If you’re intrigued by the idea of owning an electric car but worry it won’t fit your lifestyle, consider a plug-in hybrid. These vehicles, often referred to as PHEVs, combine a traditional combustion engine with an electric motor. This combination allows for shorter trips to be completed on electricity, while longer journeys can be covered using petrol or diesel without the need to stop and charge.
With over a decade of availability, there is now a wide selection of used plug-in hybrids on the market, and prices are becoming increasingly affordable. Here, we have compiled a list of the best used PHEVs for sale under £15,000.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Mitsubishi was at the forefront of plug-in hybrid technology, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was one of the pioneering models when it launched in 2014. It quickly became a favorite among UK drivers and remains a popular choice to this day.
The Outlander PHEV offers generous equipment levels and a practical, spacious interior, making it an excellent option for families. With a real-world electric range of approximately 25 miles, there are plenty of used models available within this price range. You can find a 2014 model with around 100,000 miles on the clock for as low as £10,000.
Toyota Prius Plug-in
The Toyota Prius is synonymous with hybrid cars and was one of the first to introduce a plug-in model back in 2012, well ahead of its competitors.
Although its electric range is limited to less than 15 miles, the Prius Plug-in remains an efficient choice even when running on petrol. It offers a comfortable driving experience and is easy to maneuver. You can find used Prius Plug-in models starting from £9,500.
BMW boasts a wide range of plug-in hybrids, but one of the most popular choices is the BMW 330e. This model, based on the 3 Series saloon, was introduced in 2016 and quickly gained popularity among company car drivers due to its exceptional long-distance capability and high-quality interior.
Powered by a potent 2.0-litre petrol-electric setup with close to 250bhp, the 330e delivers a thrilling driving experience and an electric range of approximately 20 miles, making it ideal for shorter commutes. On the used market, you can find a 2016 model with 100,000 miles for around £12,500.
Breaking away from the petrol trend, Volvo offered its V60 estate with a diesel-electric setup in the early days of PHEVs. Known as the ‘Twin Engine,’ this model was available with a 161bhp or 217bhp diesel unit coupled with a 67bhp electric motor. It offers an electric driving range of approximately 30 miles, making it an efficient choice.
The V60 boasts a stylish exterior and a well-built interior, although the boot is slightly smaller for an estate car. Used V60 plug-in hybrids start from around £12,000, although they may be harder to find compared to other models.
Audi A3 e-tron
While ‘e-tron’ is now associated with Audi’s electric models, it was initially used for its plug-in hybrids. The Audi A3 e-tron, launched in 2015, is based on the popular A3 hatchback and features a powerful 201bhp setup with an electric range of around 20-25 miles.
The A3 e-tron impresses with its high-quality interior and generous standard equipment. However, keep in mind that the boot is slightly smaller due to the battery. Pre-owned A3 e-trons can be found starting from around £12,500.
Environmentally Friendly Driving
While plug-in hybrids offer reduced fuel costs and a smaller environmental footprint, there are additional steps you can take to make your driving more environmentally friendly, regardless of your car’s powertrain. These tips can help reduce your fuel or energy consumption and lower your running costs.
Watch your speed – particularly on the motorway
Maintaining a moderate speed can significantly reduce pollution, especially on motorways. Lowering your speed from 70mph to 60mph can considerably reduce fuel consumption, resulting in financial savings and environmental benefits. This applies even to electric vehicles, which consume more electricity at higher speeds.
Drive smoother and change up gears earlier
Smooth driving is more environmentally friendly. By looking ahead, avoiding harsh braking, and accelerating gently, you can improve fuel efficiency. If you drive a vehicle with manual or automatic gear-changing capabilities, shifting to higher gears earlier can also reduce fuel consumption.
Keep on top of maintenance
Regular vehicle maintenance is crucial for optimal efficiency and reduced emissions. Neglecting maintenance can lead to increased pollution and decreased fuel efficiency. Keep your car serviced and in good working order to minimize your environmental impact.
Empty your car of any unnecessary weight
Removing unnecessary items from your car’s boot can reduce its weight and improve fuel efficiency. Additionally, remove any attached accessories like roof bars or boxes when not in use, as they increase drag and decrease fuel economy.
Plan your journeys
Planning your trips in advance can help you avoid congested routes and stop-start traffic, reducing fuel wastage. Navigation apps, such as Google Maps, can suggest routes that optimize fuel consumption, even if they take a few minutes longer. Consider switching to these more fuel-efficient routes to make your journeys environmentally friendly.
By following these tips, you can reduce your environmental impact and save money on fuel costs.
Prices mentioned are accurate at the time of publication [02/2023].