Can Owning A Green Car Save You Money On Car Insurance?

Not everyone who buys a hybrid or electric vehicle is on a crusade to save the environment. Some of us just want a reliable car that will save us money at the pump. We’re rational beings. It can be hard to justify shelling out more for a hybrid or electric car, because the cost difference is obvious. On the other hand, we can’t necessarily see the effect our lower CO2 emissions will have on the environment — not immediately, at least.

When considering the economic benefits of going green, it seems that you can have the best of both worlds. Unless you consider giving extra cash to big oil companies a worthwhile use of your money, you probably want to pay as little as possible for gas each month. Green vehicles are more energy efficient. Owning a hybrid or an electric these days also means that saving money doesn’t stop at the pump, either.

Car insurance companies offer discounts for owners of electric and hybrid vehicles.

According to Geico, Allstate, and Travelers, you can get up to at 10% discount on your monthly premiums just for owning a hybrid or electric vehicle. The coverage depends on the state you’re in, but those discounts are out there if you ask for them. At 10%, you can save an average of $10 to $15 per month, which definitely adds up. Considering the average lifespan of a vehicle is 10 years, that equals $1,800 in savings on insurance.

You can also be eligible for discounts by converting your traditional vehicle into a hybrid or flex fuel vehicle. If you can prove that you made the proper modifications, you will be able to get the hybrid discount. Combine the savings on gas and insurance, you can actually recoup much of the car’s cost within about five years. Another bonus: if you later find yourself in a financial tight spot, you will find that your hybrid will fetch a greater amount of money for an auto title loan.

Here’s a table that shows the amount of savings in fuel over time for three types of cars: Hybrid, Fully Electric or EV, and a standard mid-market sedan. The gas price is the estimated national average of $3.85 per gallon.

MPG (City) Monthly Yearly Five Years
53 (Prius) $73 $872 $4,359
95 (Volt) $41 $487 $2,431
17 (Sedan) $227 $2,718 $13,589
Hybrid Insurance Discount (savings) $15 (est.) $180 (est.) $900 (est.)

These statistics are based on 2012 models, so the amounts may differ slightly for current models.  

It is clear that owning a hybrid car and getting the hybrid insurance really pays off. That’s an extra $900 in your pocket over five years — on top of saving about $10,000 in gas over that same period compared to a mid-market sedan. It makes you wonder: why do we buy non-hybrid cars at all anymore? Explore your options and talk to your insurance agent today about getting a hybrid discount.