Despite the fact that federal credits for the purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles is going to be concluding at the end of the 2010 year, the state of Georgia is keeping state tax incentives in play until after that date. There is currently no available date as to the when the credits will end, so if you’re thinking of buying, now may be the best time.

On top of the tax credits available, “upon approval through either legislative action in the United States Congress or regulatory action by the United States Department of Transportation hybrid vehicles with fewer than two occupants may be permitted to operate in a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. The department shall authorize hybrid vehicles that register and receive a special license plate or decal for a $25.00 fee.

A hybrid gasoline-electric passenger vehicle or light truck is eligible for the waiver, if for any 2000 and later model year, a vehicle which has received a certificate of conformity under the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 7401, et seq., and meets or exceeds the equivalent qualifying California low-emission vehicle standard under Section 243(e)(2) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 7583(c)(2), for that make and model year or, for any 2004 and later model, a vehicle which has received a certificate that such vehicle meets or exceeds the Bin 5 Tier II emission level established in regulations prescribed by the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under Section 202(i) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 7521(i), for that make and model year vehicle and which achieves a composite label fuel economy greater than or equal to 1.5 times the Model Year 2002 EPA composite class average for the same vehicle class and which is made by a manufacturer.” (www.whybuyhybrid.com)

The tax credit available is for any hybrid vehicle. This credit is available in the amount of ten percent of the cost of the vehicle or $2,500, whichever is less. A credit of twenty percent of the cost or $5,000, whichever is less, is also available for all-electric models. These credits are valid not only for the following tax year, but also for a period of five years. That doesn’t mean you can take the credit five times. It simply means that any credit not used in any taxable year may be carried forward for five years from the close of the taxable year in which a new hybrid vehicle was purchased or leased. So if you don’t happen to take the credit this year, or if you bought a hybrid last year and didn’t know of the credit, you still may have a shot. Vehicle which may qualify for this credit are typical models such as:

A full list can be found at: http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/car-tax-credit.html.

This credit is available for the purchase or lease of a vehicle, however, unlike the federal tax credits which state a vehicle must be new, the Georgia state credits limit the vehicle exceptions to negating only low-speed vehicles. This may be helpful for anyone wishing to purchase an older model hybrid, such as a 2001-2010 Toyota Prius or 2005-2010 Honda Civic. A full list of eligible vehicles is not available on the state website but can be obtained by contacting the Georgia Environmental Protective Division. The contact is Mr. James Udi at: james_udi@dnr.state.ga.us.

Be sure to also see if the vehicles you’re considering can qualify for a federal tax credit, deduction, or rebate.  Here’s  more info on new car tax credit, hybrid car tax credit, new diesel car tax credit, and electric car tax credit from the federal government.  Also, make sure to check out the list of year-end new car deals, new car lease deals, and certified used car deals being offered by the car makers.  Given the year-end and car manufacturers’ desire to sell more cars, there’s great deals to be had if you do your homework and are aware of all the incentives, discounts, rebates you can qualify for.  Here’s some tips on year-end car buying strategy.

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