5 Reasons Not to Buy a Hybrid


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Recouping the Extra Cost
It can take several years to make up that cost of a hybrid car in gas savings. Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Most new hybrid owners justify the higher initial purchase cost of their vehicle by saying that they'll make up the difference in fuel savings. Well, that plan may take a little (or a lot) longer than most new car owners think.

Oftentimes, it can take several years to make up that cost of a hybrid car in gas savings. When gas was setting new record-high prices in the summer of 2008, people penciled out the time it would take to recoup in fuel savings the extra dollars they had paid for a hybrid car.

At the time, a hybrid car may have sounded like a great idea. In fact, when gas prices are high, hybrid cars can make up the price difference in as little as two years — like in the case of the Toyota Camry Hybrid. At that time there were also tax credits and incentives available from the federal government, and some state governments, for purchasing new hybrids. Those credits have all dried up, though. There are still tax incentives available for plug-in hybrids and purely electric vehicles, but even those will end in a few years as more of these vehicles become available on the marketplace.

But when you're talking about an extreme case, like the Lexus LC hybrid sports car (which happens to have an almost six-figure price tag), even when gas prices are relatively low, it would take decades to make up the difference in price.

OK, gasoline is great, but you can do better. You can plug your car in.

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