California Carpool Stickers Add Value to Hybrids

According to a story on USA Today, Californians seem willing to pay as much as $4,000 more for a hybrid vehicle with the state issued carpool stickers than for hybrids that don’t have it.

These stickers allow the drivers of these cars to enter the carpool lane on freeways, even if they are the only person in the car.

The demand for these vehicles have skyrocketed since the state quit issuing the stickers last month once they hit a self-imposed cap of 85,000 stickers. The stickers are valid until 2011 and luckily they stay with the car when it is sold. The only vehicles that can still get the stickers are those that run on natural gas, batteries or hydrogen. I guess people will have to start buying the Civic GX.

The only hybrids that actually qualified for the stickers were the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic because they met the emissions and gas mileage requirements.

Since there aren’t any new stickers being issued buyers are willing to pay a premium for the used models with the stickers according to Kelley Blue Book. In addition to saving gas and polluting less, the used cars are even more desirable for the carpool lane benefit. On average the carpool lanes in LA and San Francisco save about 30 minutes a day.

Are you willing to pay $4,000 more for a car just to use the carpool lane? Seems a little much to me.

Full Story: USA Today