The Economics of Driving a Hybrid
Last week, thanks to Traveling Mom and Nissan, I had the opportunity to try out a Nissan Hybrid Altima for a week. I was excited for the opportunity because I always wanted to try out a hybrid. I absolutely hate spending money on gas, because it seems like such a waste – a financial waste as well as an environmental waste.
We used the car quite a bit over the week, including a weekend trip to Newport, RI for a wedding. To my surprise and pleasure, the entire week resulted in the use of less than a quarter tank of gas. So, it made me wonder about the amount of money that can be saved by purchasing and driving a hybrid.
The amount of money you’ll save really does depend on several factors – how much you drive, the current cost of gas, and the gas efficiency you receive (based on maintenance, and the type of driving you d0).
A family that drives 20,000 miles per year and pays $2.70 per gallon will pay $2,077 per year in gas for a regular Nissan (with an average MPG of 26), and $1,588 per year in gas for a Nissan Hybrid (with an average MPG of 34). That’s a savings of $489 per year!
Now, a hybrid does cost more – up to $7,000 more than a regular sedan. However, there are a few other factors that should be considered:
- the resale value is likely to be higher (hard to calculate with the Nissan since the hybrid is new)
- the more gas prices rise, the more you’ll save
- tax breaks that are often offered will decrease the total cost
Of course, financial savings isn’t the only consideration – hybrids are obviously much better for the environment!