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A buyer's guide to hybrid cars

Each and every time you have to fill up your car's tank at the petrol station, you're probably shocked at the amount you have to pay for seemingly less and less fuel. It can seem like fuel prices continue to rise, and, despite the recent taxation freezes, the past few year's price increases have ensured that a household's fuel bill is already at a record high. If you want to pay lower fuel costs, you may want to consider looking at hybrid cars as an alternative. Here, we outline all the pros and cons of owning a hybrid car and talk you through the best on the market for 2014.

Advantages of hybrid cars

There are many advantages to owning a hybrid car, and not just based around saving money on fuel; here's a quick summary:

- They help the environment by reducing the amount of CO2 emissions. It has been estimated that they produce between 25 and 50 % lower emissions than traditional cars.

- Even if you're not environmentally conscious, hybrid cars might appeal to you for their higher MPG. Take the Toyota Prius Plug in for example with its 51 MPG engine, average cars can only go as high as 30 MPG if they're lucky. For 2014, the Toyota Prius would cost around £28,245 and is considered to be one of the bestselling hybrid out of the bunch.

- Road tax - for the whole of the UK the road tax for hybrid cars is £0. Yes, it's free to tax!

- Congestion charge - if you happen to live in London, your car will be exempt from the Congestion charge so if you need to enter it each day, you'll be making significant savings.

- Less maintenance - when you go really slow or sit idling, the gasoline engine would stop to save fuel and the electric one will kick in. As a result of this, you have less wear and tear on your car.

Disadvantages of hybrid cars

- Motorways - if you drive continuously on the motorway, hybrid cars are not so useful. Higher speeds cause increase in the emissions. If you still want an alternative to the conventional cars that will be good for the motorways - go for an electric car or a hydrogen one.

- Price - hybrid cars are more expensive than traditional ones in general. However with the ever increasing range of hybrid cars this may be looking set to change.

You may also want to read about: Electric Cars

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