Revving Up for a Hybrid Car
Car dealers say hybrid cars are becoming more popular. Hybrids combine a tradional gas engine with electric batteries.
Researching before you buy a car is common advice. A new tax credit program began this month for hybrid car buyers may shift gears for shoppers.
"Our society teaches us to appreciate a bargain," said car owner Donald Sievert. "And this tax-incentive program sounds like a bargain to me."
New incentives for buying hybrids are different than tax incentives in previous years.
"It moved from being a tax deduction to being a tax credit," explained sales representative Kristen Thomas. "It now being a credit, you actually get a dollar-for-dollar deduction in your taxes instead of just reducing your tax liability."
At least 13 cars are expected to qualify for tax credits. The amount of increased fuel efficiency since 2002 determines tax credits for each car. Tax credits range from $250 for the soon-to-be-released Chevrolet Silverado, up to $3,150 dollars for the Toyota Prius.
On top of the tax credit, car companies say improved gas mileage can cut your yearly gas bill in half. And they say you can make up the price difference between a gas-only and a hybrid car in as little as two years.
But, after car companies produce 60,000 model units, they'll start cutting back their tax credits.