Since the introduction of the Toyota Prius in North America in 2000, a portion of the general public has had a fascination with the hybrid vehicle, thanks to the automobile’s impressive gas mileage and environmentally friendly features.
And now, almost a decade later from that first introduction, there are more hybrids on the market and increasingly more interest among car buyers, most likely because of the financial benefits that come with owning a hybrid vehicle.
But for those who are interested in purchasing a used hybrid car, what exactly goes into researching this new type of automobile? And for those who have purchased used cars in the past, can their prior knowledge be used toward a hybrid purchase?
Here are some things potential hybrid owners should consider when looking at used cars.
Get the history
As with all used car purchases, it’s still important to run the history of a car, be it hybrid or not. The oldest hybrids out there will be approximately 10 years old, and it’s worth knowing what kind of work has been done to it and whether or not the car was involved in an accident.
It may also be a good idea to get a pre-purchase inspection from a dealer who is authorized to sell the same make of the used car you are looking at.
Mileage may not be a big issue
In the past, people who were looking to purchase a used car usually paid attention to the mileage of the vehicle. High mileage meant there was most likely more wear and tear on a car. However, this way of thinking may not apply to used hybrids.
These are cars are meant to have a higher mileage, so it may be typical to see cars with 80,000 miles on it. In fact, there have been reports that some hybrids in the market have already gone past 100,000.
The hybrid battery
Part of the reason hybrid cars get such good mileage is because they partially runs off a battery, which also helps owners of these vehicles to save on gas (a full tank of gas in a hybrid can go much further when compared to a standard gas-powered car).
But like all batteries, there may come a day when the one in an older hybrid model needs to be replaced. It’s important for used car buyers to get a full understanding on what a battery replacement may entail. For example, those looking into a used Toyota Prius should conduct research and talk to dealers so they understand how they should replace the car’s battery if it should come to that. In some cases, it’s been reported that a replacement battery could cost upwards of $2,000.
Learn how to drive
Finally, keep in mind that hybrids are a different kind of car and that just turning them on may confuse some consumers who have spent years driving gas-powered vehicles. Doing the necessary research on how to operate a hybrid car will help buyers be more comfortable during and after the process of buying a used car.