Environmentally conscious? Why not buy an energy efficient car?

You might want to consider a “green” car to reduce your impact on the environment...and your budget.

After a home, a car is one of the most significant purchases a household can make. And much like a home, there are infinite options to consider.

If you’re environmentally conscious and want to lower your carbon footprint, look no further than a ‘green’ vehicle.

These vehicles, known as ‘hybrid’ or ‘electric’ cars have less of an impact on the environment and may be kinder to your hip pocket over time.

Of course, these vehicles aren’t only for the environmentally conscious. Indeed, these types of vehicles may be the perfect choice for you and your situation.

Before choosing a car, make sure you consider the following:

• How often you drive;
• The distance you drive;
• The roads you drive on;
• How long you plan to own the vehicle;
• Your lifestyle; and
• Size of your family.

How you answer these questions will determine which car option will be right for your needs.

If, after you have considered your needs, you would like to look at hybrid and electric vehicles, make sure you do your research.

Find out how these cars work and how they may differ from a standard petrol vehicle.

A hybrid vehicle is one that’s powered by both petrol and electricity meaning the vehicle emits less C02 and can save you money at the bowser.

There’s a wide offering in the hybrid market, from luxury vehicles to more affordable options.

And, while the initial cost of purchasing a hybrid car can sometimes be higher than an average vehicle, they depreciate at a slower rate, which means that if and when you decide to sell your hybrid, their resale value could be higher.

When choosing your hybrid vehicle, make sure you check the fuel consumption label and compare it to the other cars on your shortlist. In Australia, all new car or light commercial vehicles are required to display a fuel consumption label which indicates how many litres of fuel is used to drive 100 kilometres.

Electric cars run using rechargeable batteries installed inside the car. These vehicles emit even less C02 than hybrid vehicles and average cars. However, Australia doesn’t have a huge selection of electric vehicles on offer and the ones on the market are often quite expensive.

One downside to owning an electric vehicle is that they take a few hours to charge before they can run. As such, they may not be the best choice for long distance driving, as you may struggle to find somewhere to recharge the vehicle.

Remember, as is the case with any financial decision, research is the most important step before settling on a product. Visit as many car dealers as you can, ask questions, test-drive, hop online to watch and read reviews. There’s a wealth of information available to help you make the right decision.

If you need help finding the right vehicle for your needs, speak to your local Mortgage Choice car expert. We have a dedicated team that can do all the legwork for you from choosing the right car, securing a competitive price and organising a loan to finance the purchase.

Don’t try and do it all by yourself - enlist the help of a professional.

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