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Dave Ramsey and hybrid cars


Cash for Clunkers Also Bad Says Dave

Dave Ramsey and hybrid cars are two things that don't mix well. Ramsey who as a young man with a family found himself in so much debt, he dug himself out and became a financial guru and counselor. He holds seminars on how to get out of debt and has written a few books, one of which is Dame Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.

Dave recently sent an email to his followers this monthly that includes tips on how to stay out of debt along with his personal financial views on just about everything, including hybrid cars. There are those of us who want to be green and then there's Dave Ramsey. Apparently, helping to save the planet is not on his agenda. Hybrids equal afford-ability issues according to Dave.

Ramsey's email of late simply states of hybrid cars, "The Math Doesn't Work." Dave explains if you have a car worth $10,000 and it gets 15 miles per gallon, why buy a $25,000 hybrid that gets 25 miles per gallon to save $40 in fuel expenses a month? Wait, I thought Dave was about saving money?

Mr. Ramsey also scoffed at the recent Cash for Clunkers program. His column about it actually says that the program was "theft, plain and simple." Theft to him because he feels people are purchasing cars they can't afford? Or, is it because they can't pay cash for that new car? Dave doesn't like debt. His goal for everyone, except for home mortgages, is to be totally debt free.

Here are some of Dave's tips if you agree with him and don't want to buy a hybrid:

  1. Buy a car that may be a gas guzzler, but one you can pay cash for and have no auto loan.
  2. Move closer to work so you can walk and don't need a car.
  3. Change your job folks, start a home-based business like Dave or find a job where you can walk or ride a bike to work.

Some of these ideas seem impossible, especially if you think about your life and work. How easy is it for a 40 year old male or female to just quit their job and find another one? With the economy so bad, who can afford to move? To Dave, these are good rationalizations to avoid buying a hybrid.

Dave Ramsey and hybrid cars seems like an oxymoron. Like landfills and good plastic. I don't agree with Mr. Ramsey. His "job" is to help folks get out of debt, I can understand that, but maybe just once he's not correct here. On top of his counseling and financial ideas, Dave is a true believer that God will guide you to "financial peace." Maybe so, but one car dealer who had been closed down by Chrysler called his radio show to get advice on what to do and Dave's response: "Seek help from your Lord and savior." Dave doesn't like auto dealers apparently or knows more about God's plan than most.

I say buy a hybrid car, heck buy two, that way you could save $80 a month according to Ramsey.

Visit Dave Ramsey's website and find out about things like financial peace (he even has a university).

Photo Credit: Dave Ramsey by Mark Jacobs


  • MP 5 years ago

    From your example: Cost differential between cars =$15,000. Saving $40/month means the payback for the extra $15,000 would be 375 months, or 31.25 years. Will you keep the car that long? The $10,000 used gas guzzler is cheaper.

  • Joe 5 years ago

    Hi Jean. I think you meant well, but your article is skewed just a bit. Dave is not a fan of anyone buying any new vehicle, hybrid or otherwise. If you can afford to pay cash for it and it suits your needs or beliefs, go for it. This holds true for a pickup truck, four door sedan or Prius.

    Often the price increase for any hybrid vehicle over it's gasoline only counter part is not a wise investment if you are only talking financial. If you are they type who wants to buy a hybrid to produce less emissions etc, then go for it. To most it is a financial decision and people don't educate themselves to do the basic math before shelling the premium price tag for a hybrid.

  • Mark Simandl 5 years ago

    $10,000 market value auto at 15 mpg.

    Dealers don't give you market value as a trade in.

    Cash for clunkers value $4500

    You're advocating I should go over $20,000 in debt?

    Easy for you to say girly with your nice cushy job.

    Oh yea, speaking of JOB, I am one of those who will be out of one within the next year!

    Why don't YOU just SPREAD YOUR WEALTH and buy me a new Hybrid!

  • Jonezee 5 years ago

    I've driven clunkers for many because I couldn't afford a new car. I'm on Dave's side with this. In addition to the 31 years payback there is the long range disposal issue with the batteries. How much will it cost to replace a set of them if they go bad? The payback may extend to 40 years.

  • Aaron 5 years ago

    What a HORRIBLE article.