering incentives such as additional state tax credits, free or discounted parking and even the ability to drive in the carpool lane.
Cheaper Auto Insurance
Governments are not the only ones encouraging people to drive hybrids. Insurance providers do this as well. Hybrid cars are usually safe, do not go extremely fast and their drivers tend to be careful and responsible. All of these factors help make Hybrid car owners the ideal clients for insurance companies, so it’s no wonder they want to attract as many of these customers as possible. The easiest way they can do this is with discounts on their auto insurance coverage. Just as parking in a garage at night and having no driving violations will result in a better offer from the insurance companies, so does driving a hybrid. It is quite common nowadays for these companies to offer lower rates for hybrid cars, so a motorist would be wise to check on all the offers in their state before finally selecting a policy. If you are curious about just how much you will be able to save over time by buying a specific green vehicle, visit FuelEconomy.gov. This government-sponsored site provides a plethora of tools that can help you research the eco car you are interested in or track down which car will save you the most money.
The author of this article, Philip Benton, is a supporter of green initiatives and the Go Green Foundation. He believes that with the right incentives, consumers will naturally migrate to an environmentally friendly lifestyle.