September 17, 2014 | In: Opinion

Are Hybrid Cars Really Worth It?

If you’re shopping for a new car, then you might be tempted to buy a hybrid car. You know, instead of the 8 liters/100km average fuel consumption, you will get 5 liters/100km. That’s about 40% savings in gas! Assuming that you drive the average 16,000 KM/year (10,000 miles) and at the price of $16 per 20 liters for gas (or 3 dollars/gallon – which is already the gas price in some US states and the predicted gas price this fall), then this means that you will be spending $1,024 for a non-hybrid card/year vs $640 for a hybrid car. You’ll be saving about $400 every year! Wow! You should go and lease/buy yourself a hybrid car right now! Right?

Well, not so fast! Hybrid cards are usually $8k more expensive than non-hybrid cars, which means that if you’re leasing the car for 48 months, then you will be paying about 55% of that 8k in your lease, which means that you will be paying about $4,400 for the lease term. Assuming the lease rate is 0% (which is rare), then your lease will be costing you around $1,100 year extra! So, the savings of $400 every year will translate to an extra payment of $700 every year! $700 that you can use to go to exciting places or slightly enhance your lifestyle.

But, what if you’re buying the car? Well, actually, it gets worse, since you will need to replace the batteries of a hybrid car every 6 years or so, and, as you might have probably guessed, these batteries are not cheap. In fact, they cost about $6k for a small hybrid, so you’ll have to pay $6k every 6 years, which means $1k every year. Yes, that’s an additional $1k/year to own a liability.

One last thing to mention, driving a hybrid car is not a very enjoyable experience, especially if you like driving. Oh, and hybrid cars are not environmentally friendly at all. In fact, those batteries are much more harmful to the environment than all that gas you could have spent.

I think hybrid cars, the way they are right now, are not worth it and are actually more costly on the short term or the long term. If you have been suckered into thinking otherwise, then all I can say to you is tough luck!

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