Buying a pre-owned Hybrid
Six thoughts on buying a pre-owned hybrid car
Buying a pre-owned hybrid car, like a Toyota Prius or a Lexus IS 300h, is attractive for all the obvious reasons (fuel economy, being environmentally friendly, the torque and drivability etc.), but it can be a bit intimidating. Hopefully these bits of information will help you to make up your mind about pre-loved hybrid vehicles.
- Cheap city commuting. Hybrid vehicles are at their best in traffic, where the slow speeds and stop-start traffic means that the electric motors take up a lot of the load, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. On long open roads the benefits diminish, although hybrids are generally still fuel efficient and fun to drive in these conditions. Your commute should help you decide whether a hybrid is what you’re after.
- Robust mechanicals. Interestingly, many hybrids, the Prius included, use a petrol engine with a proven reliability record, to act as a stable base for the newer battery technology.
- It’s easy to check the state of a hybrid system (*in certain vehicles). By accessing the hybrid display screen on a Toyota Prius, for example, you will be able to see if the hybrid system is working as it should. This screen shows if the car is using the petrol engine or the electric motors for propulsion, and if electricity is flowing into the batteries at an acceptable rate.
- Buy a hybrid from a company that can offer great service. If you do need work done on your car, you want a car with enough units on the roads to justify them having the spares and expertise to repair your car if necessary.
- The batteries are a major cost component of a new hybrid car, but Toyota has now increased the warranty on its Toyota and Lexus Hybrid batteries to 8-years/195 000km. If the batteries do need changing after this it is possible and not prohibitively expensive. Generally the batteries will decline gradually, like the battery of your smartphone, giving you warning as their efficiency reduces.
- For peace of mind, buy a hybrid that has been meticulously looked after. While this is true of any car, it is more important in a car with such advanced technology. For this reason buying a certified second hand car is a good idea, from a dealer that is able to delve into the history of a car and is prepared to offer after-market back-up.
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