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What to Look Out For When Buying a Used Hybrid Vehicle

With new vehicle manufacturers turning more and more toward building their lineup around hybrid vehicles, so that is increasing the trickle-down effects to used inventories where you’re more likely to see the presence of hybrid options. Hybrid tech has evolved year by year, becoming even more commonplace, convenient and acceptable in today’s vehicle world. This may still be a new frontier of vehicles for you, especially when it comes to shopping and what unique things you should be looking out for that may be different from traditional gas vehicles. Our Davey Auto Sales team thought it best to help you out and outline a couple of the major things you should watch out for when shopping for a used hybrid vehicle.

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Hybrid Vehicle Types

First off, we need to make sure the terminology on hybrid vehicles is clear and what type exactly it is you’re looking at, as referring to a vehicle as a “hybrid” is a pretty broad, catch-all term. Generally, there are two different types of hybrid vehicles, with similarities and differences between how they work with their engine, electric motor and battery. 

A regular hybrid vehicle utilizes electric motor power inside the vehicle at low speeds along with the traditional combustion engine, while the engine will recharge the battery when you accelerate or cruise at high speeds. As well, energy will be stored from braking to utilize that power in the future. Essentially, the combustion engine, electric motor and battery all work together.

A plug-in hybrid is the other version of a hybrid vehicle, which operates as a bridge between a traditional hybrid and a fully electric vehicle, as it still features a combustion engine but is charged through plugging in rather than from being driven.


Batteries are an integral part of your hybrid vehicle’s system, and as you’ll know, with the battery in your ICE vehicle, they can break down and be in need of replacement. Your hybrid will feature two batteries, the 12-volt battery (similar to traditional vehicles) and the traction battery, which helps to power the electric motor. Be aware of any recent battery replacements done on your desired used hybrid, as that may make it solid for another good number of years, but if not, it’s something that you should keep an eye on.

Woman charging vehicle at a charging station

Charging Ability & Ports

A hybrid, or more specifically, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, comes with a little more gear and utility needed to be attended to and made sure to be kept in the best quality possible. All of your smart devices need charging at home, equipment that it, itself, can break down over time. When shopping for a used hybrid, make certain that the port and charging components are working as they should. Electric power is the crux of these vehicles and thus demands special attention to ensure there are no issues prior to buying.

Software Service

Like the phone in your pocket or the computer you work on, once the product is bought by you, the user, it’s not set for life; there will often be software updates pushed out to ensure the performance of the device is working as best as possible for the current environment. The same is true of your vehicle, so ensure it has had all of the relevant software updates installed on it. Ensuring that it has had any recall issues fixed goes hand-in-hand with this and may have its own unique recalls that need to be fixed and are of vast importance. 

Buy a Used Vehicle at Davey Auto Sales

Besides their hybrid ability or plug-in hybrid additions, these hybrids and PHEVs are actually quite similar to traditional gas vehicles when it comes to long-term maintenance and scheduled service. Hybrid vehicles run on a similar timeline as gas issues when it comes to needing maintenance and suffer from a lot of the same needs. From oil changes to fluid top-ups to brake maintenance and more, you’ll most likely already be familiar with the majority of what’s expected from shopping for a used hybrid to ownership. Regardless, our Davey Auto Sales team will help you through the entire buying process here at our local Oshawa dealership, answering any purchasing questions you may have.

Aug 30th, 2022