When buying brand new cars, there are a lot of things to consider besides the sticker price. Not the least of your concerns should be car insurance costs. Surprisingly, less than 10% of people who purchase new vehicles consider insurance expenditure. For instance, what if you were on the market for a Toyota hybrid car?
Sure, hybrid cars (vehicles that are powered by both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor) are good and all but are you fully aware that they may cost more than the average car when it comes to insurance? So before you buy that Toyota Prius, Camry or Highlander, consider the following points.
• Easy on thieves’ eyes. Hybrid vehicles are quite popular today, often with long waiting lists in several cities. This also means they are major targets for thieves – as what usually happens with anything seen as different, desirable or new. Insurance firms perceive a higher probability of theft as a good likelihood that you’ll be filing a claim. To offset this scenario, insurers charge consumers more.
• Size matters. Smaller cars generally cost more to insure since there is a greater chance of injury in case a vehicular mishap occurs. Minimal or limited crumple zones suggest less protection, particularly when it comes to head-on collisions. As such, insurance firms will think that they’ll be forced to pay out a liability or medical claim with such cars.
• Pricey fixes. Toyota hybrid vehicles (or any hybrid car for that matter) cannot be repaired just anywhere by a regular mechanic. They need to be returned to the dealer, especially if the drive system is affected. The insurance outfit interprets this as a greater cost on their part in the event of accidents happening. Even areas where there are trained mechanics to work on hybrid cars, no off-brand parts are yet available for fixing the power system. Although OEM parts are usually covered for hybrid cars, replacing them does not come cheap.
The good news is that even if all the factors mentioned above lead to higher car insurance premiums for hybrid car owners, there are also plenty of credits and discounts that you might be qualified for. Here are some examples.
• Discounts for considerable driving experience or clean records. If you have at least a decade of being behind the wheel, and good driving record at that, then you may be qualified for a discount.
• Good credit begets credit. If you have a good credit score, then chances of getting a good car insurance rate are higher.
• Home-car discounts. Are you a homeowner too? Save money on auto insurance by putting your car insurance and homeowner’s policies under one provider.
Owning a hybrid vehicle is seldom about the money. Most people consider it as a deliberate and conscious choice to be more earth-friendly. Still, knowing about potential related costs or expenses never hurts.
Auto insurance premiums can significantly add to the yearly cost of owning a car. If you’re thinking of owning a Toyota hybrid car, do look at the pros and cons in detail.