The greenest car you can buy isn’t an EV—it’s that
The greenest car you can buy isn’t an EV—it’s that

Recently, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) evaluated hybrid and electric vehicles to determine the greenest. The result was surprising.

The group looked at several factors, including vehicle emissions and pollutants generated when cars are assembled and manufactured, and found that the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime, a hybrid, is greener than many clean EVs..

Currently, hybrid vehicles are having their day in the sun, with many Americans preferring them over EVs because they’re cheaper and you don’t have to hunt for charging stations on long trips.

But there’s one thing hybrid buyers can still pay a hefty price for: car insurance. Here’s what you need to know.

Several advantages of hybrid vehicles

ACEEE rated this year’s model year vehicles based on air pollution created by vehicle manufacturing and disposal, production and distribution of fuel and electricity used to power the vehicles, and tailpipe emissions.

Based on the findings, the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid, was the greenest car. Hybrids have recently become increasingly popular because they are much cheaper than electric cars.

Read more: check out our picks for the best car insurance companies

In 2023, the average hybrid was about $17,000 cheaper than an EV. While traditional vehicles are cheaper than hybrids, a hybrid is a great choice if a consumer wants an environmentally friendly car that is not as expensive as an EV.

Many consumers also prefer them because many places still lack proper EV charging infrastructure. Even when fast charging stations are available, charging an EV to 80% electricity takes between 20 minutes and 1 hour, which is still too long for many consumers.

It’s also more expensive to repair many EVs right now due to the lack of EV technicians and the higher cost of replacement parts. Batteries are the most expensive part of an EV, accounting for up to 40% of the vehicle’s cost. Hybrids also use batteries, but they are much smaller and usually cost about half as much to replace.

One downside for hybrid owners

One downside to buying a hybrid is that you’ll likely pay more to insure it than you would for a traditional vehicle, although it may still be cheaper than an EV. Hybrids have more complex powertrains than conventional vehicles, making them more expensive to repair and, as a result, to insure.

If you’ve recently purchased a hybrid, here’s how to lower your rates.

Improve your credit score

Many insurance companies use your credit score to help determine your premiums. One way to improve your credit score is to reduce the amount you owe. For example, paying down your credit card balance so that you use less than 30% of your available credit can help improve your score.

Look for discounts

Most insurance companies will apply available discounts to your policy, but there are additional steps you can take to get even more of them. For example, taking a defensive driving course can reduce your premiums by up to 10%. Some companies also offer usage-based discounts that track your driving habits and adjust your premiums based on how well you drive.

Unite home and car

As the ads suggest, bundling your car insurance with your home (or renters) policy can usually save you money. The more coverage you have, the bigger your savings, which can be up to 7%.

Compare insurance companies

Sticking with your current auto insurance provider may be convenient, but it can cost you. A recent study found that 60% of drivers who shop for car insurance find cheaper car insurance.

Unfortunately, car insurance rates aren’t expected to drop anytime soon, so it might be a good idea to consider one or two of these offers. If nothing else, comparing your current premiums with one or two other auto insurance companies will let you know if you’re getting a good deal.

Our Best Car Insurance Companies for 2024

Ready to shop for auto insurance? Whether you’re focused on price, claims handling or customer service, we’ve researched insurers across the country to provide our best-in-class picks for auto insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to get started.

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