What to Know When Buying a Used Hybrid

What to Know When Buying a Used Hybrid

Ever since they hit the Japanese market in 1997, hybrid cars have grown in popularity every year. It’s easy to see why. Regarded for their low environmental impact, outstanding gas mileage, and lack of sound pollution, these automobiles are an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to the cars we grew up with. They also tend to be sleek and modern, with helpful amenities like built in GPS, informative display screens, and key-free ignitions. 

Are you planning for your next car to be a hybrid? Great choice.

If you’re hoping to buy one of these beauties second hand, you’re in luck. The process of buying a used hybrid car is just as straightforward as purchasing a diesel or gas-based one. The only major difference is that you’ll be saving money— and the environment— in the long run.

To help you prepare for your hybrid search, we’ve compiled and answered some of your most pressing queries:

Is this going to be an expensive purchase? What do used hybrids cost?

Actually, it is entirely possible to purchase a previously-driven hybrid for a reasonable price. (And once you’re on the road,  your low gas mileage will save plenty of money on petrol!)

As with any car, new or used, the cost of a second hand hybrid has quite a large range. Depending on the make, model, and history of the car, used hybrids can set you back anywhere from three to fifteen grand. A 2010 Ford Fusion, for example, has an average sale price of $5,219. Meanwhile, a Toyota Prius from the same year costs nearly twice as much!

Anything I should look out for?

These days, many taxi and rideshare drivers use hybrids to cut costs and lower their carbon emissions. This is great! However, for a run of the mill, daily use car, an ex-taxi might not be the best choice. Aside from the high mileage that would be racked up, if a car’s first life was as a taxi, it could be  hiding major stains, burns, or even nasty hitchhikers like bed bugs or fleas. Be sure to speak with your vendor about the history of the car, and be scrupulous as you check for scratches and stains.

It’s also crucial to ensure that the hybrid’s system is up to par and working properly. Research the car you are planning to buy in advance— when you test drive, if any of the amenities promised no longer work, it’s best to walk away. Don’t worry— you’ll find the right hybrid for you, but that one wasn’t it!

Will used hybrids still have a strong battery life?

In a word, yes.

Though it depends on the make and model of the car, hybrid cars were designed with the consumer in mind, and have excellent battery life, new or used. In fact, Toyota actually built their iconic Prius with the idea that their batteries will last as long as the car itself! Not too shabby. 

In the case of any battery problems, most major hybrid producers (like Ford, Toyota, and Honda, to name a few) offer a battery pack warranty of 80,000 miles. 

In the case that your battery does go flat, they can easily be replaced. It will set you back quite a bit— hybrid battery replacements can easily reach $4,500. 

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