Your Complete Guide to Buying an Eco-Friendly Car

Like if this guide is helpful
Your Complete Guide to Buying an Eco-Friendly Car

Spending the least amount of money possible is a goal that most people have in mind when they go shopping for a vehicle. However, there are many more ways to save money than just slashing down the price of the car. With the economy being slow, manufacturers are desperate for business and one of the ways to draw in more sales is by offering cars that are more ecologically friendly. This does not necessarily mean that the vehicles are being priced higher, either.

Ecologically-friendly vehicles have become highly popular in the last few years. Not only do they reduce the maintenance costs of the owner, but they are also less harsh on the environment. As technology progresses, more ways to conserve fuel and energy are being discovered and these are being applied in the automotive industry. Unfortunately, some people are automatically opposed to purchasing an eco-friendly car because they have a reputation for costing more than the other vehicles. While this was true several years ago, that is no longer the case. Only some high-end eco-friendly cars cost more than the average car, but even they make up for the higher payment by saving the buyer money in the long run.

Shopping for a car can definitely be overwhelming, especially for those who do not feel like they know a lot about automobiles. Luckily, there are only a few simple things that shoppers need to look for in order to find an eco-friendly car at an affordable price.

Things to Look for When Shopping for an Eco-Friendly Car

There are a number of things to look for when shopping for an eco-friendly car and a dealership can readily offer that information. If the seller does not know something, the manufacturer's website has all of the car specifications listed.

Consider the Colour of the Car

Believe it or not, the exterior and interior colour of the car does make a difference. The lighter the colours are, the cooler the vehicle stays and the less it has to work to keep the temperatures regulated. For example, a black exterior has been proven to raise the temperature of the car by ten degrees more than a white exterior. This means that the vehicle has to use more fuel to keep the A/C running and the engine has to work harder to run when it is fully heated up.

Choose a Manual Transmission

Those who know how to drive a car with a manual transmission benefit greatly by purchasing a manual car over an automatic one. Fewer cars are available with manual transmissions every year, but getting one saves on fuel and the cost of the car. In addition to saving money, a manual car also has more acceleration speed and power because the driver is in control of the shifting.

Keep the Body Smooth

While getting extra features such as a roof rack may be fun; it costs more and anything that blocks the airflow slows the car down and force it to use up more petrol. Stay away from roof racks, large bumpers, bug shields, and rain shields. Rear mounted spoilers also do nothing to improve fuel economy and performance. They are purely for aesthetic appeal on street cars.

Consider Looking at a Diesel

A lot of shoppers think that diesel engines are bad for the environment because the emissions smell bad and have a dark colour. Colour and smell, however, have nothing to do with the environmental impact and diesel engines are actually more fuel efficient and less harmful on the eco-system. In addition to this, diesel cars perform better and have more power overall than regular vehicles.

Try a Different Style

Estate cars are a style from the past that actually had a purpose. Larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks consume more petrol because they are so heavy. However, estates have more room, but still weigh less than a truck or SUV. Even a hatchback car has double the boot space as a regular car does. Those who need more room than a regular car can save money staying with something as lightweight as possible.

Get the Sport Suspension

The suspension is not something that most people think about unless speed and performance are a big deal to them. However, sport suspensions are designed to hug the road better so that people can make sharp turns or swerves without losing control. Drivers who do not go very fast may not think this is necessary, but the better the suspension is, the less the brakes have to be used. This not only allows the brakes to last longer, but it also saves fuel because the driver doesn't have to slow down as often.

Look for Something That Lasts

These days manufacturers are trying to make their cars appeal to buyers by reducing the price and making them more affordable to own at the same time. The problem is that at some point they have to sacrifice quality in order to lower the cost. Shoppers benefit the most by trying to balance cost and quality. A cheap car that ends up breaking down multiple times is not cost effective. The easiest way to find an affordable, yet quality car is to read consumer reviews. There are plenty of magazines, televisions shows, and websites that are dedicated towards testing cars to find the best ones.

Fuel-Saving Hybrid and Electric Cars

As the cost of petrol has risen over the past few years, there has been a big push to find alternative fuel sources. One of the main areas of focus has been electric energy. There are several kinds to consider and plugging the car into an outlet every night is not the only option available.

Types of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles


Full Hybrids

Fully electric hybrids run entirely on battery and not on petrol; have to be recharged frequently and are usually limited to a few hundred miles before they run out of energy; the technology on these is not quite developed enough to make them practical or affordable

Mild Hybrids

Mild hybrids cut down on petrol usage by combining electric power and fuel; the cars have batteries that charge when the car is running; however, the batteries also help supply power while the vehicle is running

Plug-In Hybrids (PHEVs)

Plug-in hybrids are a more user friendly version of the fully electric cars; they feature a bigger battery that can be charged easily at home or at a charging station; the stations are becoming more popular in the areas where these cars sell the most.

It is true that the electric cars do usually cost more money, and not just for the purchase. The insurance is often also be higher and so is the cost of any parts needed for repairs down the road. If the car is crashed, often it is totaled even if the repairs are minor because the cost to fix it is too high. However, what draws people in is the fact that they have to fill up with petrol less often. Getting 60 mpg instead of 15 to 20 really can save a lot, especially in the areas where petrol prices are extremely high.

How to Shop for Eco-Friendly Cars on eBay

Shopping for cars can be tedious, especially if you are going to dealerships where the salesmen push you to purchase vehicles that you do not want. Unfortunately, dealerships are also more convenient because they have a lot of cars in one place for you to look at. If you shop for a car from private sellers, you have to drive around town to look at each one.

Luckily, there are other, better options available. Now you can shop for vehicles on eBay. There are thousands of listings, you do not have to leave your home, and you can bid on the prices you want without having to deal with a salesman.

If you are already aware of which car you want, type the name into the eBay search bar. For example, enter "Toyota prius". Those who are just beginning their search for a car can enter something more broad such as "hybrid car".

Be sure to ask the seller as many questions as possible, look at all of the pictures closely, and read the entire description. If you wish, you can even arrange to go look at the vehicle before you bid.


The new trend lately is to save money and the environment by purchasing eco-friendly cars. At first, only those conscious of the environment were excited about getting vehicles that were less harmful to the atmosphere. However, as the eco-friendly attitude spread, it became popular among everyone, not just celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton. In the beginning, the concern was mostly for the future of the planet, but now the word is out that saving the planet can also save a bank account.

While it is true that eco-friendly cars emit less harmful toxins, they also consume less consumable resources and therefore require less money to build and maintain. All in all, this is one of the few times that the consumers as well as the manufacturer both benefit mutually. By looking for some simple things that saves on petrol consumption, anyone can find and purchase an eco-friendly car that is appropriately priced and saves them money in the long run.

Have something to share? Create your own guide... Write a guide