Congratulations on your decision to purchase a hybrid car. You, like many other consumers, will love your new used car. It is efficient, affordable, and made to provide a comfortable ride. It can be fun and exciting to shop for and buy a used car. But with the excitement comes some worry and confusion too. How do you know you are choosing the right used hybrid car? Or, how do you know the hybrid car is safe? These questions may start to pop up in your head as you do start the car buying process. Fortunately, there is a lot of info out there about used hybrid cars. This information can guide you and help you make the right choice.
As you do start your journey towards buying a used hybrid car, you will find that there are many models and brand manufacturers. When the hybrid car first came out, you only had a small selection of manufacturers to choose from, but now, you can choose from all the top manufacturers and purchase a used hybrid from Lexus, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Honda, and more.
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A used car is a great way for you to get into the hybrid of your dreams. This, without spending the money required for a new model. It is important that you do take time to make a final decision. After all, you will be driving for a while the car you plan to purchase. The more time you spend making that decision, the better. As you look at the available used hybrids, take time to carefully explore each one and determine if the color is the one you want, if it includes the features you need, and if it fits in your budget.
Below, we will talk to you about what a hybrid car is, the maintenance recommended for them, the price of a used hybrid car, and so much more. The information contained in this guide below will help make your search for the right hybrid car easy, better, and convenient.
What is a Hybrid Car?
A hybrid car runs using a gas or diesel engine coupled with an electric motor. Both systems work in conjunction with one another to provide power to the car and propel it down the road.
The first hybrid car manufactured was the 1997 Toyota Prius and it was released to the world in 2001. When first introduced, consumers were skeptical about the car. But today, the Prius is one of the best sold hybrid vehicles available. Many other car manufacturers have entered the hybrid and electric motor space. All thanks to Toyota that paved the pathway of the hybrid car.
Why a Hybrid Car?
Even if you are 100% sold on the hybrid option, you may still be wondering why you should choose to drive one or why others choose to drive them. Probably you are on the fence about a hybrid car. So, we will explore some of the reasons why consumers choose them. Also, the benefits that surround the purchase of a used hybrid car.
Offer the Same Comfort as a Traditional Car
You may think that a hybrid car is less comfortable than a traditional car. Mostly because it is a different version of the car. This is not the case. In fact, most hybrid cars are just as comfortable as their non-hybrid counterpart.
One of the biggest differences between a hybrid and conventional car is not comfort at all. Instead, it is speed. Hybrid cars are a bit slower, but they handle nicely and feel just like the conventional car.
Better Fuel Economy
It is no wonder so many consumers choose hybrid cars – they are extremely fuel efficient. Having a hybrid car can save you a lot of fuel money. This, given the fluctuating gas prices that are staying on an upward trend.
Some of the most popular hybrid cars can receive up to 50 or more miles per gallon! You won’t find that with a conventional car at all.
There’s a Hybrid Car for Every Style
We mentioned that the first hybrid car was released in 2001, the Prius. It was the only kind available at the time. However, almost two decades later, there are many models to choose from. In fact, even the luxury automotive manufacturers such as Lexus and BMW offer a hybrid option.
Since there are many models available, you are sure to find something to meet your needs. We are confident there’s a hybrid car out there for you. Whether you want to transport your family around or it’s just you and the dog.
Emissions Control Makes a Hybrid Car an Eco-Friendly Option
The environment is our friend and we need to do all we can to protect it. If you believe that statement, then a hybrid car is the perfect choice for you. Newer hybrid models on the market can help reduce smog-producing emissions by up to 10 percent.
4 Types of Used Hybrid Cars for Sale
When looking for a used hybrid car, you will have several options when it comes to type. There are four main types available and each one offers you a different driving experience. The most popular types are the full hybrid and the plug-in hybrid. You may find that some cars marry together two of the types such as the parallel series with a full hybrid and so on.
The electric and gas powertrains of hybrid cars is important and makes the car as fuel efficient as possible. You will find that some types are more efficient than others such as those that use electricity first and then transition to the hybrid option.
