Pros and cons of hybrid cars
Hybrid car charging
So, you’re thinking about making the environmentally-friendly switch to a hybrid car. There’s a lot to consider when buying a hybrid, so here are a few pros and cons to help you make the leap.

What is a hybrid?

Unlike regular, gas or diesel cars, a hybrid car runs on two engines – a small gasoline engine supplemented by a powerful electric engine. They are designed to use less fuel and help you drive more efficiently.

Pros of driving a hybrid car:

  1. Cleaner energy. You’re using less fuel which is better for the environment, and is a huge plus for driving a hybrid. Even the production of hybrids uses less fuel because they’re made of lighter materials.
  2. Incentives. Some insurance companies may offer a 5-10% discount on the insurance for your hybrid just because you’re going green!
  3. Braking recharges the battery. Because a hybrid runs on petrol and electricity, the battery doesn’t need to be plugged in to charge. The nice thing about hybrids is that braking actually charges the battery, so there’s no need to charge it as often!
  4. Durability means less maintenance. Because the electric engine kicks in when you’re driving shorter, stop-and-start distances, there’s less wear and tear on your engine.

Cons of driving a hybrid car:

  1. Endurance. Hybrids are best for short trips because it’ll use mostly electrical power for those start-and-stop city drives, which essentially means no spending money on gas. However, if you spend a lot of time driving far distances, you might want to stick with an efficient gas or diesel car.
  2. Cost. Because hybrids are a little more niche and more expensive to produce, they can cost slightly more to buy and repair than regular cars. As mentioned above, their parts are made to last, so while repairs may be a little pricier, they will be less frequent!
  3. Size. Depending on the size of your family, a hybrid might not be the best choice as they usually only have up to five seats. There are a few SUV options, but some might not be “true” hybrids.

Does a hybrid car need extra coverage?

A hybrid car doesn’t need any “special” coverage. You’ll need the same basic coverages you’re legally required to have in most provinces for any other vehicle, including liability coverage, direct compensation coverage and accident benefits. Then you’ll want to consider how you're covered for physical damage. There are certain auto coverages like new/used vehicle waiver of depreciation coverage, where if any damage happens, your car will be covered for repair/replacement without any adjustment for depreciation. It’s something to consider since hybrids can be more expensive to repair.

Tip: If you’re leasing or financing your new hybrid, your lienholder or lessor financing company may have some specific coverage requirements.

Does a hybrid cost more to insure?

It’s a common misconception that insuring a hybrid car is more expensive, but it’s actually priced about the same as a “normal” car. Yes, the parts can be costlier to fix if there was any damage to the car, however the frequency of hybrids getting into accidents is much lower because they travel shorter distances. There isn’t enough claims data to show that they should have higher premiums.

If you still have questions, you can always ask your insurer or get a quote with the hybrid model you’re thinking of, and go from there!

Tip: Sign up to become a member with FLO, a proud partner of Sonnet, and get free access to over thousands of public charging stations across Canada. Plus as a FLO member, you qualify for an exclusive discount on home and auto insurance with Sonnet.
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