For years, environmentalists have been touting the benefits of driving hybrid vehicles. Not only do they help save the environment, but they also save drivers money on gasoline, as they get more miles per gallon than traditional gas vehicles. Finding which hybrid is right for you can be difficult, though, since there are several to choose from, but it can be done if you know how to compare hybrid automobiles.
Things You Will NeedKnowledge of cars
Step 1Determine the miles per gallon. Most car dealers that sell hybrid automobiles post the miles per gallon of the vehicles on its window to entice potential customers. However if you are looking at a hybrid without this information displayed, don't be afraid to ask about it. You should know what the miles per gallon is for both city and highway driving
Step 2Consider the carbon footprint. Hybrid vehicles help the environment by releasing less carbon dioxide than traditional vehicles. If one of your reasons for choosing a hybrid is concern for the environment, then you'll want to examine the carbon footprints of hybrid vehicles to find the one that makes the least impact. Not only is this information often available from sellers, but you can also visit the fuel economy website maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to find this information.
Step 3Check the crash safety ratings. While it's generally not the first thing people look for in a car, it is definitely important. You want a hybrid vehicle that can withstand a front, side or rear impact while keeping the passengers inside safe. This is often a concern of hybrid owners since the vehicels tend to be smaller than many vehicles currently on the road today. Visit the website of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to find out crash safety ratings for particular hybrids you're interested in driving.
Step 4Learn about the batteries in different hybrids. Car companies provide warranties on their batteries in their hybrid vehicles, which is why you'll want to learn about them before you make a purchase. For example, Toyota offers a 100,000 mile warranty on its hybrid batteries while Honda offers 80,000.
Step 5Compare the technology powering the vehicle. As technology advances the number of different ways a car can be powered continues to increase. While all hybrids use a combination of a gas and electric system, each differs in exactly what is under the hood. For example, Honda hybrids contain an electric system that allows you to gain additional power through regenerative braking while Toyota is focused on taking the gas/electric hybrid to a new level by adding solar power to the mix in the next few years. Array
Tips & WarningsYou can also use the government's fuel economy website to compare features and aspects of multiple cars.
Currently the government offers a tax credit for individuals that purchase hybrid vehicles. The tax credit varies depending upon the year and model of hybrid you purchase.