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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Article: Hybrid Cars & Cost

Rethinking the Cost of Hybrid Cars

I found that article from Get Rich Slowly

The article says what I already knew - Hybrid cars will be cheaper long-term than non-hybrids.  Although -- I don't think the math flies quite as much if you're not comparing the cars in the example, and you're comparing a Prius with, say, a Honda Fit.  The savings in the example revolves around gas mileage, so I guess the title of the article should be more like "Rethinking the Cost of High MPG Cars."  A Honda Fit gets very high gas mileage, (although not quite as much as a Prius) and is cheaper.  A LOT cheaper.  Also, the chart has  no entries for insurance.  Does insurance differ on a hybrid at all?

All of this is kind of moot for me, as I've pretty much decided I'm getting either the Prius or the Civic Hybrid, and I am leaning closer to the Prius (comes in red, has Sirius).  So, my only question that remains is "when?"  I can say that it is unlikely that I'll be making a move to buy a Prius before the month is out, I just have too much going on.  So, I imagine that at the earliest I'm looking at early to mid July to be going to the dealership.  I have no idea how long the waiting lists are, so I'd imagine that I'm looking at end of September, maybe, to be actually driving it, but who knows. 

The 2009 Priuses are redesigned, so I'm thinking I might just wait until the new ones come out.  I'm in no hurry, after all.  That gives me a little more time to think on it and get my financing straightened out (there remains an extra item on my credit report that is Dave's and needs to go away).  If I wait for the new ones, I assume that I will STILL be on a wait list, so I'm figuring that I'd be driving the CR-V through at least November if that's the case.  I can live with that.

Or, perhaps Honda has something tricky up their sleeves for 2009 that I don't know about yet and I'll be waiting longer...


Wacky Neighbor said...

One big thing this article is missing: what if the cost of gas changes?

The basic analysis is fine, but by now we all know that the price of gas isn't exactly fixed. If you were running it, you might try a few scenarios of what happens if gas gets more expensive and if gas gets cheaper (say, $1 gas, $3 gas, $5 gas, and $8 gas).

First, higher-mileage vehicles will be more attractive as gas prices increase (although at a certain point - $8 gas! - maybe your driving habits would change so much that you'd have to factor in that, too). It also means you would expect to see more high-mileage cars in the long run, which may make it worth waiting a little longer as well.

Second, the value of high-mileage vehicles is going to increase with the price of gas, too. The reason Priuses hold their value better is because people who have Priuses aren't selling them - they're either being green or being cheap, so why sell it now? If gas prices go up, the prices of used and new high-mileage cars will go up, too. But be careful - if gas prices go down, not only will the gas savings between a high-mileage and regular car decrease, but the resale value might decrease, too. If gas suddenly fell to $2/gallon again and stayed there, the number of people looking for a used Prius is going to be fewer, too.

ron.erb said...

Kim, Thanks for the link! Here's my profile page on Helium with a new article on getting the best gas mileage from the car you have.

Love the Lion fish pic. A law office I visit has one the size of a football in an aquarium.

Ron Erb

Kim said...

Thanks, Ron!

I've been watching how I drive as well. Driving slower, accelerating slower, etc. It wasn't that big of a change from my regular driving habits. The biggest thing I could do is to check my tire pressure, I am bad at that.

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