In a bid to do a little good for the world, some credit unions are offering programs where they will give you a car loan at the prime lending rate (currently 6%) if you buy a hybrid. Now I know these types of programs have been around for a while, for instance here in Vancouver, the Vancity Credit Union has been offering such a program for about three years. But, it's worth highlighting these programs and the fact that financial institutions who offer such a product are doing so at a loss in potential profit: “It's definitely less financially profitable for us to offer the Clean Air Auto Loan,” said Amanda Pitre-Hayes, senior sustainability programs manager at Vancity. “But we look at not just the financial returns, but also the environmental returns.”
And the savings to the hybrid car consumer are pretty huge, when you consider that a convential car loan runs at about 8%. Add in the savings on gas and the tax exemptions that apply to a hybrid and being environmentally-friendly is a pretty much a no-brainer.
Here's a few banks in Canada that offer such programs, I would be interested in hearing about more: