First of all, choose what type of hybrid car you want to buy. There are Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (SULEV), Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV) and Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. The PZEV is a very clean type of HEVs, except for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles or battery electric vehicles. Determine how and where you drive your present car to choose whether an HEV is suitable for your needs. Hybrid cars are great for urban and suburban driving. Driving in the city with stop and go traffic will not consume too much fuel, provided that the vehicle runs on the electric engine with low RPMs. On the other hand, cars on combustion engines with an electrical assist like the Honda Civic Hybrid will see minimum difference between city driving and highway gas usage.
You need to decide if you can survive with the restricted HEV options available on the market. There are presently just a few cars to select from, even though a lot of manufacturers have hybrid concept cars in demonstration or development stages. If you are dissatisfied with the current options, remember that more models will be available in the market in the not too distant future.
Pricing and repairing options
Get ready to spend more money on an HEV compared to a gas powered car. This is because of low production numbers and mechanical complexity. Perform a search on the availability of the vehicle where you live and visit the manufacturer’s site to check where you can get the car repaired. Auto shopping sites list the usual cost of ownership on all available car models.