SCHAUMBURG, IL --- When it comes to the make of a vehicle, hybrid car owners are the most loyal buyers, with 47 percent purchasing another vehicle of the same make, according to recent research from Experian Automotive.

This loyalty to a vehicle's make among hybrid owners comes in significantly higher than the 35 percent average of consumer loyalty to all vehicle classes combined. With gas prices remaining high and green buying habits among consumers continuing to rise, hybrid vehicle sales have increased 130 percent in the past three years, according to Experian Automotive.

As sales have increased, hybrid vehicle buyers have shown they are not only the most loyal segment of buyers to the make (e.g. Mercury) of a vehicle, but to a specific vehicle model (e.g. Mercury Mariner) as well. Eighteen percent of hybrid car buyers were found to purchase another vehicle of the same model -- higher than any other vehicle class and the combined average loyalty of all vehicle classes of 12 percent.

Toyota Prius owners were found to be the most loyal to vehicle model among hybrid car buyers, with one in four returning to purchase another Prius. When compared to all Toyota buyers, Toyota hybrid car owners ranked highest when it came to vehicle make, model and class loyalty.

"There is no doubt that economic and environmental factors are significantly changing which vehicles individuals buy and, even more interestingly, the types of vehicles they choose to purchase again," said Scott Waldron, president of Experian Automotive. "Our data has shown that hybrid manufacturers have a clear advantage in reaching and keeping the more loyal vehicle buyers on the road today."

The Experian Automotive study, which examined vehicle sales from January 2007 to March 2008, also found hybrid truck buyers (including SUVs) showed above-average loyalty to vehicle make. Thirty-seven percent purchased another truck of the same make compared to the 35-percent average of all vehicle classes combined.