With the soaring prices of fuel and the rising environmental awareness amongst people, alternate fuels have become a demand. The auto industry has also responded to it by introducing several hybrid cars within the last few years. With the growing market of hybrid cars, the buyers are facing the problem to make the correct decision regarding which hybrid to buy. For their purpose, we have listed down the factors that will help them identify the right hybrid for themselves.
Identify right hybrid : Primary factors
There are few factors, upon which the decision making process depends. The rest of the factors can be judged only after finalising the primary factors. The two Primary Factors are:
Identify the Need : It is a very important factor to analyze the need of the car – purpose of buying the car (going to office, going for long trips, moving in the city, etc.), the distance it will travel, the road that it will travel, how many people will be travelling, etc. For example, whether the car will travel for short distances or longer ones; whether it will travel more within the city or on the highway. Only after considering these aspects we can decide the priority level that must be assigned to the secondary factors.
Which size will be suitable for you ? : After need, the first step for buying a hybrid car is to choose the right size of the car. The segment must be chosen very wisely – SUV, Compact, Sedan, Crossover, Truck, etc. This step is important because with the increase in size of the car, the fuel economy decreases, hence it must be taken care of that the size of the car is neither less nor more than what is required. This decision depends upon the number of people that will usually travel and the terrains on which the car will move.
Identify right hybrid : Secondary factors
They are those factors, which depend on the primary ones. Each of them is assigned a different priority index depending upon the need of the customer. Some of these factors are:
Fuel Economy : Once we have chosen the segment, it becomes easier to compare the hybrids available in the market on the basis of mileage. All the hybrid cars have a higher fuel economy than the gasoline cars but the economy varies from hybrid to hybrid and from model to model. This variation depends upon other secondary features. Now it is upon the buyer to decide the priority index of these features. For example, a customer may be ready to compromise with the mileage for better luxury features while the other may pay more importance to fuel economy.
Price : This factor also varies from customer to customer depending on his requirement. He may be ready to pay more for a hybrid with higher mileage if his work requires long journeys or may not do so if he uses the car occasionally. Other factors like features and payback time also influence the price range of the customer.
Running Cost : It is quite important, especially in hybrid cars because they might require some extra maintenance. For example, if the battery is supposed to be replaced after every 5000 miles, then a customer who travels for long distances may not go for it
Features and Convenience : Almost all hybrids in the market are coming with technologies like automatic climate control, navigation system, iPod interface, Bluetooth and keyless start system. But again, it is upon the customer to decide which feature/features he should go for because each feature comes with a price tag. Also, the boot space is a major question. This decision should be taken depending on the number of people that will usually travel in the car.
Payback time : Whenever the cost of a hybrid is analyzed, the most sought after question is regarding the payback time. With all the calculations emphasising upon the money that the hybrids save, it is important to calculate that in how much time the customer will extract the extra price that he had to pay for the hybrid. The answer will depend upon the usage and the mileage of the hybrid car
Battery life : Since batteries are a major part of a hybrid, hence proper information must be taken before making a decision. The type of the battery, its replacement time and its warranty must be known prior to buying a hybrid. Also, it must be checked whether the car will be able to run on electric mode only and if yes, in what terrains. Only after considering these factors, can a decision be made.
Safety issues : Since the hybrid cars are relatively new, they should have adequate features to convince the buyer of his safety. Most importantly, the car should be crash tested. Other safety features like ABS and Air Bags are also a must.
Range of the car : It is a big issue and still many hybrids are coping with it. If the range of a hybrid is not large enough on alternate fuel, then a customer with long distance requirements would rather go for a gasoline car. Hence it is very important to check the range of the vehicle and match it with the needs of the buyer. The customer must take a comfortable margin while choosing the range of the hybrid, i.e. the range must be more than the requirement of the buyer by sufficient amount.
What is expected in near future : Before the customer takes a final decision about the hybrid he has to buy, he must check for the latest cars that are coming up in the market. As the hybrid market is still in the development phase, hence newer variants are coming up each day. Thus it is important to check for the latest models and wait for it if it matches the requirement of the buyer. If this step is ignored, the customer might end up regretting his decision.
Summing it all up …
There are so many options available for hybrid cars buyers today and by using a few simple steps one can easliy buy the car one is really looking for!