When Does It Make Financial Sense To Purchase A Used Hybrid Or Electric Vehicle?

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We as Americans have been told to “Go Green,” but exactly when should you buy a green vehicle over a traditional gas-powered one? I will show you. Let’s take a look at two gas powered vehicles and their green competitors at a price point of $10K.


A used 2011 Toyota Corolla Gas has the same price point as the 2011 Toyota Prius Hybrid, but there is a difference. The Prius costs less to fuel and insure, for a total savings of $543 per year. If you keep the Prius for two years you will save $1000 over the Corolla. In the case of an electric car, the story improves.


The 2012 Honda Fit Gas and Nissan Leaf Electric have virtually the same price point, but plugging in the Leaf vs fueling the Fit costs less, as does maintenance. You will save $941 per year by purchasing the Leaf over the Fit. Keep the Leaf for two years and you will save $1,800.

Once we take a close look at gas powered vehicles’ green competitors, we see that it is financially advantageous to go green. Not to mention having a much smaller carbon footprint, and in the case of the Leaf, access to preferred parking and HOV lanes. 5


1. Edmunds.com True Market Value; 2011 Prius and Corolla with 75K miles, 2012 Leaf and Fit with 60K miles in Inglewood, CA on 6/1/16
2. Fueleconomy.gov; 2011 Prius and Corolla, 2012 Leaf and Fit, based on 45% highway, 55% city driving, 15,000 annual miles and current fuel prices as of 6/1/16
3. Edmunds.com True Cost to Own 2011 Prius and Corolla, 2012 Leaf and Fit
4. Edmunds.com True Cost to Own 2011 Prius and Corolla, 2012 Leaf and Fit
5. California Environmental Protection Agency High Occupancy Vehicle (HOVs) lanes eligible vehicles list