Surprising Things to Consider When Buying a Used Hybrid

With a pre-owned hybrid, you will still get all the benefits that a hybrid offers such as gas savings through fuel efficiency and helping the environment with lower emissions, but you won’t have the huge upfront cost of buying a brand-new hybrid. 

While overall hybrid cars may have less impact on the environment, you should consider that the batteries used for hybrids are made of lithium and cobalt, chemicals that are toxic to the environment. These batteries carry environmental consequences when disposed of or recycled (and all car batteries are at some point.) It’s good to do some research up front so you know exactly what benefits or potential challenges your used hybrid offers. 

Pros & Cons of Buying a Used Hybrid

A few of the pros that people consider when deciding to buy a used hybrid are the savings on fuel, the fact that the hybrid will produce fewer emissions, the cost of the used hybrid will be about the same as the cost of getting a newer model that only uses gas, you can avoid paying the large price tag of a brand new hybrid, you will have less wear and tear on the brake pads and transmission because of the electrical drive of the hybrid, and the battery usually comes with a warranty that will last between 100,000 and 150,000 miles. (Hint: that’s a lot of miles for one battery!) 

There are also some cons that people should consider when they are deciding whether or not to buy a used hybrid, but the benefits may outweigh these for you. If you look into it, you will see that the gas-only models are much cheaper than even buying a used hybrid. The price of replacing a battery on a hybrid is between $1,700 and $4,900. The hybrid car can often seem less responsive than other vehicles, and parts and mechanics can be hard to find for a hybrid. And, of course, the earlier the model of hybrid, the more likely it is to be buggy.

Consider the Price of Replacement Batteries

Back to that battery life! Keep in mind that as long as you maintain your vehicle your battery should last you quite some time, as opposed to gas-fueled vehicles which have an average battery life of four years. You should do your best to research your options on what will happen when you try to replace your battery on your hybrid. If you go with a Honda Civic Hybrid, for example, then you will only have to spend around $1,700 per battery, but if you have to replace the battery pack for a Nissan Altima Hybrid then you will have to spend closer to $5,000. This may influence your decision on what type of hybrid you decide to buy.

Test Drive

It is recommended that you take your hybrid for a test drive before you buy it. You will want to make sure you have plenty of time for the test drive as you will want to drive it in all-electric mode. The acceleration of a hybrid car is definitely a different feel than if you are driving a vehicle that is all-electric. Another thing you will want to keep in mind is that an electric car will feel different when you are steering. It will not seem as responsive as a car that is gas only because electric motors are controlling the steering.

If you do decide to look at a used hybrid you may also want to make sure you know where a mechanic is located, and one that works on hybrids. You can always take the car over there and have them take a look at it for you. You will also want to find out everything you can about the previous owners and their service records or accidents involving this particular car.

Which Used Hybrid Should I Buy?

The best model to choose for your hybrid is perhaps the Honda Civic Hybrid (except for the ones from 2007 and 2008 because of electrical motor issues). These vehicles, along with the Toyota Prius Hybrid, are on the top of the list for a good Buy Here Pay Here car to search for. If, however, you are in the market for an SUV you will have to look a lot harder. SUV hybrids are relatively new and therefore it is going to be difficult for you to find any used ones at the moment.

Are you surprised by any of this information? There’s a lot to know about hybrid cars, and we are learning more all the time. After doing all of your research and asking all of the right questions, you can feel comfortable that you are doing what is best for you and your family. You will even be able to save some money on the insurance for your hybrid vehicle if you can find an independent Trusted Choice agent to help you get the right coverage. Keep in mind all of the things discussed in this article when you go to shop for a used hybrid and you should be able to find the right car for your family.

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