Should You Buy a Hybrid Vehicle?

hybrid vehicle

Are you concerned about the environment and looking into buying a hybrid vehicle? We’ve created a list of pros, cons, and general things you should take into consideration before making your final decision.

How does a Hybrid Vehicle Work?

 

hybrid vehicle

There are two main types of hybrid cars – plug-in hybrids and standard hybrids. While plug-in hybrids can be charged at an electric car charging station, standard hybrids use regenerative braking and their internal combustion engine to charge the battery pack.

Hybrid vehicles are a combination of two types of engines – traditional gasoline-powered (internal combustion engine or ICEs) and electric. Hybrid vehicles have a combustion engine that runs on both gasoline and an electric motor. The electric motor has an attached rechargeable battery pack that enables electric-powered driving. While hybrid vehicles are able to use both engines at the same time as a means to increase power, they are also able to rely on just one of the two engines.

Pros:

 

hybrid vehicle

The number one appeal of a hybrid vehicle for most consumers is the fact that it’s environmentally friendly. Hybrid vehicles use 30-60% less fuel than traditional automobiles (which reduces the carbon dioxide emitted by the vehicle and results in cleaner air.)

Plug-in hybrids have the lowest fuel costs of vehicles currently on the market. Fewer trips to the pump means you save a significant amount of money over time, particularly if you’re a commuter. A hybrid vehicle’s higher gas mileage/fuel efficiency is a direct result of the car’s lighter weight and smaller gas engine.

Owning a hybrid won’t just save you money at the gas station; In Ontario, you can receive a subsidy between $3,000 and $14,000 for purchasing an electric or hybrid car.

Hybrid vehicles are also considerably quieter than traditional gas-powered vehicles, cutting down significantly on noise pollution.

Cons:

 

hybrid vehicle

Quiet vehicles have their downsides, too. You have to be hypervigilant and ensure that you’re aware of pedestrians who may not hear your vehicle approaching.

Typically, hybrid vehicles depreciate faster than gas powered cars. They also have a higher initial purchasing cost which can cause the buyer to go into sticker shock (often 20% more than vehicles with standard engines.) The reason for the higher cost is due to a combination of a hybrid vehicle’s advanced technology and long-term fuel-saving benefits.

Additionally, hybrid vehicles typically cost more to repair and maintain because of the complexity of their dual compulsion systems. Before buying a hybrid vehicle, do some research to ensure there’s a repair shop located close to your home or work that has the proper equipment to perform repairs. Also, be aware that some cars may require service to be performed directly by the manufacturer (which is often more expensive.)

Due to their high voltage, hybrid batteries also make the odds of electrocution higher in an accident. Hybrids also have less suspension and body support compared to their performance-focused counterparts.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if the pros of owning a hybrid vehicle outweigh the cons. If you feel that you need some additional guidance, we’re more than happy to help. Click here to book an appointment with us today!

 

Good Debt vs Bad Debt

good debt

When the average person hears the word ‘debt’, they tend to associate it with things like bankruptcy, bills, and collections agencies. While it’s certainly better to be in the black than in the red, not all debt is inherently negative.

Here’s what you need to know about good debt vs bad debt.

Why should everyone have at least some kind of debt?

 

good debt

You need to have some kind of debt in order to build a credit score. Why do you need a credit score? Because it’s the only way to show potential lenders that you’re a responsible borrower. Even if you plan to pay for everything with cash and debit, there are going to be times when you need a loan.

Trying to buy a car or a home without an auto loan or a mortgage is almost impossible for the average person. And good luck renting an apartment if the landlord or property manager asks to see a copy of your credit history to confirm you’ll be able to make your payments on time.

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How to Save Money when you Live in the City

save money city

Whether you live in the city yourself or just hear the people you know complaining about it, calling Toronto (or any other major city) home can be a huge drain on your budget. Between skyrocketing rent and mortgage prices, parking costs, taxes, food, and entertainment, living downtown can do a number to your bank account each month. We know living in the city costs more than living anywhere else, but what can you do to keep yourself under budget?

toronto

Why is Living in the City so Expensive?

Let’s start with the easy question. As mentioned above, the typical expenses that tend to hit city-dwellers the hardest are rent/mortgage payments and car costs (for insurance, gas and for parking).

Toronto recently overtook Vancouver to become the most expensive city in the country to rent a one bedroom apartment in; it’s pretty clear where a huge chunk of the average city dweller’s income is going each month.

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What is Credit Utilization?

credit utilization

Payment history is an easy enough term to understand, but what about credit utilization? While you may be familiar with the concept of a credit score and how it’s important to make yours as strong as possible, most people don’t truly understand the key factors that contribute to building and maintaining said score.

credit utilization

There are 5 core factors that credit bureaus take into consideration when calculating your score:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Credit Utilization (30%)
  • Age of Credit (15%)
  • Mix of Credit (10%)
  • Credit Inquiries (10%)

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Your Credit Score Dropped. Why?

credit score dropped

It happens to many of us at one point or another; you order your credit report and are stunned to see that your credit score dropped and is notably lower than what you were expecting it to be. So, what happened? And more importantly, what can you do to fix it?  Here are some of the most common reasons:

A Hard Inquiry Occurred

hard inquiry

If you’ve recently applied for additional credit or someone pulled your credit file (a lender at a financial institution or a potential landlord, for example), your credit score likely dipped because they created something called a hard inquiry.

Unlike a soft inquiry (which most often occurs when you check your own credit score), a hard inquiry involves a third party requesting a copy of your file and temporarily lowers your credit score. It’s important to note that not all inquiries from third parties result in hard inquiries; an employer checking your credit report during the hiring process will not negatively affect your credit score, for example.

This is why it’s important not to apply for credit from too many places in too short a period of time.  The dip in your score can be disconcerting to see but it shouldn’t actually be a large enough decrease to negatively affect your ability to be approved for credit or other loans.

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