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Are Greener Cars More Expensive to Buy?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Cars Motoring Budget Buying A Car Eco

Eco friendly cars are often seen as being out of the reach of those on a motoring budget. This is something of a myth though, as buying a car that is eco friendly can still be done on a motoring budget. Although they are often more expensive to buy than conventional cars, running costs are often considerably less for 'green cars'. This article discusses how to buy eco friendly 'green' cars without spending a small fortune.

Initial Buying Costs

You can typically expect to pay a few thousand pounds more for a 'green' car, particularly while they are still in a relative minority in the UK. For example, the SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive model costs around £11, 000, while the SEAT Ibiza Freerider model is around £1000 cheaper (for the Recommended On The Road price; the basic retail price is around £1,400 difference between the two models). As another example, the 'green' Ford Focus ECOnetic has a starting price of £16, 045, while other Ford Focus models are available from £12,795.

Saving Money With an Eco Friendly Car

If you are prepared to part with a bit more cash to own an eco friendly car, you will usually be rewarded with some fairly substantial savings that cancel out the initially higher buying costs. These savings relate to your car's carbon fuel emissions, which are lower with an eco friendly hybrid or electric car. These can be a lot lower when it comes to road tax and company car tax as both are determined by your car's carbon fuel emissions. You can save as much as fifty per cent by switching to an eco friendly car, which adds up over the years to a lot more than the initial higher buying costs. See our articles on 'Can Hybrid Cars Save Me Money?' and 'Will Eco Motoring Options Save Me Money Too?' for more information on this.

Motoring experts expect the cost of servicing and maintaining eco friendly cars will be on a similar level to conventional cars, although hybrid cars may need to be serviced at a specialist centre.

Using Alternative Fuel Options

With the cost of petrol and diesel becoming increasingly expensive, motorists are on the lookout for alternative fuel options that will help them to save money. Although it is currently not widely available in the UK, the 'greener' biofuel has been put forward as one of the alternative fuel options, and is expected to become cheaper than petrol and diesel in the long run. If your car has a diesel engine, you can use biofuel as an alternative fuel source (experts suggest combining it with diesel, as most engines were not designed with biofuel in mind), although it might not be cost effective to do so at the moment.

When it comes to buying a car, eco friendly cars can be financially feasible for those on a motoring budget. The initial costs are often higher when buying a car that is 'green' but this is almost always negated by the lower running costs and the savings that come with the lower carbon fuel emissions.

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