Mild or Micro Hybrid Car
The first type of hybrid car is the mild and micro option. The way this option works is by providing electrification to the car, which is commonly referred to as a start and stop option.
Series or Parallel Hybrid Car
The next type is the series or parallel hybrid car. A series configuration is when the electric motor is responsible for driving the wheels and the gas engine works to provide electricity to the battery when it has been depleted. The parallel option means that the electric motor OR the gas engine can work alone to drive the wheels of the vehicle. With the parallel option, the engine and motor can work together as well.
Plug-In Hybrid Car
The plug-in hybrid is one of the more popular options because most people know about it, have heard about it, or seen it. This system works by charging the car using a wall outlet. The electric range in most of these vehicles is about 10 to 35 miles and the car use this electric charge FIRST and then switches over to the traditional hybrid model. The plug-in hybrid is either parallel or series.
Full Hybrid Car
The most well-known and popular hybrid model on the market is the full hybrid. Top automotive manufacturers such as Toyota, Ford, General Motors, and Hyundai produce these cars. The full hybrid car runs on electricity for a short amount of time and operates with a gentle throttle and slower acceleration.
What’s in a Used Hybrid Car for Sale?
At first glance, a used hybrid car for sale has everything a traditional car has and looks just like its conventional option. However, there are some differences under the hood and through operation that make the hybrid different than its conventional counterpart. Let’s look at some of those differences now.
The battery in a hybrid car is different than the one you are used to in a conventional car because it is rechargeable using electricity. Older hybrid models use a nickel-metal hydride option, but newer models are using a lithium ion option to provide better efficiency.
Engine and Fuel Economy
Most of the used hybrids you find on the market come with a four-cylinder gas engine that is used to fuel the car in conjunction with the electric motor. Some newer hybrid models of cars, SUVs, and trucks are equipped with a V6 or V8 option. You will notice that the engine in your hybrid is much quieter than that of a conventional car and you may even question if your vehicle is on at some point.
Available hybrids typically come equipped with a CVT or continuously-variable transmission. While uncommon, some hybrids do have a traditional manual or automatic transmission option.
Like conventional cars, your used hybrid will be either an all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive car. You will find that in most cases, luxury brands come in rear-wheel drive while traditional models, midsized cars, and small compact cars come with a front-wheel drive system.
Hybrid models that are all-wheel drive are traditionally front-wheel drive with an added electric motor that powers the rear axle to make the vehicle all-wheel drive.
4 Tips for Buying the Right Used Hybrid Car
Hybrids are some of the hottest cars on the market because they meet consumer needs and offer additional benefits such as being fuel efficient and eco-friendly. Previously, the only two hybrid models you could get into included the 2001 Toyota Prius and the 2001 Honda Insight. As of 2010, there were more than 27 different hybrid models on the market to choose from. Since 2015, another 28 were added to the lineup to make a total of more than 55 available hybrid models.
Shopping for a used hybrid is like shopping for any used car. You must make sure that you pay attention to the price, your budget, and of course, inspect the car to ensure it is in good working condition. However, choosing a hybrid means you are choosing a different type of vehicle, which can be scary for some individuals especially as the market continues to grow and new technology is introduced.
Below, we will go over four tips that you should keep in mind as you browse the available used hybrid cars for sale in your local area.
Know the Why
Knowing WHY you want to buy a hybrid car will help you make the right decision and it will help you better decide on which model you want. Sometimes, consumers do not have a why and they simply choose a car, buy it, and then later find themselves unhappy with it.
Most hybrids are comparable in price to their conventional counterparts, which makes them an attractive option if you truly want one.
Some individuals will choose a hybrid because they think it will save them money in fuel costs over the years. This is a good reason to choose a hybrid model, but you want to make sure you will save money and in a reasonable amount of time.
There are many reasons why you may choose a hybrid model. Maybe you want the peace of mind the warranty provides or maybe you don’t want to have to depend so much on gas.
No matter WHY you want to be in a hybrid, just know the why and make sure it makes sense for you to do it.
Always Consider Alternatives Before You Finalize Your Decision
Setting your mind to it and getting it done is how a lot of consumers live their life, but you do not want to take this approach when it comes to your car. Hybrids are a wonderful choice and they can provide you with what you want in a car, but they are not the only option out there.
