Are Electric Cars Worth It?

As the climate crisis continues to worsen and governments fail to address the issue through top-down policies adequately. It is left to the people make changes to their individual lives to make the necessary reduction in carbon emissions. Hopefully, you can prevent the atmosphere warming to the critical 2-degree threshold.

There are many small things that individual households can do. There are changes to the daily routine and alterations in the types of food eaten. And there are more significant decisions, such as what kind of vehicle to drive.

Often, the smaller changes to our habits are more comfortable to swallow because they don’t incur any meaningful increase in costs. But because purchasing a car is such a big decision financially – it is usually the second most expensive asset we buy after a house – then people can be forgiven for not considering a more expensive alternative to a gas-powered car.

However, as we will explain in this article, for many people, the decision to purchase an electric car will save them money in the long run.

The Cost of Hybrid and Electric Cars

When hybrid cars and electric vehicles first came on to the market, even the most environmentally conscious consumer was not able to stomach the costs. They were prohibitively expensive. Fueled by innovation and technological advancements, not to mention government encouragement, the price for these vehicles has dramatically decreased so that now they are reasonably priced for most consumers to consider them. Their increased affordability is evidenced by the fact that registration for electric cars have more than doubled in 2019 compared to the year before.

Across the globe, most major car manufacturers have added electric car vehicles to their fleet of offerings. These companies understand that they are the future, and as a result, they don’t want to be left behind. The competition from these car companies will help to drive down the cost further and increased vehicle equity. In the United States, you can buy a small electric car for as little as $10,000 (Renault Twizy). For regular-sized vehicles, there is a considerable number of options in the price range of $30-40k.

Government Grants Reduce Cost

When looking at these prices, do not forget that governments also offer credits or grants for purchasing an electric vehicle. In the US, there is a federal electric vehicle tax credit of $7,500. This may not last forever, especially given the current President, so it may be worth taking advantage of these incentive schemes. At the same time, they are on offer to further enhance the cost savings of going electric.

If we focus on the US, let’s create a hypothetical situation where you are looking at a purchase of a brand-new electric car for $22.5k ($30k purchase price less the tax credit). Already, this is comparable to many gas-powered cars, so for many people, the debate as to whether an electric car is worth it will end here. If you are looking at a cheaper gas car, though, then we need to do some calculations that prove the financial benefit of running off electricity rather than gas.

Electricity is Cheaper than Gasoline

The big reason why electric cars are cheaper than gas cars is that electricity is much less expensive to consume than gasoline. On average, American drivers spend around $1,500 a year at the gas station purchasing gas or diesel for their cars. This compares to an average of $500 that drivers of electric vehicles are spending on charging up their vehicles each year.

Financial and Environmental Worth of Electric Cars

Clearly, if you are saving an average of $1,000 every year, then you can quickly make up the difference in the initial price of an electric car.

Ultimately, the question as to whether or not electric cars are worth it can be answered from two angles – the financial and the environmental. From an ecological perspective, they are worth it. The carbon footprint from using an electric car instead of a gas-powered vehicle is far, far lower. By making the switch, you will, without doubt, be helping to protect the planet from global warming.

Fortunately, thanks to colossal progress that has been made in just the last few years, the decision to switch to an electric car is also worth it from the financial perspective. Although the upfront cost of an electric car can be higher, it has been proven that this can be more than offset by the amount of money you will save from charging your car with electricity rather than paying for gas.

So, if you want to save money in the long term and save the planet, hopefully, this article will have helped you to make that decision.

Image source: Open Grid Scheduler.

How to Save on Your Auto Insurance

auto insurance

Auto insurance companies constantly battle to claim providing the best deals, but only some actually pull through. There are many areas in your life where you can make cuts, and, believe it or not, your auto insurance is one of them.

A year after I graduated college, I had my first taste in shopping around for new auto insurance companies. I felt I was not receiving the promised rewards of my plan at the time, and despite reaching out to my representative, no changes were made. After doing some extensive shopping around, I cancelled my plan and went with a new company. This reduced my monthly payment by roughly $60. Needless to say, I was very happy I took the time to do some research.

Many individuals tend to forget to reevaluate their car insurance. They are so focused on their car and having this investment protected that savings could be easily missed, which is completely understandable. But, when working on improving your personal finances, leave no stone unturned.

Just because you already have a policy does not mean you can’t still shop around. Finding the best quotes is key to auto insurance savings. These insurance quotes from reliable companies will be the primary tool you need to leverage change in what you pay. Keep in mind that the estimates you choose should be from a comparable plan to your existing one.

So, let’s get started and get you the savings you deserve with these quick tips.

Don’t limit yourself

There is no cost to getting an auto insurance quote, so don’t limit yourself to just one. In fact, get as many as you can to really help you evaluate your options and to present these estimates to your current company. Performing a thorough research is the first step in this process, and a really important one. Ask for referrals from friends and family and consider looking on forums for advice on companies to speak with.

Dig deep and know your auto insurance needs

Referrals are great, but you still need to research the company to make sure it is a good fit for you. Know what you need in a policy. What is the companies’ coverage like? What are their policies on accidents, speeding tickets and so on? Do they offer forgiveness plans? Do they primarily work online or are they very personalized in their customer service? Knowing all the background information and fine details are important in your savings journey.

Raise your deductible and have good credit

You may need to raise your deductible in order to lower your premium. As companies begin to run quotes for you, they will also look into your credit score, so just be prepared for that. If you need to improve your credit standing, this recent article published right here on Suburban Finance may help.

Try to stick to online searches

Although agents will generally always be available to speak with you, you may be presented with additional costs to meet and talk with them. Not to mention, this will also take up a lot of your time. Try to do as many online searches as you can without speaking to an agent. Should you need to speak with someone for more details, there are some companies who do have online chats or will offer a complimentary phone call with a representative.

Bring multiple cars together

If you have more than one vehicle, consider placing them all under the same policy. This will bring you even more savings.

Overall, the goal is to weigh out your options to make sure you are getting the best deal for you and your budget. Customer service is huge for me, so when my previous auto insurance carrier failed to look into my issues with me, I decided to move on. If your company is willing to make changes to better suit your needs, they may be the best option you.

Never be afraid to look into things and ask where you can save. The answers are out there; you just have to look for them.

What tips would you add to the list?