In ways big and small, we are all guilty of doing harm to our environment. And we’re feeling its effects around the world — winters coming too soon, summers coming too late, days that are too hot, nights that are too cold, and it’s snowing in places where there’s never been before. Climate change is the single greatest threat to our world and our very existence.
Now, what can you do to reduce your carbon footprint? If you are looking for ways to contribute to the environment, you might want to start finding the right car. In the US, personal vehicles amount for around one-fifth of emissions. This is because every gallon of gas burned is equal to 24 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Switching to eco-friendly cars is not only a big move, it is also the right move. And car manufacturers are quick to satisfy the demand, which tends to get bigger and bigger, whether in the developed or developing countries. The car-buying experience in the Philippines is also seeing a change in preference, where 46% of prospective buyers said they are open to buying an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car purchase, according to a study. The study also shows that cost isn’t even an issue as customers are willing to pay 50% more. The challenge remains to be the lack of knowledge as to how EVs work.
If you are in the market and on a hunt for an eco-friendly, sustainable car, here are tips to help you score a good one.
Consider fuel economy
Fuel efficiency is one of the first things you have to look for in a car. Apart from being more environment friendly, it is also the practical way to go, especially now that the new tax reform law in the Philippines has caused fuel prices to rise steadily.
Some cars can go 24 kilometers per liter of gas, such as the Toyota Prius, a hybrid mid-sized hatchback that can run on either gas or electricity. The longer a car can run using the minimum amount of fuel, the more fuel efficient it is.
Eco-friendly cars on the rise
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So, are eco-friendly cars available in the market? The biggest car manufacturers around the world have taken it to task to produce more sustainable cars, seeing that efforts to go green has a solid market.
Toyota has its Prius, Ford has an electric Focus, Chevrolet has an EV Bolt, Hyundai has its electric Ioniq, and there’s also a 2017 Fiat 500e. These cars are electric with zero emissions and innovative safety features.
While electric vehicles have not yet fully entered the Philippine market, more and more consumers are gearing towards fuel-efficient cars. And the best part is that they are even more affordable. Suzuki’s Celerio 1.0 has a 34km/L fuel economy and costs a little over Php500,000 only. The Ford Fiesta Ecoboost is compact, fuel-efficient, and an all-around great performer. On a freeway, it can run 27km/L. The Ford Focus, Pope Francis’ car of choice, manages a 21.39km/L. The Hyundai Eon, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Picanto, Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, Honda City, Honda Brio, and Mitsubishi Mirage all have improved fuel economy and are even cheaper than other models.
Read reviews and shop around
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You shouldn’t be in a rush when buying a car, especially your first one. Remember that this is a major investment that requires a lot of thought and research. The beauty of the Internet these days is you can find a review everywhere. Reviews are very extensive that some would make you feel like you are riding in one of them.
Find time to go around showrooms and dealerships. While it helps if you already have a type of car in mind, shopping around would give you a bigger picture of your options. You should also schedule a test drive where you can check the car’s performance and whether you will be comfortable driving it.
Cost of ownership
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The cost of a car — down payment, monthly payments, insurance — should always be on top of your buying guide. You must also factor in maintenance and the cost of having a car, such as fuel cost. Can you handle it?
Do not be afraid to negotiate your loan, interests, down payment, and purchase cost. Walk in there with confidence and let your dealer know upfront that you can’t be taken for a ride. It is your first car purchase, but it doesn’t have to feel like a huge financial burden.
There is one general rule as far as cost is concerned: buy a car that you can afford.
The price of safety
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In finding the right car, you go beyond the cost, fuel economy, comfort, and exciting features. Remember that what is important is safety. Ask about the safety features of a car and weigh them. This becomes even more crucial if you have a kid. Your car should make you feel safe and secure everywhere you go.
You must also consider whether the security and safety gears that you want to add, cameras, sensors, and navigation devices, are compatible with your car. .
Buy the car that you need
Sure, that 4×4 pick-up looks handsome, but do you need it? Again, this is where eco-friendly cars have an advantage. Most prospective car owners just need to be able to drive around the city where you are lucky to run at 40kph because of terrible traffic. This is why in terms of practicality, fuel-efficient vehicles are runaway winners.
If it’s going to be a family car, comfort should be high up there in your considerations. If it’s going to be used for utility and business, that’s a different story. The key here is you know exactly what you need a car for.
Buying your first car should be an exciting experience. You must be prepared for it. Plus, it helps that there is a wide range of options available for every type of driver and the popularity of eco-friendly vehicles is definitely a big boost.
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