Buy Used Hybrid Car
It's hard to justify paying $8,000 to $20,000 extra for a new hybrid when there are more than 400,000 used models on the market these days. But how do you know when you've found the used hybrid that's right for you?
buy used hybrid car
For some people, no hybrid is the right hybrid. These cars sell at higher prices, drive differently and require different upkeep from regular vehicles, and, for some people, that's a deal breaker. If you are looking at hybrids because you value living green and keeping your carbon emissions low, a hybrid might not be the best way to accomplish your goals.
How Stuff Works blogger Patrick E. George notes that hybrids still run partially on gasoline, plus the lithium or NiMH battery packs that power hybrid cars create an entirely separate carbon footprint. George writes, "The batteries inside hybrid cars depend on materials like lithium and cobalt.
Mining for those minerals is an extremely destructive process, and one that has left entire mountains leveled in their wake." George recommends a small, used diesel car as a viable option for those who wish to make the tiniest environmental impact possible. Depending on how you drive, however, a hybrid might make a smaller dent in global carbon emissions than any other option. Most hybrids feature an electrical drive that shifts from electric power to gasoline around the speed of 30 mph.
Battery life: Depending on the state you live in, most hybrids are required to carry a warranty on the main battery pack of between 100,000 and 150,000 miles, at least. Now that the first hybrids are aging into their teens, these battery packs have proven their longevity.
But the reliability of each car's battery depends, in part, on whether the hybrid received regular maintenance. Make sure to check service records thoroughly before you buy to ensure the car received proper maintenance. As long as the mileage is low, around 30,000 to 40,000 miles, you should still get plenty of life out of the battery pack.
Battery replacement: Not all hybrid battery packs are equal. Replacing the battery pack on a Honda Civic Hybrid, for example, will only cost you around $1,700. Compare that with the battery pack on a Nissan Altima Hybrid, which will cost almost $5,000 to replace. If you only plan to keep the car as long as the warranty lasts, this should not be an issue for you.
Driving experience: If you have never owned a hybrid, make time for a lengthy test drive before you buy. Jon Voelcker advises, "Make sure you drive it in all electric mode, and make sure you drive it in the mode where you're accelerating. Notice that the gasoline engine isn't necessarily rising in tone in the same speed that your speed is going up on the road.
Besides the extra considerations unique to hybrid cars, all the usual details of a thorough car inspection still apply. Edmunds recommends that you find a certified hybrid car mechanic to look the car over before you buy. And as with any used car purchase, it's a good idea to find out everything you can about previous ownership, accidents and service records.
If you are in the market for a hybrid SUV, you may have more difficulty than someone who is looking for a sedan. The hybrid SUVs on the market are still relatively new. Some began as California natives, only to move east in the past year. The easiest to find and the one with the best track record so far is the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV.
Once you've done your research and shopped around for the best deal on a used hybrid, you can buy with confidence and feel good about the money and clean air you saved as a result. You can also conserve your funds on car insurance when you find an independent agent to cover your SUV, sedan, or whatever hybrid type works best for your family.
The 2016 Toyota RAV4 was the first time Toyota offered a hybrid variant of this SUV. It brought greater fuel economy to the already comfortable, stylish, and reliable compact crossover. Those looking for sportier manners or better off-road abilities will find better choices, but the RAV4 strikes a nice balance. See Toyota RAV4 Hybrid models for sale near you
In many ways representing the best of both worlds, the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid can drive up to 53 miles on electricity alone and then drive another 367 miles with the aid of its gasoline-powered onboard generator. The Volt is also just a solid car, with nice driving manners, a comfy interior, and peppy power. See Chevrolet Volt models for sale near you
Like the Hyundai Ioniq, the Niro is offered with pure electric, plug-in hybrid, and standard hybrid drivetrains. However, in 2017, the sole Niro powertrain was hybrid. Scoring a solid 49 mpg combined, the 2017 Kia Niro is a hybrid even in its default base form. With a familiar, practical small SUV/crossover body style, great upgrade options, and solid standard equipment in LX and higher models, the Niro hybrid should be all most people need. See Kia Niro models for sale near you
We'll help you find great deals among the millions of vehicles available nationwide on CarGurus, and we'll provide you with dealer reviews and vehicle history for each one. After all, over 30 million shoppers use CarGurus to find great deals on used cars and new cars in their area. And when it's time to get rid of your old ride, sell your car simply and securely on CarGurus.
