Used Cars Are More Eco-Friendly Than Hybrids?

Illustration for article titled Used Cars Are More Eco-Friendly Than Hybrids?

Here's a simple, compelling argument we read in Wired that shows a used car may be a more ecologically sound choice than a new Prius:

Energy It Takes To Build Prius

113,000 BTUs



113,000 BTUs In Gasoline

1,000 gallons



Distance Driven to Break Even For Build Cost

46,000 miles



Time Needed For Average Driver to Hit 46,000 Miles

Over 3 Years



Distance Driven to Break Even with 1998 Toyota Tercel*

100,000 miles



Time Needed For Average Driver to Hit 100,000 Miles

Over 7 Years

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* or any car that gets 27 mpg city / 35 mpg highway

** distance/year ratios built on 13,500-mile yearly average [Wired]

DISCUSSION

@SuperMacGuy: "You should only buy a BRAND NEW car when either your cost for repairs of an older car is more than your yearly car payments (on said new car), or when your cost of gas in your old car is more than your cost of gas + payment on a brand new (reasonably) efficient car."

You left out a reason. It could be that your car needs change, so you switch to a different model. For example, you trade the coupe for a four-door when you have a kid.