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Pros and Cons of Owning a Hybrid Car by an Owner

About 16 months ago, my family needed a new car. We always keep three cars, and one of our cars was getting old. While shopping for a new car, we never considered a hybrid, because we thought they cost too much. When we went to Toyota though, we found out we could buy a brand new Prius for around $23,000. That was in our range, so we bought it.

I travel 100 total miles back and forth to work each day. That’s 500 miles a week, and 25,000 miles a year just going to and coming home from work. Driving all those miles, the price of gas was killing us. That was the main reason we choose a Prius.

If you want to know what the car looks like, it’s exactly like the car, color and all, that Larry David hilariously drives around on Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO. Here are some of the pros and cons of owning a hybrid car.

Pros of Owning a Hybrid Car

Save Money on Gas

As an owner of a hybrid Prius, I get around 50 miles to the gallon. I fill my tank far less than when I owned a gas only car, and when I do fill up it costs me a lot less too. Typically, I can fill my Prius for $20 to $25 each fill up, compared to $35 to $45 for my Mazda 6. I’d say I’m saving at least $150 a month on gas by owning a Prius vs a gas only car. That’s $1,800 a year.

You Cannot Lock Your Key Inside a Prius

The Prius does not use a key. Instead you only have a remote, and start the car by pressing a button on the dashboard. You can only start the car if the remote is in it. You also cannot lock the car with the remote still in it. If you try, the car will just keep unlocking itself, that way you know the remote is still in the car.

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Battery Recharges Itself

The Prius has what’s called regenerative braking technology. Under that system, when you hit the brake, or put the car in breaking mode while driving, the battery gets recharged through kinetic energy. There’s a display on the dash where you can see how much charge the battery has. You never have to plug in the car to any outside power source to recharge the battery.

Your Helping the Environment

As well as saving a lot of money on gas, we are also helping the environment by pumping less gas fumes into the atmosphere.

Cons of Owning a Hybrid Car

Gas Mileage is Not As Great for Highway Driving

When you drive a Prius on the highway, the gas mileage isn’t a whole lot better than what you get with a gas only car. You really save on the gas doing local driving. When you reach a stoplight, and have to wait for the light to change, the engine will shut off. It’s that kind of driving where you get the best gas mileage with a hybrid.

Lack of Power

Some drivers might find a hybrid car a little lacking in the power department. The Toyota Prius has two settings drivers can use. The Energy Saver mode can be lacking in power, especially when one tries to get up to speed getting on a highway. The Power mode can be switched on when driving on highways.

It can be a pain switching between the driving modes though, while actually driving the car. Switching the modes requires just the press of a button, but it can be distracting finding the button while driving.

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Driving a Prius Takes Getting Used To

As mentioned above, the Pruis does not have a key. It takes a while to get used to not having a key, and just pressing a button to start the car. In order to drive the car, you use a small shifter located on the dashboard. The shifter does not remain in a position, it shifts the car into drive, reverse or braking mode, which you see on the dashboard display, and then goes back to its original position.

It definitely takes some getting used to. I’ve had the Prius for a over year now, and can move from a regular gas car to the Prius without even thinking about it, but I’d say it took me a few months to get to that point.

When Car Battery Wears Out It Will Be Expensive to Replace

When we bought the car, the salesman said that they estimate that the battery will last for 100,000 miles. When the battery goes, we have to buy a new battery, which the salesman said was around $3,000 when we bought the car. He said the price keeps dropping though, and estimated it would cost $2,000 or less by the time we needed a new one.

My sister and her husband also own a Prius, which they bought over three years ago. They have over 120,000 miles on it, and have yet to need a new battery. The salesman did tell us that since the battery technology is so new, nobody really knows how long the batteries will last. Sooner or later though, we will probably need a new expensive battery, though Toyota claims that they have yet to replace a hybrid battery for wearing out.