As more and more car manufacturers offer both hybrid only cars (like

the Prius) and hybrid versions of already popular cars (like the hybrid

Honda Civic), more car buyers are looking to switch from their

traditional gas-only cars to a hybrid. The thing stopping many people

from doing this, however, is the fact that hybrids typically cost more

than their gas-only counterparts. Because of that, here are some of the

financial benefits of owning a hybrid that can help to off-set the

increased upfront cost of owning one.

Savings on Gas

Everybody knows that hybrids use less gas, have fewer emissions,

and are better for the environment. However, the savings that using

less gas passes on to you can be fairly significant, depending on your

driving habits. If you drive in a fuel efficient way, that is obey

speed limits, don't fly off the line from a stop, and don't wait till

the last second to brake, you can increase the fuel efficiency of most

hybrids. If you drive frequently or over long distances, you're more

likely to see the savings on gas far more quickly than somebody that

drives rarely or only over short distances. Also, just because gas is

currently under $2/gallon in most places doesn't mean it's going to

stay there. Most experts expect gas to increase to at least $2/gallon

if not a bit more, which will increase your savings every time you

don't have to visit the pump with your hybrid.

Tax Benefits

Now, not every hybrid vehicle will qualify for a tax incentive, but

it's certainly something to look into when you're deciding which hybrid

works best for you. Both the federal government and some states will

give tax incentives to hybrid drivers via tax breaks for owning a

vehicle that is more fuel-efficient. Check with your tax professional

to find out which vehicles you're looking at will offer you the best

tax incentives before settling on one and you could save yourself

several thousand dollars, which can offset the cost of the hybrid very



Some insurance companies will offer better rates if you drive a

hybrid as they see that as a responsible choice and thus you are a

responsible driver. Call your insurance company ahead of time to find

out if they offer any incentive for owning a hybrid, and if so, which

ones offer the best rates. A ten minute call could save you quite a bit

on your car insurance.

Other Benefits

Some states will allow you to use carpool or HOV lanes without

carrying any passengers if you drive a hybrid. Depending on where you

live, this can save you quite a bit of time on your commute to work

every day (imagine shaving 30 minutes off your commute to a city like

DC or New York). Before you jump into the carpool lane, check what your

state's policy is on single occupant hybrids in the lanes to ensure

that you don't get stuck with a ticket.

Weight Your Options

Getting a hybrid car, truck, or SUV is a great way to save yourself

some money over the long-haul while helping the environment. Do your

research ahead of time and you can maximize your financial benefits. No

matter which type of hybrid you end up getting, you'll be doing

yourself and the environment some good, and that's always a benefit.

About the Author
Scott Conklin is the president of Conklin Cars, a leading provider of

Kansas Honda, Kansas Ford, Kansas Toyota, and Kansas City Cadillac.

With locations in Hutchinson, Salina, and Newton, Kansas, as well as

Kansas City, Missouri, they can be found online at: