Our car is in hospice. (We recently took a 900 mile trip in our 200,000+ mile car and it blew one of its four cylinders.) We know it’s terminal but we’re trying to keep it comfortable and not use extraordinary means to keep it alive (like an engine transfusion). We’re only using it for short, essential trips. Meanwhile we are trying to decide what car to get next before we give this one away to one of those non-profit car recycling organizations.

Here’s the dilemma. In the spirit of good environmental stewardship, I had been figuring that our next car would probably at least be a hybrid – maybe even an electric car. BUT, I figured we’d probably have a couple more years before having to make that decision, thus allowing time for technology to develop increased battery life and used hybrids to become less expensive.

Unfortunately, now we need to make a decision within the next couple months. Who knows how long we’ll be able to continue limping around Cincinnati.

Our other option is to buy another used, reliable car that gets good mileage like our formerly trusty ’98 Toyota Corolla.

A used hybrid will cost about $17,000 and an equivalent age and mileage Toyota would cost about $10,000. Sure, we might eventually make up some of the price difference in gas savings, but that’s still a big gap. Sooooo…. do we honor our value of ecological responsibility by supporting the less polluting technology of the future, OR do we save money and use the savings for other valued purposes – like home repair or visiting the kids.

We’re torn. Any advice?

PS: Jim figures that we’re already doing our environmental part by working at home and only having one car.