It is vital that you explore all options and alternatives before you finalize your decision. For example, if you are looking at a Toyota Camry Hybrid, try test driving and looking at the Toyota Camry, non-hybrid edition and see how they stack up to one another.
Educate Yourself about Hybrids and What’s Available
Before you jump up and down and get ready to test drive a hybrid used car, make sure you educate yourself about them. You want to know what types of hybrids are available and how they will affect your ability to drive. Going in unprepared could mean you walk away with a plug-in hybrid when you wanted a full hybrid. This type of mistake may seem small at first, but it can be a significant mistake later.
There are four main types of hybrids for you to choose from which include the parallel and series option, full option, plug-in option, and the start-stop option or mild/micro.
In addition, know the benefits of the hybrid too. Will the model you are looking at save you in fuel costs? Is it eco-friendlier than another model?
Your Driving Style Matters
Did you know that your driving style does matter when it comes to a hybrid? It is true. If you are after a car that is fast, has a lot of horsepower, and can get up and go in seconds, then a hybrid is not the right choice for you.
It is imperative that you sit down and think about your driving style and see if a hybrid matches it. Hybrids do provide you with savings when it comes to fuel, especially when stuck in a traffic jam, but they are not fast, and acceleration can be slower than non-hybrids. For example, when stuck in traffic, the hybrid will shut down the engine completely, whereas a conventional car simply stays on but idles.
If you do plan to travel a lot or at higher speeds, a hybrid may not be the right choice either as it would defeat the purpose. When you do drive faster or for longer distances, the hybrids rely on the gas engine they are equipped with so essentially you could have spent less on a conventional car that achieves the same results.
Maintenance and Service Required on Used Hybrid Cars for Sale
Making sure that your used hybrid is in the best condition will include maintaining the car and ensuring service is performed according to the factory recommended maintenance schedule. These factory recommended schedules are easily accessible on the manufacturers’ websites and you can also learn more about what service is recommended via the owner’s manual.
Each vehicle does have its own set of maintenance needs and you will find that the owner’s manual and the recommended service schedule is the best place to start. Sometimes, cars do require maintenance and service in between these dates and that is okay. You do not want to use the schedule as a firm accounting of when service should be performed but as a guide only.
All new and used hybrid cars will need maintenance performed on them to ensure they remain safe, reliable, and road ready. If you fail to have the hybrid car maintained, then you may experience poor handling, or you may notice the car breaks down and does not work the way it should.
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If you are or were familiar with the 3,000-mile oil change rule previously, it is important to note that many vehicles now, especially hybrids, can go well beyond that 3,000-mile mark. Often, manufacturers are recommending 5,000 miles or even 7,500 miles in between oil changes.
A well-maintained hybrid car can last for many years and can be passed down for generations. The old 100,000 miles is the new 200,000 miles and it has never looked better.
No matter what type of hybrid you have, from Ford to Chevrolet to Lexus or Honda, there is a service schedule for your car. If you are new to service and maintenance on your car, you can expect these appointments to include a check of your fluids, an oil change, and even tire rotation, should it be needed.
Below, we will discuss the different services required for a used hybrid car and go over the recommended service schedule.
What Service is Required for Hybrid Cars?
Fortunately, service required for a hybrid car is like that of a conventional car and you can expect routine maintenance to be similar.
Top 3 Maintenance Benefits of a Hybrid Car
Hybrid cars have introduced a new way to drive and save money at the same time. The technology packed inside the engine, motor, and battery are not only outstanding, but they provide consumers with the ability to experience some maintenance benefits as well.
Below, we will talk about the top three maintenance benefits that you can receive from a used hybrid car.
Charging Your Used Hybrid Car is Easy
One of the most common questions and interests that consumers have about hybrid cars is how easy are they to charge? Or, do I need to charge them often? You will find that you do need to charge your hybrid and there are three ways to do so.
Below, we will talk about the three ways to charge your used hybrid car.
