Hybrids The truth Behind Them

Green CarThere is no denying that there has been a shift in consciousness regarding leaving our carbon footprint on Mother Earth. This is most apparent in the automotive industry, hybrids and electric cars are being mass produced because there is a demand for them, it is as simple as that. So, let’s talk about hybrids. What are the benefits? Well, first and foremost, yes the environment and secondly your wallet. Win win. Some may say that you have to give up performance in order to get in good with mother nature. Myth? Well, that depends on the type of hybrid you want. If you want the top of the line then you will indeed not have to sacrifice horse power but will sacrifice their efficiency. When the first hybrids came out you got a great deal when it came to going to the pump and great gas mileage but now, you either get one or the other.

So who buys hybrids? Well, as most trendsetters will tell you, it starts at the top which is why most of it comes from the A-listers of Hollywood. Actors such as Cameron Diaz have been seen rocking the hybrid. Taking care of the environment is not only necessary but very cool.

There are also those who say that hybrids, let’s say the Toyota Prius for example are not all they are cracked up to be. When it comes to the carbon footprint that this car leaves it begs to reason that this refers to the car as a whole. It is common belief that when a car is considered to be environmentally friendly it is from the point you purchase it forward. This however is not the case, it has been discovered that the Prius for example requires a lot more energy to construct the parts needed to make it an environmentally friendly. This car model has nickel- metal hydride batteries and it consumes so much energy to produce that the carbon footprint it leaves is substantial even before you own it. The manufacturing phase of these hybrids is not something that most people take into consideration but it is an important fact to consider. Now lets consider what more upscale hybrids offer and if the environmental impact and the impact to your wallet are worth the investment.

Confusing? Yes it is, because some cars that tend to be higher end give you great performance but their MPG is not impressive to say the least. Most hybrids on the market do just fine, but here we focus on the ones that are surprisingly non- green. According to most reports it is close to 80% of Americans who’s main concern is gas mileage, let see if these numbers are worth the hefty investment.

Hybrid cars cost more, compared to a similar model that might come in hybrid or regular manufacturing models. Most of these cars especially the higher end models in theory offer some of the advantages of a hybrid at a glance until you start to analyze the actual data. There are also some cars that are considerably cheaper with slightly lower MPG but then again at what point does it become cost efficient to pay less and receive a slightly lower MPG over time?

Hybrid cars weigh more than regular vehicles. How does this affect you in a practical manner? It means that if you are interested in performance then this here is a big red flag. Also, lets talk about battery packs and what happens when they need to be replaced? Well the truth is the first hybrids came out in the 1990’s and even though they have amazing warranties, sometimes even going so far as to extend past most common car warranties there is not enough empirical data to say with certainty just how long they will last.

Considering that the winters here in Houston are more mild then lets say Siberia, this reason is important to note regarding battery efficiency in cold weather. Batteries discharge much faster in the colder weather, why? Because when it is cold you need the heat on in the car to be comfortable and therefore it will effect your cars efficiency and fuel mileage.

The last reason for which hybrids may be more of a complication than a relief is because the recharging systems in public areas are not at full functionality. This is specifically for PHEVs or Plug in electric vehicles. Some bigger cities have them, but smaller towns do not and what do you do then? You have a car that is totally unpractical.

What is most important when considering buying a hybrid car is to do your research. You need to put into perspective what you gain for what you are paying for. If there are less and less advantages for the amount of money you will be investing in your car, then maybe it is not the best investment you can make in the moment, a hybrid might not be for you.

How To Negotiate Buying A Car

negotiation

When it comes to buying a car, there are some things that you should take into consideration we have some great tips. It is said that when you walk into a dealership you are expected to negotiate the price that is stated.  That is the norm.  Which is why most people who are shy or timid get someone pushier and more aggressive to go with them to “work over the sales man”.

 

If you pay the sticker price then you are letting the car dealership walk away with hundreds and perhaps even thousands of dollars worth of profit. We understand as you must that the services provided by the dealership for having the car that you want is worth something, so how much haggling you do and how much you try to re-negotiate the price on the sticker is up to you.

 

What you need to know is the following:

 

What the invoice price of the vehicle is –

Lets start at the beginning, there is a price that the car dealership pays for every vehicle directly from the car manufacturer.  This is known as the Invoice Price, this money can also be made in the form of money that the dealership gets as a lump sum every quarter.  This is true mostly for new car dealerships, but having said that before you go out and purchase a car you should arm yourself with information.  This information is available on the web, just type in Invoice prices for the car make and model that you are interested in purchasing. The advantage of knowing this information is that you can therefore negotiate the price that is listed on the sticker and what the dealership actually paid for the car on the lot.  It allows you some negotiating “wiggle room” and can be beneficial to your bottom line.

 

Check the Foursquare –

Foursquare is a worksheet that is used by most car dealers, this worksheet has four major quadrants, thus its called a foursquare. Purchase price, down payment, monthly payment and trade in value. Some car salespeople will try to focus on one part of this square. What is important is to remember that if you get a what seems like a great deal on the down payment can make your payments stretch out much much longer than necessary.  As mentioned before the more facts you know the better you can handle the curve balls that you may face at the dealership.

 

Don’t be afraid to walk away –

When it comes to shopping for a car there is just one thing to remember.  No one is forcing you to buy anything you don’t want to.  Ok, lets be honest, if you have ever gone into a store and walked out convinced that you needed an item that is not 100% what you were looking for or even wanted then your salesperson is good.  Really good. People who work at sales for a living do so because they are really good at selling.  Don’t let someone convince you of something that you are not convinced of.  Going to a car dealerships does not mean that you have to leave with a car.  You can go and get information, you can not be thrilled with the offer and choose to go somewhere else.  Another FYI is that if you threaten to go somewhere else to get a better deal you may just end up getting what you needed and wanted all along.

 

Shop around for financing on your own –

If you go into a dealership without doing your homework how will you know that interest rates you are qualified for? How will you know what a good going rate is for what you are looking for looks like. What you are qualified for?  Credit unions, local banks or even your local bank may have some great options for you, lower rates, better interest rates.

 

Get your trade in value to work to your advantage –

Rule #1 if you bring a car that you wish to trade in, do not discuss it with the dealer until you get what you want.  Negotiate the terms of your car once you get the interest rates you want, the purchase price you want.  Remember that regardless the car dealership will be making money and you need to do what is best for you, this tricks will help you get the car you want at a price you can handle.

Do not negotiate monthly payments –

Most of us live paycheck to paycheck, most of us have jobs that pay a certain amount and that is what we have to go on.  Do not be fooled when it comes to getting offered a lower monthly price, this can be a catch 22. Your monthly payments may be lower but you may be paying for it more so than not with payments that span for eternity. Do not make your negotiations based on how little you will pay a month, because your interest rates may inflate over time and you will end up paying more than you needed or wanted to.

Have no regrets on final fees –

You have found the car you want, you qualify for a good interest rate and have agreed on all the key points.  Ask about fees.  Find out what else will be needed of you in order to drive your shiny new car off of the lot.  Get the facts and ask whether these fees are negotiable or if the dealership will assume responsibility for them in order to make a sale.  Sometimes you can wiggle out of paying them, at other times you cannot, but it never hurts to ask.