SENIORS: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DRIVING A HYBRID

Mar 14th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Rationale for a Hybrid Purchase

For several years now, we have owned and driven hybrid cars.  There are those who have framed their arguments against the hybrid, but we have found the vehicle to be economical, practical and good for our budget.  Now that gasoline is topping at almost $5 a gallon, it works even more in our favor.

Our first hybrid was a Toyota Camry, which averaged somewhere around 40+ mpg. More than that, however, it was economical to operate because of low cost maintenance.  When we reached 100k miles we found that it would be a wonderful car for our son, who lives in hilly San Francisco.  It continues to serve him well to this day.

We chose a Prius Hybrid  for our next vehicle.  Its mileage is in excess of 50 mpg, and, like the Camry, it is also economical in other respects.  When gas prices reach their heights, as now they seem to be doing, it nudges one to move away from the more traditional vehicle and to experiment with ways to reduce overhead.

Some Planning Considerations for Your Next Vehicle

The most-often-heard negative about hybrids is the cost.  The 2012 Toyota Camry starts at $22k; the Toyota Prius begins at $23k; the Chevy Volt is considerably higher at $37k. Some suggest the cost of the vehicle is not offset by lower gas consumption for at least seven years. However, when one takes a look at not only gas consumption comparisons, but also vehicle service and repair costs of hybrid vehicles, that seven year figure is likely to be cut in half or more.

In addition, we estimate we will be able to drive the Prius to at least 250,000 miles.  (We have always taken good care of our autos.)  Driving an average of 15k a year, we are looking at having this car more than 15 years.  With that in mind, if you don’t have to have a shiny new (expensive) car to satisfy your ego, the hybrid is much more economical than a gas-consumption auto.

Our experience with service and repair has been very favorable.  In fact with the 2007 Camry over five years, the only time that car was in the service shop was for scheduled service (cost which was included in the purchase price) and a couple of recalls. So far with the 2010 Prius, the experience has been the same.  For those who consistently lease vehicles and turn them over every two to five years, the hybrid is a much better automobile economically than those that consume gas only.

We have no regrets about our purchases and have no difficulty recommending our decision to others.



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