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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A greener ride for a greener pocketbook


During tough economic times, many of us look for ways to reduce our expenditures. Armed with a spending plan, perhaps a budgeting software tool, and plenty of good intentions, we are optimistic that within just weeks of faithful frugality, we’ll be able to see the fruits of our self-discipline in the forms of shrinking debts and growing savings. However, one of the most discouraging discoveries we quickly make is that the majority of our spending has been on necessities—and not luxuries—all along…and we are not in control of the market prices of necessities. This is especially true of the cost of fuel, since gas is a commodity that we simply cannot shop around for.

Fortunately, though, it is possible to drastically reduce our dependence on gas with the increasing availability and accessibility of fuel efficient vehicles. Despite their slightly higher costs upfront (as compared to their gas guzzling counterparts), with these cars you can definitely expect to earn back your investment in fuel savings. Moreover, insurance rates on these cars are not typically higher than any other type of vehicle as many had initially feared when these cars first stepped onto the auto scene. Up for your consideration are:

1)      Mitsubishi i – This car is 100% electric. It can comfortably seat four, and can be charged in the same outlet you plug your toaster into (although it might be a nuisance to charge your car in the kitchen). Its compact size makes it a good choice for city dwellers too. 

2)      Nissan Leaf – this five door hatchback is also 100% electric, meaning it produces no tailpipe pollution, and no greenhouse gas emissions. If you are looking for something slightly larger than the i, this may be the car for you. 

3)      Toyota Prius – this hybrid was the car to start it all, jumping on the market in 1997. Although, unlike the two previously mentioned contenders, it is not 100% electric, the fuel savings associated with driving a hybrid car are still huge compared when with a conventional one.

With a reduction in your fuel spending, and a reduction in your carbon footprint to boot, you may want to consider making your next auto purchase a greener one.

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