4 Unexpected Ways to Save With a Green Vehicle

Photo (cc) by kosabe

By buying a green vehicle you can save far more than a fistful of dollars at the gas pump. Instead, you can fuel up your bank account with thousands of dollars in savings.

Green vehicle sales have been in the fast lane so far this year, surpassing 450,000, according to AutoblogGreen. That’s up 26 percent from the first eight months of 2012. And August sales are charged up even more, reaching more than 72,000 units. That’s up nearly 50 percent from the year before. The Toyota Prius continues to lead the pack when it comes to sales of green vehicles, accounting for more than 35 percent of sales of hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles in August alone.

The surge in green vehicle sales comes at a time when auto sales in general continue to climb. Overall, more than 1.5 million vehicles were purchased in August, up 17 percent from the year before. While the growth in overall auto sales figures is impressive, it pales in comparison with those of green vehicles.

While hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles generally cost more than their gasoline-powered counterparts, there are a number of unexpected ways to add a stack of green to your bank account by buying a green vehicle.

1. Federal tax credits

If you buy an electric vehicle, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck in the form of a federal tax credit. The tax credit for purchasing an electric vehicle is a whopping $7,500 and includes such popular models such as the Ford Focus EV and Nissan Leaf

The U.S. Department of Energy website has a list of autos that qualify for the electric vehicle tax credit.

You also can score a tax credit if you purchase a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle, which combines the features of a traditional hybrid vehicle with an electric vehicle.

Those credits range from $2,500 for a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid to $7,500 for a Chevrolet Volt. You can get details on the plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle tax credits on the U.S. Department of Energy website.

2. State rebates

Certain states also offer rebates on green vehicles, so you need to be sure to check with your home state to see what is available.

In California, for example, you can get a rebate of up to $2,500 for buying or leasing a zero-emission vehicle or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Pennsylvania provides a $3,000 rebate for purchasing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or electric vehicle, and smaller rebates for other types of vehicles.

3. Auto loan savings

This is another one you’ll have to scout around for, but a number of banks and credit unions offer discounts on auto loans if you buy a green vehicle. These often are available for gas-powered vehicles with good fuel economy, hybrids or alternative-fuel vehicles.

Discounts are generally 0.25 percent or 0.50 percent off the interest rate of your auto loan.

Many financial institutions use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Vehicle certification to determine if a vehicle is eligible for a discount. Information is available at www.fueleconomy.gov.

4. Insurance discounts

Some auto insurance companies offer discounts if you drive a green vehicle. Discounts on your premium will vary based on the state you live in and other individual factors.

Travelers offers a discount if you own or lease a hybrid, while Farmers offers a discount for hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicles.

Have you found other ways to save by owning a green vehicle? Share what you know on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
This Is the Top Home Insurer — for 18 Years Running
This Is the Top Home Insurer — for 18 Years Running

Homeowners are increasingly unhappy with their insurance companies, but one stands out for the better.

8 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances
8 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances

These items put an end to the daily irritations that bug you the most.

9 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal for Less Than $50
9 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal for Less Than $50

These products will instantly improve your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank.

How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses
How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses

Major expenses are difficult to predict, but there are ways to make sure you’re protected.

How Baby Boomers Are Earning an Extra $573 a Month
How Baby Boomers Are Earning an Extra $573 a Month

In the gig economy, baby boomers are out-hustling their younger competition. You can cash in, too.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.