Concerns about buying a used hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Concerns about buying a used hybrid

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Concerns about buying a used hybrid

JD Power and Associates used vehicle sales and certification study (UVSC) looks at consumers who are interested in buying used hybrids.

Used Vehicle Sales and Certification (UVSC) Study

With fuel prices continuing to rise and sales of new hybrid-electric vehicles increasing every year, many consumers are turning their attention to used hybrid vehicles. The study finds that 44 percent of late-model used-vehicle buyers are willing to consider a pre-owned hybrid-electric vehicle rather than a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle, even at an additional cost. Major concerns that used-vehicle buyers have with considering used hybrid-electric vehicles are the estimated higher maintenance costs, reliability, and the life span of the vehicle’s battery pack.

“Previously owned hybrids are perfect candidates for certification programs, where in-depth inspections and longer warranties help alleviate the concerns of buyers about purchasing used hybrids,” said Crane.

Concerns about hybrid battery life should be tops on the list of anyone who looks to buy a used hybrid. Hybrid batteries are guaranteed for 8 years (10 years in select states), which is a respectable amount of time for a car battery. But once the battery goes, it can cost thousands to replace.

Also, most engine repairs can be made by your local mechanic. But, as with any time something goes wrong with a major system, you will probably have to go to your local dealer instead. And repairs by dealers tend to be more expensive.

Routine maintenance costs are actually less for hybrids, since brakes will last longer because the regenerative braking takes some of the strain. Also fewer oil changes are needed over the lifetime of the car.

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