The Toyota Prius is the most popular hybrid car in the world. Sales are topping 2.8 million units as of April 2012, and with the ever increasing debates of rising fuel costs, the protection of fossil fuels and the creation of clean and renewable energy, this will no doubt see sales rise in the future.
America, one of the world’s biggest gas guzzlers, has resisted calls from many opponents of their high pollution industries to limit sales of their huge trucks and fuel-munching roadsters. The USA’s hesitancy to go hybrid stems from their concerns about the car’s safety and reliability, debating whether the high cost of the vehicle to the consumer is worth the promotion.
Insuring the Hybrid
Hybrids certainly are more expensive to ensure than the average car, however the reasons for the high premiums placed on these vehicles is less to do with it being a hybrid, and more to do with the characteristics of small and expensive cars. Compared to other industry leading gas cars, the Hybrid performed as well, and sometimes better in road collision tests. Hybrids have a very high safety rating, and calls for them to be scrapped due to the lightweight materials they consist of are completely unfounded.
As previous mentioned, the high premium rates for the Prius can be put down to the type of car it is – small and expensive – not because of its (or lack of) fuel consumption. Another major reason why Prius cars are more expensive to insure is due to the tendency of their drivers. Smaller cars can be tough to see, especially with all the big trucks and people carriers driving around. Another reason that Prius divers are more expensive to insure, is that there’s more of them on the road every day. People who have long commutes into work tend to save money by driving smaller cars. If they’re on the road more often, then there’s more change of them being involved in an accident, thus higher premiums.
The new and high-tech components of a hybrid also make it more expensive to repair compared to the standard 5 five door petrol car. Batteries for a hybrid can cost up to £1,600 plus labour. However if you purchase a hybrid through car loans schemes, this cost can be avoided. The truth is, cars with leather seats, soft-tops and other materialistic features will increase your insurance premium – the hybrid is no exception.
There are a few benefits of hybrid cars when it comes in insurance however. Hybrid cars come with a lot of features as standard, features that would make your insurance premium rise if they were added to your cover as extras. For example, if you added anti-lock brakes and passenger airbags to your car, these would be classed as modifications and your premium would certainly cost you more.
All the safety features that some with hybrids will allow you to become a better driver, which means less crashes and subsequently lower insurance. Furthermore, hybrid users are available to more insurance discounts that drivers with regular cars. For example, if you carpool and can prove it to your insurers, discounts of up to 10% can be obtained.