What a Hybrid Really Costs

Buying & Leasing a Car

What a Hybrid Really Costs

Compare the five-year cost of hybrids with their gas-engine counterparts.

All hybrids cost more to buy than their gasoline-engine counterparts -- usually at least $5,000 more. But that doesn't mean all hybrids cost more over the long run. One way to see whether a hybrid pays for itself is to focus less on the initial price premium and more on the five-year ownership costs. Our slide show makes it easy to compare costs.


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Slideshow: What a Hybrid Really Costs

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Savings at the pump aren't likely to pay you back for the extra initial outlay, but when you combine those savings with the federal tax credit available for purchases after January 1, 2006, the numbers look friendlier. In fact, ownership costs for the Honda Civic Hybrid are within a few hundred dollars of the gas-engine Honda Civic. And with the Toyota Prius, the five-year costs are actually a few hundred dollars less than the comparable Corolla LE. Other hybrids costs several thousand dollars more than their gas-engine counterparts.

Note: Our comparisons do not include the 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid because its ownership costs are yet to be determined. Toyota says that the new car should reach dealers in May with a sticker price of $25,900. All numbers in our tables come from Vincentric, a Bloomfield Hills, Mich., automotive research firm.

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