How to Save on Car Costs

Hybrid Cars: Are They Worth It?

These are hot-ticket items -- in some markets there are months-long waiting lists for models like the Toyota Prius. Hybrid engines run on a combo of fuel and an alternative energy source (such as a rechargeable battery), which means they get significantly better mileage than cars running on gas alone. And they use less gas, so they're a greener and cheaper way to travel. Still, the price includes a premium, adding as much as $5,000 to the cost of the comparable nonhybrid version. For example, a regular Honda Civic starts at around $15,000, but the hybrid version starts at $22,000. You'd have to keep the hybrid for at least four years to pay for the savings in fuel costs.

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