Feb 032012
 

hybrid cars pros and consWhat are the Pros and Cons of Hybrid cars and should we lease them? In order to answer this question, we need to consider our Average Car Payment and take it a step further by including fuel costs into the figure. Before we do that though, a few more considerations should be made and here is where the question over buying vs leasing a car gets interesting. How long must we own and drive a hybrid automobile before our savings in gas pays for the extra investment we made for the Hybrid vehicle? The more miles we drive, the more quickly we are likely to benefit from the savings on gas. High Mileage drivers may be excluded from a car lease due to exceeding the 10,000 or 12,000 mile a year allowance on most lease contracts. To make matters even more complicated, most high mileage drivers have an unusually high percentage of freeway mileage over city mileage. The savings in gas on the freeway over a non-hybrid car are not nearly as impressive as the city mileage. Many of our smaller, economy family sedans like the Hyundai Elantra, Chevy Cruz, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are averaging near 40MPG on the highway. Even some of the middle sized sedans such as the Accord, Camry and Malibu are reaching low to mid 30mpg’s on the highway. A Hybrid car like a Toyota Prius might get 50mpg on the highway, so the savings over an economy or mid-sized sedan is really only 20-25%. In the city is where real fuel savings can be made. Hybrids do as well or better with fuel economy in city than on the open freeways. If you’re getting 48-50mpg on your Prius, you can be saving as much as 50% over a mid-sized family sedan. Also, city mileage drivers tend to stay within the mileage allowance limits of your typical lease contract. With these factors in mind, what are Hybrid Cars Pros and Cons?

Hybrid Cars Pros and Cons

Pros of Hybrid Cars

  • Excellent Gas Mileage in the City over non-hybrid Cars
  • Green, low emmissions. They don’t burn gas and emit carbon at a stop light.
  • Federal and State Government Rebates

Cons of Hybrid Cars

  • High Cost: 20-25% Higher MSRP than non-hybrid cars
  • Limited Driving Range and Performance, depending on the Model
  • Unimpressive Gas Savings for freeway use
  • Future disposal of batteries pose an environmental concern

Leasing Hybrid Cars

When you take all of these things into consideration, it actually makes a lot of sense to lease a Hybrid if you can get the right deal. The drivers who benefit most from gas savings are those who will spend less time on the freeways racking up their mileage limit. City Drivers will likely stay within the miles allowed on their lease contract and realize great savings on gas in the city. Let’s see if we can make a Hybrid Cars comparison by using a new term called, Net Average Car Payment or NACP. NACP reduces are monthly average car payment by the amount of money saved on gas. Unfortunately, there are no featured hybrid car models with direct comparisons, so we will have to assume based on MSRP what the actual lease payment would be. A Civic vs a Civic Hybrid Lease would serve as a good example.
For the sake of our comparison, we will use the actual MPG of the car leases compared along with the following fixed amounts, assuming 100% City Driving mileage.

Leasing a Hybrid Civic vs a Civic LX

  • Gas Cost: $3.00 per Gallon
  • Miles Per Month: 12,000
 
Civic LX
Civic Hybrid
MSRP$19,425.00$24,050.00
Lease Payment$230.00$279.00
Down Payment$0.00$0.00
Average Car Payment$217.00$264.00
Gas Per Gallon Price$3.00$3.00
Yearly Gas Cost (12000 Miles)$1,286.00$818.00
Monthly Gas Cost (1000 Miles)$107.17$68.17
City MPG2844
Net Average Car Payment$217.00$225.00

Hybrid Car Lease: Does it make sense?

It would be difficult to imagine anyone driving a car 12,000 miles a year strictly in the stop and go, city traffic. Therefore, hybrid cars pros and cons comparison above is giving the Hybrid every benefit of the doubt. Even under the most aggressive city driving circumstances, the traditional Civic LX Lease gives you a lower Net Average Car Payment by $8.00. Using combined City/Highway mileage, the Hybrid net average car payment would climb even higher. Buying a hybrid would most certainly take 5 or 6 years to absorb the extra 20-25% MSRP. Considering Hybrid Cars Pros and Cons and the actual fuel savings, it would be very hard to make a case for either owning or leasing one. A hybrid car, assuming the batteries hold up, might make more sense for one who intends to own a car for more than 5 years.

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