The Unexpected Benefits of Owning a Hybrid Car

These days, a lot of drivers are taking the plunge and buying electric vehicles. And the idea of doing so might appeal to you.

But there’s another option you may want to consider: a hybrid car. My husband and I owned a 2007 Toyota Prius (the world’s first mass-produced passenger hybrid vehicle) that we basically drove into the ground and only replaced last year after a 16-year run. And our experience was largely a good one. Here are some of the benefits you might reap if you decide to purchase a hybrid yourself.

1. You might spend a lot less compared to an EV

Edmunds says that a hybrid car can cost as much as 20% more than a car powered by a traditional gas engine. However, Kelley Blue Book research found that in December of 2023, EV buyers spent an average of $50,798 on fully electric models. When you compare that to the

2024 Toyota Prius hybrid, which starts at $28,745, it’s clear that with a hybrid, you have the potential to spend a lot less. That’s a good thing at a time when auto loan rates (and borrowing costs in general) are up.

2. Your insurance costs may be manageable

The more money you pay for a vehicle, the more you’re likely to be charged for auto insurance premiums. That’s because a more expensive car will cost your insurer more money to replace or repair in the event of an accident. While you might pay a bit more to insure a hybrid vehicle compared to one that has a gas engine, your car insurance costs might also pale in comparison to what you might spend to insure an EV.

3. You don’t need a special mechanic when your car needs maintenance

Back when my husband and I bought our Prius, we were pretty locked in to visiting our local Toyota dealership for maintenance and repairs. A lot of general mechanics back then didn’t have the tools or knowledge to work on hybrid vehicles.

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These days, though, many standard auto shops are equipped to work on hybrids. That means you may find it more convenient to schedule a maintenance appointment when you need to, and you may not have to spend as much to address issues that arise.

By contrast, even though EVs are becoming increasingly popular, not every auto shop is able to service them. If you buy an EV instead of a hybrid, the cost of maintenance could be more than you bargained for.

4. You can enjoy the convenience of not having constantly fill up or charge your car

When life gets busy, it can be a burden to constantly have to run to the gas station. Similarly, when you’re heading to a destination, it’s not always convenient to stop and plug in your car to charge like you do with an EV.

With a hybrid, you generally get superior gas mileage so each fill-up lasts longer. And when you do start to run out of gas, you fuel up for 10 minutes at the pump, as opposed to having to wait potentially hours for your car to charge.

Another option to consider

There are many benefits to owning a hybrid car, so despite the higher cost, you may want to consider one over a gas engine-powered car. And you may also want to consider a hybrid car over an EV for the cost savings and convenience of being able to just fill up and go.

That said, there may be one other option to think about — a plug-in hybrid.

My husband and I have one of these now, and while we did pay up for it, we get about a 40-mile range where our car can run on its charge before we need to use gas. This means that we’re spending less on fuel. And at the same time, our car is suitable for long road trips because we don’t have to stop to charge it — it simply reverts to gas once there’s no charge left. So you may want to consider a plug-in hybrid if you’re tempted to go electric but aren’t sure it’s the right time to do so.

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