How Owning an Eco-Friendly Car in College Can Save You Money
Mar 02, 2012
If you're fortunate enough to be researching a car purchase before you leave for college, consider all your options. Besides the money for a car itself, colleges typically have parking and registration fees for vehicle owners. So when you're considering forking over a lot of money to a car dealer and your school, be sure that the vehicle you get can also save you money. How does that work? Think about buying an alternative-fuel vehicle, such as a hybrid or electric car.
Other than this being an excellent choice for the environment, owning an eco-friendly car can generate savings. It never hurts to check with your college, insurance company and local dealers to see what promotions they have going on for eco-friendly buyers.
If you're considering buying a new or semi-used car (hey, you may have wealthy parents who want you in a safe, new car), you could earn a discount on a hybrid choice. Some companies, such as GM, offer incentives on new and used hybrids for college students and new graduates. This discount limits the car options to specific models, but the one you were considering may fit the restrictions.
With a rise in alternative-fuel vehicles over the past decade, some insurance companies have decided to offer eco-friendly discounts to attract more customers. Hybrid car owners can now see up to a 10% discount in insurance through some of the major auto insurers.
Save on Gas
No matter if you purchase an electric car or a gasoline-electric car, you'll save big. Electric cars use no gas, so you'll never have to stop and fill up. Gasoline-electric cars use less gas than their wholly fossil-fuel counterparts. GreenHybrid.com looks into hybrid cars and gives a comparative list of the mileage that each model gets. For instance, the popular Prius typically gets about 48 mpg - that makes for quite a savings!
If you want to drive around campus or town, you'll save a lot of money in gas with an eco-friendly vehicle. Most cars get better gas mileage when driving on the highway, because stopping and starting uses the most gas. Hybrid cars have the best solution to this problem. Their use of electric power prevents gasoline consumption when the car is going under 30 miles per hour (some electric engines remain on under 40 mph). Essentially, when you go to class or run up to the corner store you're driving for free!
If you work even part-time during the year, you'll have to file taxes. Of course, if your parents bought you that spiffy new hybrid, this won't matter - but if you bought it, you can earn a tax break, which can be upwards of $3,400.
If you like all that you've heard so far, there could be even more perks for you. For instance, some colleges pride themselves on being eco-friendly. If your college is one of those, ask if they offer any incentives for hybrid or electric car owners. While a tuition discount isn't likely, they may offer lessened parking fees. If they don't - begin this initiative!
Hybrid cars are still in their infant stage, so fossil-fuel cars continue to rule the road. Because of this, you could have a big problem finding fueling stations. Plus, electric cars need a specific plug to charge the battery, and they typically only get about 100 miles before the battery needs recharging. It's not likely that your university will have the charging stations necessary on campus. If you plan to drive around a lot before heading home for a charge, you could have a problem.
Want to save even more money in gas? Find the perfect on-campus job so you won't need to drive off campus for work!