• 2017 Kia Niro
  • 2001 Toyota Prius

Feature: Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Hybrid

The Choices Are Out There

In a world where there are so many options when it comes to hybrids, it can be difficult to know what counts in your life as well as what will run most efficiently. Are you interested in a plug-in hybrid? What about a hybrid that doesn’t have to be plugged in but still runs efficiently?

That’s why we’ve made a list of all of the pros and the cons of buying a used hybrid that will work best for you.

Pro: Durability

Hybrids have two power trains under the hood, plus many electronic components and gadgets that make up a pretty complicated vehicle.

2017 Toyota Prius V

A used hybrid can still deliver miles of pleasure and functionality

That being said, this doesn’t mean that they’re prone to break down. In fact, they tend to be significantly more durable than their gas-guzzling comrades. If you purchase a used hybrid, you can theoretically look forward to years with little maintenance.

Just remember: Not all hybrids are created equal. Hybrids from Toyota and Lexus, or even the Cadillac ELR seem to be the most reliable according to car owners, while durability for the Ford C-Max Hybrid is 80% below the average for comparable newer vehicles.

Also, keep in mind that buying used means there’s going to be some wear. Consider getting a mechanic to look over the car before taking it too far from home.

Con: Rising Gas Prices=Rising Hybrid Prices

One of the cons of buying a Hybrid is the price tag attached to it.

While we can guarantee you’ll save some money on gas during the time you have a hybrid, we can’t guarantee the car will pay back its initial price immediately.

The plug-in version of the Toyota Prius can get the equivalent of 95 miles to every gallon with its electric boost. Without plugging in, it gets around 50 mpg. It all depends on what you decide to purchase and how often you’re driving. Maybe at some point, the amount of money you’re saving on gas will make that hefty price worth paying.

If you drive a lot, I’d say it’s probably worth it. Otherwise, consider the option of an efficient gas-powered car.

Pro: A Quiet Engine

A definite pro to purchasing a hybrid, either used or new, is the quietness of the engine. What can be more luxurious than a cruise around town with a seemingly soundless, smooth engine?

hybrid driving techniques

The hybrid badge means fuel savings, but that’s not all

A con to the quiet engine, however, is that soundless engines pose more of an issue for pedestrians, as they can’t hear an approaching vehicle running in electric mode the way they can hear a standard car running on gasoline.

Con: Winter Weather

Hybrids aren’t exactly the best vehicle for winter. The reasons for this are partially because batteries discharge significantly faster in the cold of winter than in the heat of summer.

Getting the vehicle warm can be difficult also because running a heating system is taxing on the electrical aspect of the car. Another issue may also be the lack of adhesion of low rolling resistance tires, not to mention that the slipping and sliding that occurs as the tires try to gain traction on the freezing roads will drain battery life and your fuel tank. Although this can be true for both hybrid and gas-powered vehicles.

You can guarantee that as the temperature drops outside, your fuel efficiency will most likely do the same.

Pro: Less Maintenance!

2017 Kia Niro Hybrid

More hybrids are coming on the market, which means more will be on the used market

Buying any used car is risky. But the difference between buying a used car that runs on gasoline alone and a used hybrid car is that most hybrids tend to need significantly less maintenance than gas powered cars.

There’s a myth about the batteries having to be replaced fairly often, but this hasn’t seemed to be the case in most of the newer models. If you do have to replace the battery, check a junkyard before making the plunge of purchasing a brand-new battery.

Summary

Most hybrids have less overall maintenance, better fuel efficiency and are very durable. When we consider the pros versus the cons and how they may affect your way of life, you can make a more informed decision about what will work best for you.

2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In

Some hybrids plug in

In the end, this decision is going to be entirely up to you. If you love to travel, having a plug-in hybrid will mean charging a battery, and in that case, purchasing that type of hybrid may not be in your best interest.

However, the fuel-efficiency aspect of most hybrids is a definite plus for someone traveling long distances. Do you like hearing the roar of a gas-powered engine? Or is the quiet of the hybrid appealing?

Making the decision to purchase any kind of hybrid, whether plug-in or not can be difficult. But that is why we want to help you make a well-informed decision about what is going to work best for your situation. Enjoy the ride!

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About Author: Jessica Lambert

Jessica Lambert is a freelancer who enjoys writing on a variety of different subjects, including but not limited to: lifestyle, finance, vintage and used cars, artwork, history, baking, and travel. She currently resides in rural Alabama in a lakehouse and spends any free moment with her nose in a book.

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