Hybrid cars are a very common sight on the roads these days. Prices have come down, making a Hybrid a more affordable option for shoppers looking for a new car. The costs are more in line with traditional, gasoline-only, powered vehicles. Quality of the vehicles is much improved from the initial Hybrid offerings of the early 2000s. And while the prices for Hybrids have come down, for many, even with fuel savings factored in, the higher initial costs of purchasing a Hybrid, and the overall cost for owning a Hybrid, is still higher than a comparable non-Hybrid model.
What few people ever consider when looking at the price of Hybrids is the insurance costs. Hybrids do typically cost more to insure than comparable non-Hybrid models. Looking at 2009 models, Insure.com found that out of the 20 best selling vehicles in the United States, that the Toyota Prius had the seventh highest average insurance premium. Looking at premium options for a 40 year old single male driver with a bachelor’s degree and who owned his own home and car, and with a clean driving record, the average premium for a Prius was $1396, compared to $1216 for a Honda Odyssey.
So why would a smaller hybrid be more expensive to insure than a larger, and more expensive high-end minivan? Is it strictly because it’s a Hybrid? Well… sort of.
- Hybrids cost more than their non-Hybrid counter-parts. A Hybrid Honda Civic averages about $8000 more than a standard Civic.
- Hybrids have parts that cost more than standard gasoline engine only vehicles.
- Service on Hybrids require specially trained technicians
- Hybrid drivers typically drive more miles than the average driver. More time on the road means more opportunity for accidents.
It comes down to cost – if it costs more to buy, costs more for replacement parts, costs more to service, and is exposed to more potential for accidents, then it costs the insurer more to cover, and costs the owner more to insure.
As Hybrids grab a bigger part of the vehicle market-share, prices on both vehicles and maintenance will start to come down. In the meantime, to get the best pricing on coverage for your Hybrid make sure you get plenty of quotes to compare both premium and coverage.