Gas prices got you thinking it’s time to drive green? The low-down on hybrids

The cost of gas has a lot of Canadians miffed at the pump and reconsidering their next new vehicle. As a result, hybrids are fast becoming a hot ride. By most estimates, their numbers are expected to double this year. Which hybrids are you most likely to start seeing more of in the coming year?

The most popular hybrid cars quoted online for auto insurance by Canadians
through are:

• Honda Civic Hybrid

• Toyota Prius

• Ford Escape Hybrid

• Honda Accord Hybrid

• Honda Insight

• Toyota Highlander Hybrid

• Lexus RX400h

• GMC Sierra 1500 SLE Hybrid

• Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS Hybrid

Hybrid car buyers are lured to the car’s highly touted benefits – a fairly
clean alternative that is easy at the pumps. As an added bonus, if the hybrid
buyer lives in British Columbia, Ontario or Prince Edward Island, a partial
sales tax rebate is also available.

The hybrid’s popularity, however, extends beyond the driver. Insurance companies
are getting in on the act. In the US a number f insurers offer insurance premium
discounts for hybrid owners. In Canada, there are now at least three companies
that offer hybrid owners an insurance discount – usually about 10 per

Like any new kid on the block, there is much talk about how much hybrids cost
and what they’re like. While fuel efficiency is certainly a bonus, hybrids are
slightly more expensive than their non-hybrid version – often from $5000
to $6350.

Rumours abound about the cost to maintain hybrids. It’s often thought they
cost more to upkeep. To offset this perception — and to put their money
where their mouth is so to speak — some manufactures offer warranties
that extend beyond the basic coverage. Toyota for example, offers an 8-year
(or 130,000 km) warranty coverage on their Prius and Highlander hybrid-related
components. Warranty aside, it’s also been reported that a hybrid’s regular
preventative maintenance costs are comparable to its gas-powered counterpart.

If you’re in the market for a new car and are interested in the hybrid, auto
makers are coming out with more hybrids every year. And as gas prices continue
to rise, Canadian consumers are buying them.