Take the internal combustion engine and computer-controlled automatic transmission that can be found in just about every single automobile sold in the past 50 years, add a complex electric motor, high-tech battery pack and a bunch more electronics to make them all play nicely together... and you've got a hybrid. When viewed in this manner, it comes as little surprise that repair costs might be a wee bit higher for a hybrid vehicle than for its conventional siblings ($182 on average higher, for what it's worth).

It's reportedly not just higher repair costs hybrid drivers will need to contend with, according to Mitchell International's Industry Trends. More and more hybrid vehicles are hitting the streets as automakers from Toyota to Porsche and everyone in between are introducing fuel-saving models. And that means these hybrids are traveling more miles than ever before, which in turn means more of their drivers will be turning in insurance claims.

Finally, since there are fewer third-party companies offering replacements parts for specialized hybrid components, work is often done at a dealership with higher labor rates than other repair shops. Add it all up and you can probably see where this is going... insurance rates for hybrid vehicles are expected to go up over the next several years. Sorry to be the bearers of bad news.

[Source: Mitchell International (PDF Link) via Green Car Reports]

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