Skip to main content

As sustainability becomes a bigger concern, many people are considering buying a hybrid car to reduce car emissions and get better fuel efficiency. If purchasing a new hybrid vehicle is beyond your budget, you should look into buying a used one. But what do you need to know before you shop? Here are some tips for buying a used hybrid car.

1. Get a warranty on the battery

Hybrid cars come with a special battery, as Autotrader explains. Although it functions the same way a standard battery does, a hybrid battery is larger and much more powerful, which means it’s much more expensive to replace.

If you buy a hybrid that’s only two or three years old, chances are the battery still has a lot of life left in it. But if you plan on driving the car for many years, or if the hybrid is already an older car, you’ll want to look for a car that comes with a battery warranty that lasts for at least 100,000 miles. 

2. Track the car’s history and look into buying pre-certified

According to Autolist, buying a used hybrid car will cost you about the same as a new car with the addition of reduced emissions and increased fuel efficiency. Some things remain the same, however. You’ll still want to track the car’s history through Carfax or Autocheck. And you may be able to find a certified, pre-owned hybrid with an extended warranty.

3. Review the service records

Just as you would when shopping for a standard car, be sure to get your hands on the service records. You’ll want to see if the owner needed extensive repair or a replacement of its standard and/or electronic components. This will help you sunderstand how well the car was treated by the previous driver.

4. Take a test drive

This may seem obvious, but when you test-drive a hybrid make sure you drive the car long enough for it to enter all-electric mode. You may want to bring someone who knows hybrids and can recognize how the car sounds and feels not only in all-electric mode but when you steer and accelerate, too.

5. Have a hybrid expert perform an inspection

Lastly, even if you buy a pre-certified, pre-owned vehicle with a great warranty, you’ll still want someone who knows hybrids to inspect the car. Autolist warns that the mechanical setup of a hybrid may be different, like in the Toyota Prius. Plus, the battery packs, advanced computer controls, and electric powertrain are different in a hybrid.