Over the last few years, the term “hybrid” has become popular especially among car enthusiasts. A hybrid vehicle means it can run on regular fuel and electricity or battery, which means lesser carbon emission and fuel dependency.
Although the number of hybrid vehicles is still small compared to those that run on only one type of power, it’s expected that this sub-industry will grow as interest increases and its benefits become more well-known.
Another reason for spending on a hybrid is the government incentive including tax breaks that can amount as much as $7,500. Considering that an entry-level hybrid costs roughly $20,000, the incentive may be little, although it can offset the cost of maintenance, among others.
Either way, if you wish to own a hybrid, the best option is to get a secondhand.
But How Can a Used Hybrid Affect the Cost?
Used hybrids are an interesting bunch, particularly if we talk about the costs. As expected, used hybrids are going to be more affordable since depreciation sets in once the car gets into motion.
However, used hybrids will no longer be covered by the tax break since one of the requirements is it should be of original use to the person who’s claiming the incentive.
A good technique to make the most out of a used car is to buy it in an auction.
What is an auction? It is an activity where an item is purchased via bidding. The participant who bids the highest gets to own it, provided, of course, that everything is paid off, including the fees. Although it doesn’t happen all the time, auctions still allow you to obtain huge savings on an auto like a hybrid: as much as 90% its present book value.
This is possible if:
- There will be few bidders for the vehicle. Because there are only few hybrids in the market, it’s possible too that those auctioned are going to be few. Needless to say, bidding for it is worth a try.
- You look for hybrids across many auctions. You have a much higher chance of competing against few bidders and owning a hybrid by checking out as many auctions as you can. Check out what types of hybrids are up for bidding, compare, and keep track of the bidding process.
Take note that the price should not be your only consideration when you’re planning to get a used hybrid. While you’re at it, ask yourself the following questions:
How reliable is it? Fortunately, hybrids are known for their robust battery. They can travel for at least a hundred thousand miles and still have a good-condition battery.
What am I planning to do with it? There’s a good reason why you need to shift between regular fuel and its battery: it takes a long time to charge a hybrid.
Am I willing to spend for its maintenance? Regular fuel may cost about a thousand dollars every year while the total cost of owning it within the next 5 years can increase the price to almost $10,000.