Hybrid cars, which have become very popular in recent years, combine two major advantages – saving consumers money on gas and reducing CO2 emissions.
But companies offering auto insurance quotes that assess premiums for hybrids must take into account the costs of the vehicles’ new technology and how much they cost to repair in the event of an accident. Because of that they may come with higher auto insurance premiums.
Many Hybrid Vehicles Cost More
As a general rule, hybrid vehicles come with higher purchase prices than traditional vehicles, but make up on that cost over time because of improved gas mileage. Over the first five years of ownership, hybrid owners will have made up most, if not all of the price difference.
While gas mileage is a financial positive, hybrids also cost slightly more to maintain. Data from Audatex found that repairs for hybrid vehicles cost 3.8 percent more than a comparable gas-powered model. But over the life of a vehicle, the firm said that difference would be barely noticeable to the average car owner.
Studies have found that the auto insurance average claim for hybrid vehicles was 6.5 percent more severe than it was for gas-powered cars. In addition, hybrids also tended to use more original manufacturers’ parts than other models, causing higher repair costs.
Smaller cars can also be more expensive to insure because they are harder to see and more vulnerable during an accident.
Some Premiums Come with Discounted Rates
There are a few auto insurance companies which offer reduced auto insurance quotes for the drivers of hybrid vehicles. Two companies, according to the Insurance Information Institute, offer a 10 percent discount on many auto insurance coverages. However, these insurance quotes vary by state.
However, the group says when those polices were created, hybrid drivers were seen as low-risk, responsible drivers. As the vehicles have become more prevalent, that trend has not continued, and hybrids are being used more frequently by less responsible drivers.
In the long run, as hybrids become more common, insurance premiums for hybrid vehicles will likely become more standardized. At that point, much like traditional vehicles, a car owner’s driving history may be the biggest factor in determining the car insurance premiums they pay.