back to articles | November 03, 2022 | Staci Bailey

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

Want to Buy a Used Hybrid? Consider These Pros & Cons

Before buying a used hybrid vehicle, consider all the key advantages and potential disadvantages of hybrid ownership.


Considering the volatile price of gas at the pump, more and more consumers are turning to hybrid and electric vehicles. You might be considering a switch yourself, hoping to tap into those potential fuel savings. But if you've never owned a hybrid before, you likely have some questions. For example, should you buy a used hybrid over a brand-new model?

Buying used cars instead of new models has always had its advantages. New cars have historically depreciated at a high rate the moment they're driven off the dealership lot. And buying used meant avoiding that depreciation hit. But do hybrid models depreciate just as quickly? Would it be smarter to find a used hybrid?

The automotive industry has been quite the roller coaster in recent months, with chip shortages and effects from the pandemic production shutdowns of 2020. Buying used vehicles, at least for a while, proved to be more expensive than buying new in many regions. But has the dust settled on those supply and demand concerns? Are used hybrid prices better than new hybrids?

If you're asking these questions, keep reading. There are key advantages and potential disadvantages to consider regarding used hybrid models. We'll explore both so you can be confident you're making the best purchasing decision, used hybrid or not.

Benefits of Buying a Used Hybrid Car

1. Cost-savings

New hybrid vehicles, depending on the model you buy, can be more expensive than traditional gas-powered new vehicles. But over time, the battery power can significantly reduce the overall cost of ownership, making the hybrids so attractive these days for consumers.

Because there has been an influx of new hybrid buyers in recent years, it means there is a growing and steady flow of used hybrids in the market now. The increased used hybrid supply means you can likely find a great model, at a great price, without taking the new-car depreciation hit.

According to Bloomberg, the electric car resale value is 40% to 70% less than the price of a new car. Hybrid cars are also a bargain right now, thanks to rapid technological advancements and the heavy depreciation during the first few years.

2. Long warranty

Some warranty packs on new hybrids, including those for the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf, have warranty coverage of 100,000 miles or eight years. That means you'll still be covered when buying the car second-hand, depending on the age of the EV. And most hybrid warranty coverages include terms for battery powertrain. So, be sure to read through and inquire about remaining coverage options and replacements.

3. Tax benefits

Most states have gas taxes in place to help offset municipality costs associated with road maintenance and repair. When you drive a plug-in hybrid or fully-electric EV, you can forgo paying those taxes or, at least, pay much less. Some states are imposing flat fee taxes for EV and hybrid owners. However, not having to fill up the gas tanks as often means dodging those ongoing gas taxes over time.

4. Lower cost of ownership

Because owning a hybrid means fewer trips to the gas station, you can expect a reduced cost of ownership over time. Buying a used hybrid can be just as cost-effective, over the lifetime of ownership, as a new one. Just be mindful of any repairs or replacements that a used hybrid model might have in its history.

5. Smooth driving experience

If you've never driven or owned a hybrid model, you might be apprehensive about driving dynamics and performance. But don't be. The hybrid models, within the last few model years, are super-fun to drive and punchy off the line. Battery powertrain technology has improved to give the driver the same gas-pedal responses as fuel-powered cars. And in most models, maneuvering is smooth, and acceleration is peppy, perfect for city-driving and commuters.

The Disadvantages of Buying Used Electric Cars

1. Range anxiety

Range anxiety refers to the fear of being stuck somewhere away from a charging station. New aspiring electric or hybrid car owners fear that when driving EVs for long distances, the battery may deplete away from any nearby charging station, thus being stuck or stranded for long hours.

So, when buying used hybrids, you must remember that EV batteries deplete over time. And new EVs and hybrids boast much higher full-battery charge ranges than some of the older model hybrids you might consider buying used. So, make sure you know the vehicle's intended range before you buy.

2. Battery lease

Some initial electric cars, such as the Renault Zoe, were sold without a battery to reduce the initial purchase cost. The battery had to be leased separately at an additional monthly cost. So, be sure to check whether the battery pack is included in the used car purchase or whether you'll have to pay a monthly fee once you buy the hybrid.

3. Limited charging station infrastructure

The charging station infrastructure continues to expand, including into more rural communities. But before buying any hybrid, new or used, make sure you know where your charging stations are. There are still plenty of regions across the U.S. that are slow to adopt new charging stations. You can explore app-based charging station maps to find yours. And before you buy used, make sure you know if any home charging equipment is included.

4. Higher purchase price

Typically, as previously mentioned, a hybrid vehicle will experience a more cost-effective cost of ownership over time. However, when you're buying new or slightly used, those sticker prices will be more expensive usually, than traditional gas-powered cars. There are federal tax incentives and rebates available for those buying new, a discount you'll forgo if you're buying used. Before you buy a used hybrid, do the math and make sure it makes sense financially for your budget upfront and over time.

5. Battery health

Before you buy any used hybrid, you'll want to check the health of the battery. If you're buying from a dealership, the retailer can diagnostically demonstrate a battery health report. And most hybrid models also have information readily available on the infotainment display.

Some used hybrid models might still have remaining battery warranty coverage. However, others may have expired. Replacing a battery will set you back thousands, depending on the model. So, make sure you know the battery health before buying.

myAutoloan Advantage - Financing is Always Easy!

Whether you decide to buy a used hybrid, a new hybrid, or a traditional gas-powered vehicle, there's one advantage you can always leverage. Financing and insurance are easy and convenient when you let myAutoloan do all the work!

Before you buy, explore the countless benefits and the wide variety of loan products to simplify your buying process. Our applications are fast, free, and incredibly easy. And getting approved with myAutoloan will save you both money and time!

Before buying a new or new-to-you hybrid, consider all the pros and cons first. Then, when you're ready, start exploring all the financing options with myAutoloan!