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Buying Used Hybrids Is Better Bang for Your Buck, Says Blue Book

Think again before you shell out all that cash for the shiny new green car.

hybrid car

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Looking for that perfect hybrid to show off how green conscious you are? Well, Kelley Blue Book wants to caution you against buying that shiny new car, in the interest of maximizing your purchases. They’ve indicated in their new report that buying used hybrids will serve you better in the long-run. Here’s why.

“Today, Kelley Blue Book is seeing values for hybrid vehicles drop off, underperforming the overall market and shedding the premium over non-hybrid compact alternatives,” the press release reports. “Steady gas prices have been the main factor contributing to the lack of demand for hybrid vehicles,” the report continues.

The report indicates that used vehicles offer a solution to the value versus environmental considerations. “For the Civic Hybrid, the break-even point is realized just shy of five years down the road as opposed to the sixteen years required for a new purchase.” So there you go–buy used hybrids at around 60,00 miles and Kelly Blue Book says you’ll have the best of both worlds.

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But, they caution, “When buying used, consumers should consider purchasing the hybrid alternative of an existing nameplate as opposed to an all-hybrid vehicle like the Prius, since it takes twice as long to recover the hybrid premium for a Prius as opposed to a Honda Civic Hybrid in the used market.”

The hybrid car may soon become irrelevant in the face of competitive innovations on the part of gas-powered cars. The entrance of hybrids into the national car market has forced gas-powered cars to innovate, which is never a bad thing. “Technological improvements have helped to put the fuel economy of some new gasoline-powered vehicles on par with many existing hybrids.”

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The Ford Fiesta and the Chevrolet Cruz are both expected to perform at 40 miles per gallon, for example, which may prove hybrids to be less relevant products, except for the die-hard greenies. But in this economy, dollars may speak louder than the call to green.

[Top image via flickr/Argonne National Laboratory; Bottom image via flickr/mil8]

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About the author

Jenara is an overseas reporter for Fast Company and a freelance writer/producer in Asia, regularly on CNNGo, and a graduate of Harvard and UC Berkeley.

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