Today there are many options when it comes to buying a car. You can purchase gas, diesel, electric, and combination vehicles that offer various levels of eco-friendliness. However, like with most things, whether it’s financially worth it to buy an eco-friendly car depends on your situation, where you live, and what you’re going to do with the car.
How Far Do You Need to Drive?
If you have a lot of commuting to do, right now, an eco-friendly car that is fully electric might not work for you. However, you can still find a high gas mileage car if you look. Don’t assume that hybrids get better gas mileage, either. It depends on the terrain you drive on whether it’s going to save you money or not.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Batteries?
For some electric vehicles, the batteries are not only costly but they are also a pollutant in their own right. Balancing the damage to the environment with the shortage of fuel is essential in a macro environment, but in your personal life it might still be cheaper to buy a gas vehicle.
How Much Will It Cost to Set Up Your Charging Station?
If you are buying a fully electric vehicle, you won’t be plugging it into a regular outlet. You’ll have to get a charging station set up at home. It’s important to understand that this initial expense might be prohibitive for some.
Will You Get Tax Credits?
For some vehicles, you may qualify for a tax credit. Be sure to ask your tax professional because, due to politics, these change often. Some years you may be able to get a fantastic credit, and other years you may not be able to.
What Does Consumer Reports Say about the Eco-Friendly Car You Want?
Always check with Consumer Reports to find out what they are reporting about the eco-friendly car that you are interested in buying. They offer a lot of information that you won’t see elsewhere because they do not allow advertising. You can get a monthly membership online that is very affordable.
How Much Is Regular Maintenance?
Many eco-friendly cars have less maintenance than traditional cars. This is an important factor to consider in your savings quotient. Regular car care can add up to a substantial amount of money that is often not factored into the vehicle price.
How Much More Does It Cost Than a Comparable Choice That Is Not "Eco-Friendly"?
Once you’ve narrowed down your eco-friendly car and a comparable choice that is a more traditional car that doesn’t offer an eco-friendly version, figure out their costs. Add up the vehicle price, tax credits (if any), fuel or battery costs, and maintenance costs from the research you’ve conducted. This will help you choose the best and less expensive choice.
How Long Will the Car Last?
Most electric vehicles last longer than gas ones due to less need for engine maintenance. Some of them have no oil and fewer moving parts. However, this also means that you’ll need a professional to fix anything that goes wrong. Factor in the expected length of life with the rest of the costs.
While you can save a lot of money on fuel costs, it’s important to consider all the factors involved and your own lifestyle. If you like buying new cars every two or three years, the advantages quickly fade. If you’re willing to keep your car for the long term, the savings will add up if you purchase an eco-friendly vehicle.