Car buyers guide website publisher Edmunds.com is currently telling its US audience that now is the time to buy a hybrid.


There are now four key reasons to do so, the website said.


Its own research has found that average transaction prices of most hybrid vehicle models are at their lowest levels in history because supply is finally beginning to exceed the demand. In addition, for the first time ever, incentives are being offered on many popular hybrids.


Hybrid owners in the US can get tax credits  and Edmunds.com said that certain of these credits will be lower for those who purchase later in the spring, after automakers reach specific hybrid sales targets.


Finally, petrol prices have begun their seasonal rise. With motorists’ organisation aaa recently reporting that unleaded fuel is up 32 cents per US gallon compared with a month ago. Ironically, according to TV news reports this week, petrol is priced highest in Santa Monica-based Edmunds’ own state of California.


“In the past, our research showed that the ‘true cost to own’ a hybrid vehicle was exorbitant,” said Alex Rosten, Edmunds’ manager of pricing and market analysis.


“However, our latest analysis indicates that, considering current hybrid price trends and rising gas prices, it is financially sound to purchase a new hybrid vehicle within the next few weeks, before the tax credits are further reduced.”


Edmunds added that additional benefits for hybrid buyers can include sole-occupant driving in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and carpool lanes in some states, free or reduced-fee parking provided by some local governments and other organizations, employer cash incentives for workers who purchase hybrid vehicles and insurance discounts.