Buying a Hybrid Electric Vehicle: Everything You Need to Know

2019-10-08 By Legend Auto Sales Blog

When someone says “hybrid electric” your first thought is probably the Prius. Nowadays, there are far more options available to you for choosing a hybrid electric vehicle. 

As the years progress, technology improves, and costs lower, buying a hybrid car is becoming accessible to more people. If you’re considering a purchase, there are a few facts you may not have considered for hybrid cars. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know before buying one! 

What is a Hybrid Electric Vehicle? 

Hybrids can be front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. They typically come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This requires some time to get used to it. You won’t feel the car shifting gears at all because it does so continuously through a range of power. 

Hybrid electric vehicles use both gas and electricity for power. There are four different kinds: 

Parallel Hybrid

This is the most common type, and what you probably think of when it comes to hybrid electric vehicles. The electric motor and hybrid engine work together to power the wheels. 

Mild Hybrid

Many newer cars use mild hybrid systems. The battery within the car helps boost and increase the range of their gas engines. They don’t offer as much fuel efficiency as full hybrid vehicles. 

Plug-in Hybrid

These cars require you to plug in the car to charge it. They’re a blend between hybrid and fully electric cars. When you drive long distances, the gas engine kicks in. 

Series Hybrid

In these cars, the gas engine is only used to recharge the car’s batteries. They run on battery power and need to be plugged in to recharge. 


While hybrid cars give you better gas mileage, they work the most efficiently when you’re driving within your city. This is because the battery charges while you’re pressing the brake.

AEV batteries convert up to 62 percent of energy to vehicle movement. Traditional vehicles only convert up to 21 percent.  

The efficiency of your hybrid car deteriorates on highways during long commutes. This is something to consider when you think of your every day driving habits and location. 


Mechanics need to be specifically trained and have specific parts for hybrid vehicles, making maintenance more costly. Although hybrid batteries are made to last a long amount of time because of their heavy use, repairing or replacing them when the time comes is expensive.

To offset the cost, many electric car manufacturers offer warranties covering the battery packs for eight years or a maximum of 100,000 miles. Some warranties can even stretch as long as 10 years or 150,000 miles. 

You won’t need to worry about: 

  • Oil changes
  • Spark plugs
  • Air and fuel filters
  • Exhaust system maintenance

Electric vehicles don’t have as many moving parts or fluids as traditional vehicles. Through regenerative braking, your brake pads will last considerably longer. 


Hybrid cars have a higher initial cost than traditional cars, making it difficult to find a suitable one if you’re shopping on a tight budget. The initial cost can be mitigated with a good car loan and incentives or looking into used hybrid cars.

These incentives depend on your state or local government. For example, people who live in Colorado can get a $5,000 state credit, while those in California can receive $2,500.  

You’ll also want to consider how much you’ll be saving on fuel. If you plan on keeping the car for a number of years, this can save you a significant amount of money.

Emission Reduction

The reduction of fuel and emissions is one of the leading reasons to invest in a hybrid electric vehicle. Because your car will be using a rechargeable battery, it doesn’t create tailpipe emissions, otherwise known as direct emissions. You’ll also spend less money on fuel.

There are two kinds of vehicle emission categories to consider: direct and life cycle. Direct emissions come from the tailpipe of vehicles from evaporation during the fueling process. They create smog-forming pollutants that harm human health and create greenhouse gases.

Life cycle emissions are all the emissions related to fuel and vehicle production, processing, distribution, use, and disposal. Life cycle emissions also create harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Electric vehicles produce fewer life cycle emissions than traditional cars.  

Constant Evolution

Hybrid cars are still being upgraded, changed, and improved. You have far more options available to you than ever before. For instance, you can find compact hybrid cars and SUVs.

The first documented hybrid car was developed in 1899 by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. Today, the basic principles of hybrid cars remain the same. Energy is used to power an electric motor at low speeds. At higher speeds, the gasoline engine is engaged. 

Battery technology will advance and can become smaller, cheaper, and more efficient. This will drive down the cost of electric vehicles until they can compete with the cost of traditional cars. 

Your First Hybrid Vehicle

As you can see, purchasing your first hybrid electric vehicle is much like purchasing a traditional car. By taking your budget, driving patterns, and location in mind, you’re ready to make an informed purchase. Although the initial cost is still higher than traditional cars, there are many benefits that make it worth the investment. 

Ready to purchase your first hybrid electric vehicle? Head over to our inventory page to browse quality used hybrid vehicles in the Seattle area! 

Over 350+ Cars, Trucks, and SUVs.