Best used hybrid cars (and the ones to avoid)

Hybrid cars are no longer the preserve of new car buyers; there are plenty out there to buy used, too. Here are our top picks...

Used hybrids

With the Government proposing to allow only the sale of electric cars from 2035 onwards, those anxious to dip their toes in the future can either opt for a full-fat electric vehicle now or experiment first with a little petrol-electric hybrid action, that is to say a car powered by a petrol engine combined with an electric motor. 

There are basically two types of hybrid: 'self-charging' models, which mix petrol and electric power in an effort to maximise efficiency, and plug-in hybrids that can travel many miles purely on electricity before their engines need to cut in. 

There are plenty of either to buy used now, so many in fact that picking your way through the maze isn’t as easy as it once was. So here we bring you our guide to the best used hybrid cars. Read on to find out if there's one for you.

Best used hybrid cars

10. BMW i8

BMW i8

With its wild looks and radical powertrain, consisting of a three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and an electric motor, the BMW i8 caused quite a stir when it was launched, and it’s no less dramatic a sight today. It’s a plug-in hybrid, and you can do 22 miles on electric-only power if you want. What’s more, you get two tiny rear seats, meaning it can almost rival a Porsche 911 for practicality. Put simply, there’s nothing quite like it on the used hybrid market. We love it. You can spend a lot on one, or buy a 2015 example for under £40k.

We found: 2015 i8, 48,800 miles, £37,995

Read the used BMW i8 review

9. Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i Active CVT

It’s rather bland to drive and a little plasticky inside, but there are good reasons why the Toyota Prius is so plentiful: it’s reliable, efficient and spacious enough to serve as everyday family transport. Not to mention, it’s the hybrid that popularised the term. Its ubiquity makes it an easy option to buy used, too, because you’re more likely to find a tidy example locally. You can choose between traditional hybrid and plug-in variants, and whichever model you go for, equipment is plentiful.

We found: 2017 Prius Plug-in Business Edition, 34,879 miles, £17,815

Read the used Toyota Prius review

8. Kia Niro

Kia Niro Hybrid

You can choose your Niro from new in three different guises: pure electric, plug-in hybrid or regular hybrid. We've gone for the plug-in version here because it can run for up to 38 miles on electric-only power, cutting your overall fuel consumption on shorter journeys. The PHEV is near-silent when running only on batteries and still quiet in petrol-electric mode, with engine noise only becoming strident when you really press on. Inside, you’ll find there’s loads of space in both the front and rear seats.

We found: 2018 Niro PHEV 3, 31,610 miles, £19,695

Read the used Kia Niro review