Level 1 Charging
This type of charging is like charging an item or appliance in your home. The charger fits into a traditional three-prong outlet and you can plug your car into your garage outlet to allow it to juice up. Just about every hybrid car on the market supports this type of charging method. It is one of the easiest ways to charge your used hybrid.
Do keep in mind that it is much slower than other options and using a standard 120-volt charger, it can take up to 20 hours to charge a small to medium-sized car.
Level 2 Charging
This type of charging is much faster than level one, but it does use specific equipment to do so, which is purchased separately from the car. These chargers plug into a 240-volt outlet, which most homeowners do not have, so an electrician may be needed to install one.
Since this is the faster method, this is the most relied on method and one most commonly chosen by consumers. Using a level two charge, you can expect a small to medium-sized car to charge using a 240-volt charger in up to 12 hours.
Level 3 Charging
Level 3 charging is not as common because it does require the use of an industrial-strength charger, which is not readily available to most consumers. This style of charging uses 480 volts of electricity to charge the battery and you can expect the battery to be charged up to 80 percent in as little as 20 minutes.
Sample Recommended Maintenance Schedule for a Used Hybrid Car
Below, we will discuss the recommended maintenance schedule for a used hybrid car. Only use this as a guide and always refer to your owner’s manual or specific manufacturer’s recommended service schedule.
Please Note: Additional service may need to be performed depending on your driving habits. For example, the above recommended service schedule is for normal driving conditions. Should you drive your vehicle in dirty or dusty conditions, take it on long trips, or tow other vehicles, you may need some additional service and maintenance performed.
8 Best Used Hybrid Cars for Sale
Looking for the perfect used hybrid car can be fun and exciting but before you head to the local dealership to check out your options, you want to take some time to learn more about what used hybrid cars are top rated, why they are top rated, and what consumers have to say about them.
When you are at a dealership, you may find yourself too excited or even pressured by the salesman and this can lead to you skipping the review step. Fortunately, you can do that now and look at the top 8 best rated used hybrid cars.
2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
- Average Price: $19,200 to $26,750
- Average Consumer Rating: 8.5
The 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a great choice used hybrid car if you want something that is as close to new before you get into a new car. This model was awarded a spot as one of the most affordable midsize cars in 2017. Consumers love this car because when it is using the gas engine, it pumps out 193-202 horsepower and receives a modest fuel economy. The Sonata Hybrid also has excellent reliability ratings and has lower than average operating costs, which is perfect for those consumers who want to harness as many financial savings as possible with a hybrid car.
2013 Toyota Prius Hybrid
- Average Price: $11,500 to $14,300
- Average Consumer Rating: 8.9
The 2013 Toyota Prius Hybrid was ranked number one in the small cars between $12K and $14K, number one in 2013 hybrid cars, and #1 in 2013’s most affordable small cars categories. Consumers love the Prius because while it is small, it achieves a superior fuel economy coming in at 51 miles per gallon in the city. The interior cabin is roomy, and it boasts a large cargo space. The engine offers 98 horsepower, but you will enjoy a comfortable ride from and to your destination.
2015 Chevrolet Volt
- Average Price: $15,400 to $15,900
- Average Consumer Rating: 8.2
The 2015 Chevrolet Volt is not just an ordinary-looking hybrid car. In fact, it has a sporty look to it that has boosted its ratings from consumers. The Volt has raked in several awards to include one of the best compact cars, hatchbacks, and hybrid cars in 2015. Consumers enjoy driving the Chevrolet Volt around town because it offers better acceleration than some of the other hybrids, it has a fancier interior, and it handles well. You can expect the Volt to come with 149 horsepower.
2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid
- Average Price: $11,200 to $12,000
- Average Consumer Rating: 8.7
The 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid was been ranked one of the most affordable midsize cars in 2012 and one of the top hybrid cars in 2012. Consumers love this hybrid edition of the Camry as it gets many miles per gallon, which makes it a nice choice for those who want to save on fuel costs. The Camry Hybrid edition does sport a nice powertrain that is beefier than some of the other options on the market. It is also equipped with regenerative brakes, which will last much longer than traditional brakes on a conventional car.
