Periodically I get out a spreadsheet and figure out if there is any way under the sun I can reduce my motoring costs. I have often wondered if a hybrid car would do better MPG than my current 1.6 diesel C4, but the figures are pretty similar, even though a hybrid car would cost far more to buy.
I did the sums for an electric car, and I figured out that if the range would suit, it would be cheaper. And with the Nissan Leaf being out for a few years, there are good examples available at reasonable price, second hand.
However, as I researched on the web, I simply got more confused, so many options, so many different opinions, so I decided to call into a dealership to see on on my way home from work.
I was impressed by the car, by all accounts it seemed normal, and well kitted out. I asked about the financing, and it turns out that with the current £5000 government discounts, and Nissan's eagerness to sell, you could have one for about £250/mth, with a reasonable deposit. This is a 2 year deal, and afterwards you just give the car back. The fuel costs for the car (electric bill) should max out at around £50/mth, which is much less than what we currently pay (go here for a shock at how much your car actually costs you: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-1633412/Calculator-True-cost-running-car.html ).
Financially, this seems cheaper than either of our cars, however, for my drive I think it is not practical - I have 48 miles to do each way, meaning that I would really need to charge at work - and this currently is not possible.
But it might be a practical option for our other car. We decided to investigate further, so we went for a test drive, and although the rain was so heavy I had to slow down to see the road, we liked the car. After working through some figures with the dealer, we decided to arrange an extended test drive to see how the car performed in our everyday lives.
We pick the car up on Wednesday night, and leave it back on Monday morning, so two work days and two weekend days. Really looking forward to seeing how this goes.