Used car buyers guide: In for a shock

Used car buyers guide: In for a shock

So, you're thinking about an electric car...

Electric cars are no longer on the horizon, they are here. The electric revolution is well under way with sales for battery powered electric vehicles (BEV) climbing ever higher. This year (2019) for example, car sales were over double the amount that they were in 2018, and we still have a month to go.

Battery powered electric vehicles are being hailed as the future with almost every manufacture adding them to their line-up, there's even been talk of some manufacturers ditching petrol and diesel completely in the near future (this has now been confirmed and will come into effect for all new cars from 2035). 

Over the last few years, the electric vehicle has seen incredible progress with charge times falling and range growing. Tesla have stood out over the rest of the field so far and their recently released Tesla 3 was the best selling BEV in Europe this year (2019), This single model alone managed to outsell Alfa Romeos entire range in Europe.

Alfa have been struggling recently but its not just Alfa who have been fighting with Tesla, The model 3 managed to outsell a host of other mid sized saloons too including the BMW 3 series. 

The draw of low tax, cheap to power cars with staggeringly fast acceleration (The model 3 can reach 60mph in a supercar slapping 3.2 seconds) is a big one and It seems that the electric car is a dream come true for many motorists.

There is however one major drawback, The cost. Electric cars are simply expensive to buy and, although they use less parts, expensive to maintain. There's also the question of infrastructure - Although we're seeing constant improvements with charge stations popping up all over the place, There's still far too few on our roads. Its also worth noting that in terms of global sales, petrol and even diesel powered vehicles still dwarf the figures of electric vehicles. 

The best of both worlds

If you can afford to buy and maintain a brand new electric car and live in an area with a good EV infrastructure it may well be a great investment for the future. But what if you're after a used car or just aren't ready to put your faith into a full BEV yet?

That's where the hybrid vehicle comes into play. Hybrids are clean, efficient and have been in mass production much longer than the full electric car, this means there's a lot more choice on the used car market and that means a better deal for you, the consumer.

They're still brilliant when it comes to running costs too, the latest Toyota Yaris hybrid is in the lowest tax band and can offer up to a claimed 85mpg, depending on specification. The modern hybrid also offers a solution to the range problem faced by many pure electric vehicles, when you run out of batteries in these things - you can be confident in the fact that there's a good old fashioned petrol engine to get you home.

This petrol 'guarantee'  lets you make full use of the cars luxuries throughout the seasons - you can have air con in the summer and your heated seats in the winter all without drastically reducing the cars range.  In essence, The Hybrid is the best of both worlds. It offers a fair compromise between the futuristic electric car and the trusty old petrol engine (most hybrids now use a small petrol engine instead of a diesel lump after diesel gate). 

In conclusion, electric cars are moving forward at a tremendous pace right now . They're getting faster, looking better and that range is slowly creeping up but for now, thanks to advances in the internal combustion engine AND electric power, The hybrid vehicle seems to be the best bet for the economy conscious motorist. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing from the used market as the number of used hybrids available grow.

One such example was the Honda Insight pictured above - This retro futuristic car from the year 2000 may well be suited more to enthusiasts today however it still stands up as a fantastic economical little car that's guaranteed to turn heads.

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