Reducing The Cost of Increasing Ones Milage
August 26, 2005 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Are there any Federal tax credits or financial incentives (aside from the savings of minimizing fillup frequency) for buying a fuel efficient vehicle?

The additional cost for the cars I've been looking at with high efficiency engines would take me roughly 3 years to break even (making a few assumptions about the cost of fuel, etc.). I'm looking for ways to soften the blow.
posted by philmas to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Only if it's a hybrid. Then you get a $2000 tax deduction. These are the eligible models:

Toyota Prius — Model Years 2001 through 2005
Honda Insight — Model Years 2000 through 2005
Honda Civic Hybrid — Model Years 2003 and 2005
Honda Accord Hybrid — Model Year 2005
Ford Escape Hybrid — Model Year 2005
posted by smackfu at 6:38 PM on August 26, 2005

Toyota has stated that in a purely economic sense, buying a Prius isn't worth it for most people.

Its just that people would rather give their money to Toyota then Exxon for some strange reason. Hmm...
posted by delmoi at 7:19 PM on August 26, 2005

Well, plus the fact that the more efficient your car, the fewer tanks of gas it takes to get around, the fewer barrels of oil you consume. That makes it totally "worth it" for me.
posted by statolith at 7:35 PM on August 26, 2005

That would depend on how many extra barrels of oil went into producing the car, wouldn't it? And that's difficult to quantify.
posted by kindall at 10:43 PM on August 26, 2005

Seriously. I want my "leave the car at home" tax credit. Cause I deserve it.

I work a 40+ hour a week day job fixing/modding/buying/selling musical gear. I spend most nights gigging. I write for a magazine. The only job that withholds taxes is the day job, and come the middle of April I still end up owing.

If I fill up at the top of the month, I still have a good bit sloshing in my tank 30 days later.

Why (despite the fact I have a full time day job) do I NEVER get a refund? Why can't I get a tax break for parsimonious living?

My Volvo may not be fuel efficient, but at the end of the year, I would confidently put my consumption against any Prius owner who does receive a tax break.

If the Prius owner gets some IRS lovin', so should I.
posted by sourwookie at 12:29 AM on August 27, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the info, esp. smackfu. Interesting that the credit is only for hybrids when some diesels get almost as high mileage. I frankly would rather buy a diesel, less complicated, no battery to replace.

Sourwookie, I guess the point is for those folks who are willing to fork over the additional cash for a low mileage car, the feds are trying to make it worth their while. Whereas you aren't doing that, you just aren't driving much. I suppose there could be a consumption tax for fuel...well wait, there already is for those who are racking up miles, paying all those state and federal taxes inherent in the cost of fuel. On the other hand, you apparently aren't, there's your bonus!
posted by philmas at 4:59 AM on August 27, 2005

Sourwookie, sounds like you also get a break on the wasting-your-life-in-traffic tax.
posted by Good Brain at 10:02 PM on August 27, 2005

Philmas - "battery to replace"?????? It's under warranty for eight friggin' years. I've never owned a car that long. I've only had my Prius for 4 years, and I plan to buy a new one soon 'cause it's WAY nicer to drive than my Accord (same age).
Why do you care about mileage anyway? To save those precious oil drops in the ground?? I hope not. I hope you would care about spewing toxic crap into the atmosphere, and in that case you don't want a diesel, no matter the mileage. If you don't want a hybrid, buy a Civic. That gets you close enough in my book.
posted by johngumbo at 9:35 AM on August 28, 2005

It's under warranty for eight friggin' years. I've never owned a car that long.

Then maybe you could consider doing that. Taking on a new car payment will dwarf anything you'll save on gas by buying a fuel-efficient car. You can buy a helluva lot of gas for your existing car for what you'd pay monthly for a new one.
posted by kindall at 12:02 AM on September 4, 2005

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