Now I'll set out the math to show why hybrids aren't going to save you money.
I'll use the Prius as an example which has the best gas mileage of currently available hybrids(all of my numbers are taken from the Toyota
If you buy a Prius, the MSRP is $21,100 (base model). You have a 1.5L engine that gets 48 mpg city and 45 mpg highway.
The average driver does about 45% highway driving, 55% city driving, and drives an average of 1,000 miles per month. That requires 21.5 gallons of
Right now regular gasoline is currently at $3.79/gallon where I live. That would mean you would be paying an average of $81.33 per month in gas.
However, we know that gas prices will continue to rise, even if they drop first in the short term. If gas went to, say, $4.50/gallon, then now
you're paying $96.56 per month on average. I bet that looks pretty good to a lot of people reading this.
And how much does this car cost you? Well, even though the MSRP is $21,100, you know that you can negotiate with the dealership and you'll probably
get about 10% off. So now it costs you $19,089.
What about hybrid tax credits? Don't count on one. Hybrid tax credits fade away as a manufacturer makes more hybrids and disappear altogether after
60,000 vehicles. You can still get a decent tax credit on a Ford hybrid (up to $3000), but there is barely anything left for GM, Nissan, and Honda,
and absolutely no tax credit on Toyotas anymore. www.fueleconomy.gov...
If you have pretty good credit, you can finance your Prius through Toyota at 8.2%. If you do that for 60 months (and you don't want to ever finance
a car for a longer term than that or you'll certainly be owing more than it's worth) then your payment will be $389/month. If you had a little
money to put down, or some money in a trade-in, let's say $1000, then your payment would be $369 per month. (Calculated on
Also the insurance: (in my case 30 yr old male in Anchorage, AK, married, homeowner, no accidents or violations in the past three years, minimum
required coverages on a financed car) $204.88/month through Progressive.
So in conclusion, a 2008 Prius will cost you the payment of $389/month + $96.56/month in gas + $204.88/month insurance payment
Total = $690.44/month
(We'll exclude maintenance costs)
We sure pay a lot to drive. Thanks for staying with me for this long. Next I'll compare the costs of a comparably sized non-hybrid Toyota: the