Hybrid cars are generally priced slightly higher than their gasoline-powered counterparts. The extra effort necessary to create the technology that combines both gas and electric power makes them more expensive. Take the Toyota Camry, for instance. The regular, conventional version of the 2010 Camry costs at least $19,395, while the 2010 Camry Hybrid goes for $26,150.
However, many automakers are pushing to produce more affordable hybrids for drivers looking to take the plunge. For a while, the 2008 Toyota Prius was the least expensive hybrid car available, priced at $21,500 for the basic model. The newest version, the 2010 Toyota Prius, is only slightly more expensive at $22,000.
But the 2010 Honda Insight became the first mass-produced hybrid car to cost less than $20,000, as the most basic model goes for $19,800. For drivers who don't worry too much about extra features, it's now possible to purchase any one of a variety of affordable hybrids.
And remember, these prices don't include the federal tax incentives hybrid owners can take advantage of, which can give drivers up to $3,400 in tax credits. Some tax credits have expired, however, but you can find out more about that on the next page.