2016 Ford Escape Hybrid
- Average Price: $14,000 to $20,000
- Average Consumer Rating: 8.3
The 2016 Ford Escape Hybrid is a wonderful choice for anyone who wants a compact SUV. This little SUV has won multiple awards for being an affordable SUV, compact SUV, and affordable crossover. Consumers love the 2016 Escape Hybrid because it comes in your choice of all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive and puts out 168 to 240 horsepower. The backseat is roomy and allows all passengers to have some leg room without complaints or stiffness of the joints.
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid
- Average Price: $10,800 to $13,200
- Average Consumer Rating: 7.9
The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid was the winner in both 2013 best hybrid car for the money and 2013 best hybrid car for families. It also took some other awards to include being one of 2013’s affordable midsize cars. Consumers love the Fusion Hybrid because it gets a great fuel economy to it and it has better acceleration than some of the other hybrids. You will not experience that drag when you press the accelerated with this one. In addition, consumers love the Fusion Hybrid because it has a quiet powertrain.
2014 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
- Average Price: $10,500 to $14,500
- Average Consumer Rating: 8.5
The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid was ranked number five as one of the most affordable midsize cars in 2014. Consumers continue to choose this model because it has a large cargo space for those oversized shopping trips and it offers a comfortable and smooth ride. This model does pump out 182 to 259 horsepower and has both high reliability and safety ratings.
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
- Average Price: $8,300 to $9,500
- Average Consumer Rating: 8.4
The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid was awarded several distinctions for best 2012 hybrid car, best 2012 compact car, and one of 2012 most affordable small cars. Honda is a brand that many consumers know and love and their hybrid model of the Civic is no exception to that. Consumers enjoy that this model comes with a spacious interior cabin that always allows for a comfortable ride. Sporting 110 horsepower and about 44 miles per gallon in the city, it is no wonder why the 2012 Civic Hybrid is on the top of the list.
Safety on Your Side? Used Hybrid Cars for Sale Are a Safe Option
So, you have likely already decided that a used hybrid car is for you if you made it this far in the guide. With that said, one of the important topics that needs to be covered is whether a used hybrid is safe for you and your family.
It is imperative that you have the peace of mind you need as you drive your vehicle around town. No one wants to get into a car or place their children in a car that they do not think can keep them protected.
Fortunately, with the many advancements that have been made today, hybrid cars have come a long way as far as safety features. To start, the NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires that all vehicles manufactured in 2012 and beyond include electronic stability control. This type of feature helps to improve your car’s stability on the road. It is also effective at reducing single car crashes.
Since safety is paramount, you want your car to not only be safe should an accident occur, but help you AVOID an accident.
Hybrid Cars ARE Safer
The Highway Loss Data Institute which is an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released research in 2011 that showed that hybrid cars ARE SAFER than gasoline cars in the event of an accident. Specifically, the research showed that drivers and passengers in a hybrid car at the time of an accident are 25 percent less likely to sustain injuries. In addition, the death rate of drivers and passengers in hybrid cars was reduced as well.
IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Hybrids
- 2018 Kia Niro Hybrid
- 2017 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid
- 2016 Toyota Prius
- 2015 Toyota Prius
- 2014 Toyota Prius
IIHS Top Safety Pick Hybrids
- 2018 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid
- 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid
- 2015 Ford Fusion
- 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid
Top 10 Best Safety-Rated Hybrids Over the Years
Hybrids continue to impress with their ability to keep their passengers safe and provide a comfortable and eco-friendly ride around town. Since safety is important to consumers, it is crucial to discuss some of the crash test ratings that the ten-best safety-rated hybrids have received over the years. All crash ratings come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA.
Fuel Economy: How Used Hybrid Cars for Sale Stack Up
One of the reasons why consumers choose a hybrid car is because they have been told that hybrid cars get many miles to the gallon. This is, in fact, true. Most hybrid models out there will provide you with many miles to the gallon, in the city. This is because hybrid cars are designed to work off electricity first and then switch over to the gasoline engine. Also, your fuel economy is better in the city because hybrid cars are designed to turn off when in idle and then turn back on as you press the accelerator.
