The Benefits of Driving a Hybrid Car

19 July 2019 Blog

With our impact on the environment being in focus more than ever before, sales of alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrid cars, have risen dramatically. But what are hybrid cars exactly and why are they becoming so popular? Take a look at our guide as we explain the benefits of owning a hybrid car.

What are Hybrid Cars & How do They Work?

With so many alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) available to us these days, it can be tricky to understand what each one does and the pros and cons of each.

An AFV is a car or vehicle that doesn’t contain petrol or diesel and these can include:

  • Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
  • Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

...& more!

However, for now, let’s compare the Hybrid to the more popular options and our traditional Petrol & Diesel cars...

As hybrid cars have two engines, one petrol and one electric, they have the ability to switch between one engine and the other unlike their fully electric counterparts. 

There are two main versions of hybrid cars. The first introduction to hybrid cars was the Toyota Prius in 1997. When the Prius was introduced, it was the first of its kind with a half petrol, half electric engine in one car. One of the Prius’ main features was the ability to charge it’s engine on the move. There would be no stopping to charge the engine so it was practical for longer journeys. 

Recently the world has been introduced to the Plug In Hybrid, these allow the driver to plug in the car to charge it. Offering a larger fuel tank and smaller battery, a plug in hybrid runs on its battery until the charge has run out and switches over to the fuel tank for the rest of the journey.

So why a hybrid?

Are Hybrid Cars Environmentally Friendly?

One of the biggest advantages of owning a hybrid is that it runs cleaner, has better fuel mileage than a petrol engine and is generally more environmentally friendly. As a hybrid vehicle runs on a twin powered engine (one fuel, one electric) it has the ability to switch between engines reducing the emissions. For example, a Toyota Prius works on its electric engine whilst travelling less than 15mph and switches over to its petrol engine when going over the electronic speed limit fitted to the car. A Toyota Prius relies on braking to charge the battery so the longer distance you cover the more your battery will charge. 

Hybrid cars are made from lighter materials, including the engine which is typically smaller, reducing the emission output.

When the battery on your plug-in hybrid runs low, you will receive a warning within the car. This feature allows you time to find your nearest power station, which can now be found at most petrol stations, and charge up to continue running on battery.

Are Hybrid Cars Cheap to Run?

Many hybrids are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel alternatives. This is predominantly down to lower fuel costs, less general maintenance required and cheaper road tax. 

  • Lower fuel costs - Owners of hybrids often find their fuel costs are lower. This is down to them not needing to be filled up as often as they utilise the electric engine as much as possible before switching over to petrol.
  • Lower road tax - Before 2017, hybrids didn’t need to pay road tax as they emitted less emissions than traditional cars. However, since the introduction of fully electric cars, hybrid owners now do have to pay, usually in the lowest boundary. If you live in London, you are also exempt from paying the congestion charge. 
  • General running costs - Depending on your choice of hybrid, generally running costs (maintenance, repairs, servicing and replacing) may be cheaper than owning a petrol motor vehicle. 

Hybrid Car Maintenance Costs: Are Hybrid Cars Reliable?

Hybrid owners have found that their cars are more reliable than petrol as most hybrids use their electric engine whilst city driving, helping to avoid wear on its petrol engine. It’s a similar story when talking about the brakes. Hybrid cars are fitted with a technology called regenerative braking, this allows kinetic energy to be collected from the brakes and converted into energy which can be later used. This removes a lot of pressure on standard brake pads slowing down the damage.

Better Driving Habits

With a hybrid car, you’ll start to develop better driving habits. The onboard computer system informs you when to brake earlier and helps you to avoid high revs making your car more environmentally friendly. After a while, you will become more aware of these tips and it will convert you into a better driver.

Do Hybrid Cars Hold Their Value?

Hybrids are slightly more expensive than other cars to buy new but this is mainly down to their resale value. With low running costs and high levels of reliability, hybrids and PHEV (plug in hybrids) are very much in demand. Expect your hybrid to maintain its value for years to come!

See our collection of hybrid models that we have on sale today here.