What are green cars? These are vehicles that are designed to do minimal harm to the environment when driven. The category ranges from electric and hydrogen vehicles (ZEV - Zero Emission Vehicles). These are followed by AT PZEV (Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle), PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicle) and SULEV (Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle) to vehicles that emit 50% less polluting emissions that the average new car (ULEV - ultra-low emissions vehicles).
Many vehicles that can be accurately described as "green cars" are small and affordably priced. But the price of a car is just one part of the entire cost of ownership. Another expense to consider is auto insurance, and some vehicles are cheaper to insure than others.
Mercury Insurance, a company known for providing the least expensive insurance options for electric car owners in California (according to Nerdwallet), put together a helpful list. Their research and development team looked at 200 vehicles that have been popular with their customers in 2016. Then they pulled out the green models that are the most affordable to insure.
Affordable Green Cars that Will Save You "Green" on Car Insurance
This list is based on the Mercury price for full coverage (liability, comprehensive and collision) in California.
Jim Reeves, group manager, R&D for Mercury Insurance has stated, "Going green shouldn't cost you a lot of money, and Mercury wants to let customers know that low emission vehicles can be affordable to insure."
It is, in fact, possible for car buyers with bad credit and/or tight budgets to go green with their next car purchase. Here are four green cars from Mercury's list that are both affordable to insure and inexpensively priced, even if purchased new.
The Honda Fit (SULEV)
The Fit is the least expensive car to insure on Mercury's list, and it has been ranked as the #1 subcompact car of 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. The Fit offers "excellent" EPA-estimated fuel economy, good rear legroom and a spacious cargo area. The basic Fit LX starts at around $15,890. Or, for only about $21,165, you can get the EX-L model with all of the fun tech features, including the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™.
The Ford Fiesta (ULEV)
Named as the second least expensive car to insure on the list, the Fiesta S Sedan starts at the low price of $14,090. And the Titanium trim level will only run you about $18,040. This is another compact car that has been praised for its "excellent" EPA-estimated gas mileage. Critics have also been pleased with its "nimble" handling and easy-to-use SYNC 3 infotainment system.
The Mazda Mazda3 (SULEV)
Coming in at #6 on Mercury's list, the Mazda3 is a highly rated compact car that starts at around $17,845. Cruise control, a rearview camera and a touch-screen infotainment system are standard on the Mazda3. The compact category is a competitive class, but this fun-to-drive offering from Mazda holds its own. And it can safely be ranked among green cars because of its "outstanding" EPA-estimated fuel economy.
The Hyundai Elantra (ULEV)
Selected as the eighth most affordable green car to insure, the Elantra starts at around $17,250. So, if you're looking for a green vehicle that is affordable to buy and inexpensive to insure, consider this compact option. Critics have liked its "bold" styling and "classy" cabin materials. The Elantra also offers "above-average" EPA-estimated fuel economy and a spacious trunk.
So, you don't have to pay $70,000 for a Tesla Model S in order to be an earth-friendly driver. You can buy a green car that will fit your budget and save you money down the road on both insurance costs and fuel expenses.
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