If you’re going to be expected to step into a more sustainable vehicle in the near future, then you don’t want to be short-changed. That’s why we’re quickly running through the main advantages and disadvantages of buying, owning and driving a Hybrid vehicle...
You’ll save money on fuel
First and foremost, a Hybrid vehicle is more efficient than a like for like non-Hybrid vehicle. This means trips to the fuel station are less expensive and less frequent. You can expect to save at least 20% on your fuel bill when you switch to a hybrid vehicle, thanks to the increased miles per gallon as well as the electric-only driving modes.
There is an argument that if you do less than 30 low-speed miles a day and keep on top of your charging routine, you could eliminate the cost of fuel completely by owning a plug-in hybrid car.
You’ll pay less tax
Vehicle Excise Duty or ‘Road Tax’ is a tax that is measured against your vehicles tailpipe emissions, but there is a separate, lower rate for ‘Alternative Fuel Vehicles’ such as Hybrids. You can expect to save at least £10 a year in road tax when owning a Hybrid when compared to an equally polluting non-Hybrid.
This applies to company car drivers too, who stand to save thousands of pounds per year in Benefit In Kind when buying a hybrid model compared to a comparable diesel car.
You’ll be helping to protect the environment
While no Hybrid engines are ‘green’ as they all still burn petrol or diesel and emit CO2 while driving, they are cleaner and greener than their non-Hybrid alternative. Hybrids running in electric-only mode also do no damage to local air quality while also having less of an effect on noise pollution.
If you do most of your driving in populated, built-up areas, you’ll be contributing to cleaner air for everyone, while saving yourself money on fuel.
Hybrid vehicles hold their value
As Hybrid vehicles are becoming more and more popular across the UK, the demand for them is remaining solid on the used car market, and because their batteries typically come with a 100,000-mile warranty, the resale value of Hybrid cars is strong across all segments.
This also makes them more affordable on certain finance deals, where the cost of finance is weighted against the future value. A strong future value ensures more reasonable monthly payments and better finance terms.
There’s no range anxiety
A lot of people are apprehensive about relying on the infrastructure of electric charging points in the UK and it is preventing them from going all-electric just yet. Luckily, this problem is solved by Hybrid vehicles which can cover hundreds of miles before they need a refuel and they don’t need to be plugged in to keep on going.
If your hybrid car does run out of battery, you can just use the combustion engine alone for the rest of the journey.
You don’t need a driveway or garage
Having a domestic wall box fitted to your house to charge an electric vehicle is only achievable if you have off-road parking next to your home or in a garage - which is a luxury not all of us can afford.
A Hybrid vehicle is more easily serviced by the public charging network thanks to the smaller onboard battery and therefore faster charging times. It’s also worth noting that they don’t necessarily need to be plugged in, thanks to regenerative braking and self-charging systems.
What are the disadvantages of owning a hybrid car?
While the grass is considerably greener when owning a Hybrid vehicle, we’d be lying if we said that it was perfect - as there are one or two disadvantages…
More expensive to buy
Hybrid cars typically come loaded with technology, and while they are cheaper to own and run, they are often more expensive to buy. The MINI Countryman, for example, is available from £26,405, however, the Plug-In Hybrid model starts from £33,500.
Of course, the Hybrid version of the Countryman is up to 3 times more fuel-efficient and can do 31 miles of electric driving, but the difference in the up-front cost is certainly worth noting for prospective buyers.
Generally worse handling
Batteries weigh a lot. There are no two ways about it, and while some manufacturers place the batteries low down in the body to keep the centre of gravity low, adding that much weight is often detrimental to the driving experience.
Thankfully the majority of Hybrids are driven by normal people who don’t care too much about the handling characteristics of the vehicle, and these shortcomings are easily offset by the advantages listed above…
Certain models reliant are on charging
To make the most out of owning a Plug-In Hybrid vehicle, you are going to want to keep it charged. Whether that is by having a wall box installed at your home or workplace, or whether you are going to diligently rely on the public charging network.
To see the efficiency and cost-saving benefits that come with owning a Hybrid, it’s in your interest to keep it charged as often as possible.
So, are you convinced yet?
We’ve weighed up the main advantages and disadvantages of buying and owning a hybrid vehicle. We’d say they’re a safe bet for prospective buyers as we head towards a cleaner and greener future.