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A Couple Common Misconceptions About Hybrids

Jun 28, 2008
Capitalism is all about giving the people what they want. Well, selling the people what they want may be a better way of stating it. This is basic notion is the very reason we have hybrid vehicles today.

The day you knew hybrids were here to stay was the day car companies started announcing hybrid SUVs. Imagine, all the size and little of the guilt. That being said, there are some misconceptions about hybrids, so lets address the big two.

The first myth is that you will get a major tax break if you buy a hybrid vehicle. This is generally true, but not absolutely. Just to make you groan, you should know the agency that controls the issue. Yes, the IRS. So, when can you get a tax credit?

When taxes are invovled, it should be no surprise there are pitfalls with claiming a tax credit for buying one. The first requirement is you must buy a new vehicle, not a used one. The second requirement is the IRS must have approved the vehicle.

Many people want to know the amount of the hybrid tax credit, but it is an impossible question to answer. The IRS sets a different amount for each and every car. It then has the option of reducing this amount each quarter of the year.

The hybrid tax credit was designed to get people interested in hybrids. Given this fact, it should be no surprise the credit is phased out after a certain number of vehiles are sold. The beloved Prius, in fact, is about to lose its credit.

The Japanese manufacturers have always been way ahead in the game. Toyota is about to lose its tax credit, and Honda can see the end of its in a few years time. This is just the way the law was written, not a territorial matter.

A second area of misunderstanding with the hybrid vehicle has to do with the batteries. Obviously, the car requires special batteries. There is a myth that they have to be replaced every 40,000 miles. This is alleged to be a big problem because they are expensive.

The truth will set you free! In the case of hybrids, this is particularly true. The simple facts are the batteries last for well over a hundred thousand miles. Most car companies even give you a warranty for this mileage.

Should you make your next vehicle a hybrid? If you want to cut your driving costs and help the environment, then the answer is definitely yes. Just make sure to buy it new and check with the IRS on your tax credit amount.
About the Author
Jon Buttress writes about hybrid vs electric cars for HybridCarDealerDepot.com
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