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Are you ready to go hybrid?

Are you ready to go hybrid?

By Swansway Motor Group 29-11-2018


Something remarkable happened in October – for the first time ever two hybrid petrol/electric cars appeared in the UK Top Ten fastest selling used cars.

For the first time ever two hybrid petrol/electric cars appeared in the UK Top Ten fastest selling used cars!

As a matter of fact, the second and third fastest sellers were both hybrids, the Toyota Auris and the Lexus RX 450h.

The data comes from Auto Trader and reinforces a growing avalanche of evidence that UK drivers are embracing electric and hybrid vehicles at an astonishing rate and that’s in both the new and used car sector.

They’re getting cheaper, easier to use and recharge and longer ranges are ever more practical as everyday family cars. 

Hybrids like the VW Golf GTE or pure electric cars like the Nissan LEAF and many more makes and models are becoming increasingly sought after on dealers’ used car forecourts and websites.

White VW e Golf on charge

It’s the rate of growth which is amazing. Auto Trader gets 55 million (!) visits a month making it the most used car platform in the market and from its data we can see how searches for hybrids and electric vehicles (collectively known as AFVs, Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles) are rocketing; in fact Auto Trader now predicts that AFV will account for one in ten used car sales by early 2019.

And this is only the start. Over the next year or two manufacturers will be launching electric and hybrid vehicles into the new car market at a rate that dwarfs today’s volumes.

That supply will be matched by demand, with fleet and business drivers leading the way in the search for the tax benefits AFVs provide, but there’ll be a lot more interest from the private motorist too.

Already the demand is so great that it’s entirely possible to buy an electric vehicle today, drive it for a year, put 10,000 miles on the clock and still sell it at a profit.

Used car market analysts at specialist company Cap Hpi say that a pure electric car, the Peugeot iOn, went up 8.6% in value over a year, adding £425 to what an owner could ask for it. The Nissan LEAF added 4% or £450 and there’s a similar picture with hybrids.

Red Jaguar i-pace seen from above on the road

There are two major factors to consider if you’re wondering if a hybrid or pure electric vehicle, either a new or used, will fit into your life.

The first is cost. It’s true that, for the time being at least, they do tend to be a little more expensive than a diesel or petrol car. On the other side of the balance sheet you have to factor in lower servicing costs (something like 30% less for a pure EV on account of it having no engine) and as you can see for both, far more attractive depreciation figures.

Over the next few years this is likely to increase, in their favour. As more AFVs trickle down to the second hand sector, demand will grow and will do so at the expense of diesel and petrol models.

The second is practicality. Hybrids which generate their own electricity on board, with no need to find a charging point, are by far the most popular type of AFV. You simply fill up with fuel in the usual way and the car will top up its own batteries to give you something like 30 or 40 miles range in silent, zero emission driving.

It’s as simple and easy as that. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) have the same capability, but can also be connected to the national grid via a charger to top up the batteries. For purely urban motoring and short journeys a battery-only car is fine if you can easily access a recharger, but for longer ones on a mix of roads a hybrid is the one to have and is by far the most popular.

At the time of writing, Auto Trader has some 6,500 petrol/electric hybrids and 2,500 petrol/electric PHEVs being advertised. In contrast, just 870 pure electric cars are there.

Cost and practicality have been a barrier to many and especially so for those buying second hand cars, but as you can see, the picture is changing fast.

So, the question is, are you ready to go hybrid?

Blue Honda NSX with lovely backdrop

Coming soon: Audi e-tron!


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