In normal times it would be easy to guarantee car buyers that a used hybrid would be cheaper than buying the equivalent new hybrid vehicle. But as anyone who has tried to purchase a car recently knows, these aren't normal times. In researching this article we discovered that a well-regarded vehicle valuation site indicates the "clean retail price" of a used 2020 Toyota Prius is more than $3,000 higher than the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for a brand-new 2022 Toyota Prius. So purchasing a used hybrid might not be much of an advantage over purchasing new right now. But we have a strong suspicion that most new 2022 Prius models are being sold at a premium over MSRP, so they are likely most costly than a used version. When the market swings back to normal, it is very likely that you can purchase a late-model used hybrid vehicle for 20-30 percent less than the equivalent new hybrid. That is a big gain for essentially the same functionality.
The leading reason to consider a used hybrid vehicle versus a conventional gasoline vehicle is fuel economy. A hybrid will typically offer much better fuel economy than a conventional vehicle. The key reason is that it captures energy from deceleration and braking that is simply wasted in the operation of a conventional vehicle. The 2022 Ford Escape is a good example of that. In conventional form this one-year-old used vehicle offers an EPA-certified combined mileage figure of 30 mpg. In hybrid form, the combined mileage number jumps to 41 mpg. And in plug-in hybrid form (utilizing energy the vehicle takes on from outside electric charging) the combined number is 105 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent.) This performance is very representation of what you can expect in fuel economy from a used hybrid versus a used conventional vehicle.
When you drive a hybrid you will probably be thankful that you'll get more miles on a tankful. Given the fact that a hybrid version of a vehicle will typically have the same size fuel tank as the conventionally powered version, it only stands to reason that if it gets better fuel economy then it will also have a longer range. A quick illustration of that is the 2020 Honda CR-V. In conventional all-wheel-drive form, the CR-V has an impressive range of 406 miles on its 14.0-gallon tank of gas. That scoots up to an even more impressive 532 miles in the all-wheel-drive hybrid version. This is very typical of hybrids because from a fuel-use point of view they are more efficient than conventional gasoline vehicles.
Driving a used hybrid vehicle has the potential to offer you a lower overall cost of ownership. Certainly, fuel costs will be lower with a hybrid than with the conventional version of that same vehicle. The EPA says that the conventionally powered 2020 Honda CR-V that we just discussed has an annual fuel cost of $1,950. Its hybrid sistership has an EPA-estimated annual fuel cost of $1,500. That's a $450 annual savings. There is also the potential that with somewhat less wear and tear on the hybrid's brakes overall maintenance and repair costs will be lower than for a conventional vehicle. On the other hand, it will almost certainly cost more to purchase a used hybrid vehicle versus the equivalent conventional vehicle. And because it costs more to purchase and potentially costs more to repair if it is in an accident, it could cost more to insure as well. So lower cost of ownership is a possible benefit, but it's not a slam-dunk.
If you buy a used hybrid versus buying a new hybrid you are risking the chance of purchasing a vehicle with old tech and outdated features. Of course, that is the same risk you take when you buy a used conventional vehicle versus a new conventional vehicle. Each year cars get incrementally better. But you can avoid the bulk of this issue by choosing the model year of the used vehicle you plan to buy strategically. Vehicles being manufactured typically have lifespans of five or six years. That means a 2019 model-year vehicle might have virtually the same features and tech as a brand-new 2023 model on the showroom floor. But you have to do your research to suss this out.
Another con to a used hybrid purchase is battery degradation. Batteries do get less efficient over time. Since the battery is a costly part of a hybrid vehicle, that degradation can be costly. Replacing a battery in a hybrid vehicle will prove to be a big test for your wallet. And you can expect double or triple the pain if you do that in a plug-in hybrid with its larger-capacity, more expensive battery pack. The older the used car the more likely that it has experienced some battery degradation. That is a good reason that we recommend that you purchase a vehicle of the most recent model year that you can afford. For example, a used 2021 would trump a 2020. 041b061a72