If you’re a rideshare driver, and you want to maximize your profits and minimize your costs, a very effective strategy is to simply start driving a fuel-economy vehicle. Below is a list of IDWU’s favorite fuel-economy and hybrid vehicles for rideshare drivers:
1. TOYOTA PRIUS
The 2015 Toyota Prius is a great rideshare vehicle all-around. It’s quickly becoming the premiere vehicle in many taxi and rideshare fleets across North America (and it’s extremely common as an Uber and Lyft vehicle). The Toyota Prius has a 51 Miles-Per-Gallon EPA rating, which makes it a great pick for drivers looking to save on fuel costs.
Additional advantages include: a comfortable, well-designed interior; spacious seating areas; and a surprising amount of storage/cargo room which will come in handy for professional rideshare drivers.
You can purchase a 2016 edition Toyota Prius for around $24,000.
2. FORD FUSION HYBRID
With an EPA-rated mileage of 42 MPG, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is guaranteed to save rideshare drivers in overall fuel costs. The Ford Fusion Hybrid also has a number of other advantages, specifically cutting-edge carriage engineering; premium safety features, and a design aesthetic which seem to appeal to car critics and consumers alike.
A new 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid will set you back $25,675, while a 2015 edition will cost between $17,000 and $20,000.
3. TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID
With an EPA-rated mileage of 43 MPG, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is a great choice for rideshare drivers. Sporting a basic-but-spacious interior, and featuring advanced vehicle technology and premium safety features, the Camry Hybrid also includes strong app integration and a well-designed inbuilt screen-console.
A new Toyota Camry Hybrid (2016) will cost roughly $26,790, while an older 2015 model will retail between $20,000 and $23,000.
4. VOLKSWAGEN JETTA HYBRID
The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is a great option for rideshare professionals. The Jetta Hybrid has a 48 MPG rating (for highway-diving), and is the top hybrid in the sedan category. It is a great choice for drivers in freeway-dense locations (i.e., Los Angeles). The Jetta offers an incredibly stable ride and a spacious, well-designed cabin.
A 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid retails for $31,120.
5. SUBARU XV CROSSTREK HYBRID
With EPA-rated mileage of 31 MPG, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is an extremely efficient SUV. The Crosstrek’s all-wheel drive and off-road flexibility make it capable as a remote-region vehicle, as well as a great vehicle for urban driving. Overall, it’s a solid choice for rideshare drivers (specifically UberXL drivers) who need extra room, but still want to save big on gas costs.
A new 2016 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid will run you between $21,595 — $22,245.
Buy vs. Lease?
Pre-owned hybrid vehicles (with low mileage) are always a good option for rideshare drivers looking to lower costs with a new, fuel-economy vehicle purchase.
But the perennial question remains: should you buy or lease your new car?
There are a few advantages to purchasing a new car, versus just leasing one — but the biggest overall disadvantage to leasing can be summed up in one category: excess mileage.
If you’re a dedicated rideshare driver, and you decide to lease a hybrid vehicle, you may exceed a lease term’s mileage cap, which can sometimes spell disaster for ambitious rideshare drivers (especially drivers who might undertake many more trips than they originally anticipated).
Lease terms are often seductively lower than purchase-financing…so: be extra careful when signing leasing contracts (and try to get a good sense of your projected mileage before you agree to lease a vehicle).
Shop cars at edmunds.com
New vs. Used ?
If you want to save money at the pump by purchasing a hybrid vehicle, the real trick is to make sure you don’t spend too much of your hard-earned cash buying an entirely new hybrid in the first place.
Currently, in 2016, there are many newly-released hybrid vehicles in the market, but you’d be be well-advised to take a closer look at older vehicles if you want to get a truly great deal on a car.
Check out 2015 models online or at your local dealership. Many pre-2016 vehicles will feature large incentive packages, and it’s always easier to negotiate a great deal for an older car than a current-generation model.