Your fuel economy is important, and the numbers do matter. When you look at a car’s miles per gallon, you want the number to be as high as possible. This means you will spend less time at the gas station and less money constantly filling up the gas tank.
If you are unfamiliar with the term fuel economy, it simply means the number of miles your car can go before you need to put gas in the tank. For example, if your car gets 45 miles per gallon and you have a 10-gallon gas tank, then you would receive approximately 450 miles on your car before you must fill the tank up again.
Fuel Economy in New and Used Hybrid Cars
Below, we will talk about the fuel economy you can expect to receive in both a new and used hybrid car. We have listed six of the popular hybrid vehicles on the market with varying years to show you what type of fuel economy you can expect.
You may notice that some vehicles have city miles per gallon which are higher than highway miles per gallon. This is unique to the hybrid cars because they operate best in city conditions. These cars are designated to preserve your fuel in stop and go situations. Hybrids that drive on the highway use the gas engine as opposed to the electric motor. When in traffic in the city, hybrid cars are designed to turn off. Then they turn back on when you press the accelerator. This helps by saving you gas and improving your fuel economy.
6 Tips to Help You Improve Fuel Economy in Your Used Hybrid Car
As we have discussed in detail, hybrid cars do get many miles per gallon in the city and they are excellent for those individuals who want to maximize their savings and spend less time at the local gas station. While you will receive many miles per gallon, there are ways for you to improve your fuel economy even further. Below, we will look at six tips to help you improve fuel economy in your used hybrid car.
Keep the Speed Limit in Mind
Speed factors into your fuel economy. Make sure you avoid going over the posted speed limit. You will receive the best fuel economy if you remain at or below the speed limit. Remember, it is a limit and not what must be achieved. Drive at a speed you are comfortable with. But keep in mind that you will receive more miles per gallon at 55 miles per hour as opposed to 75 miles per hour.
Be Careful and Don’t Accelerate Too Quickly
Accelerating too quickly can lead to a loss of fuel and cause you to burn up your fuel quickly. You want to remain at a constant speed when you drive, since acceleration uses up a lot of energy and gas. Only lightly press the accelerated when you start to go from a complete stop. If you want to maintain a constant speed, do make sure of the cruise control function as it will allow you to save the most gas.
Avoid Traffic or Highly Congested Areas
Your used hybrid car is meant for congested city streets. But that does not mean that you want to take them on purpose. Hybrid cars are designed to turn off when stuck in traffic. Then they turn back on at the press of the accelerator. However, constantly stopping and going or being stuck in traffic can decrease your fuel economy.
You should attempt to avoid traffic as much as possible. Try taking alternate routes or leaving a bit earlier or later to miss the traffic.
Don’t Carry too Much Weight
If you like to keep excess things in your car or you help move friends’ furniture or even tow items, you will get less miles per gallon. Extra weight slows down your car and requires more fuel to move it, thus leading to a declined fuel economy.
Roll Down the Windows When It’s Nice Out
Yep, your air conditioning system in your car eats up your gas. Rolling down the windows and turning off the air is a great way for you to save some of your fuel. Of course, there are times when you will need to use the AC. Don’t be afraid to do so, but keep in mind that sometimes you can take advantage of the fresh air and save money.
Keep Your Tires Inflated
Keeping your tires inflated to the proper psi can help ensure you move fluidly down the road. Also, that you do not slow yourself down and waste your fuel. If you are worried that your tires are not inflated correctly, visit your local mechanic or check the owner’s manual to find out what the recommended psi is and use a tire gauge to check the current tire pressure.
Get Yourself into That Used Hybrid Car for Sale Today
Hybrid cars are a wonderful option for most individuals and families. There are many models to choose from, more than 55 to be exact. Plus, you will save at the gas pump and protect the environment all while driving.
As we have outlined for you, a used hybrid car is a great choice. They are safe and will provide you with the comfortable ride you want and need. From cars to SUVs and even trucks, the hybrid options are great.
Don’t hesitate to check out your local dealer’s inventory of used hybrids for sale today!