Some of the cheapest used hybrid cars bring an impressive blend of electric and combustion-engined power. It’s easy to see why they’re so accomplished; you get the efficiency that comes with an electric setup, but there’s also the safety net of a petrol or diesel engine for when the battery power runs out.

Hybrids also have a great reputation for reliability, with even the cheapest used hybrid cars delivering years of trouble-free motoring. Since they’ve been on sale for some time, many great hybrid cars have filtered into the used market – let’s check them out.

Why should you buy a cheap used hybrid car?

A cheap used hybrid car has a number of plus points. As we’ve touched upon, they’re good when it comes to reliability, but low fuel usage and reduced tax costs make them a great idea for drivers who want to reduce their monthly car-related outgoings. Most hybrids will be allowed into low-emissions zones without charge, too.

Opting for a used hybrid car is also a great way of getting a taste of what an EV is like without going for a fully battery-powered model. Some newer hybrids can drive for a small number of miles on electric-only power, so for shorter journeys they can feel quite a lot like a ‘regular’ electric car.

Some of the cheapest used hybrid cars in the UK are also very practical, so even if you’ve got a large family that doesn’t travel light then they could provide ample space for all types of adventures.

What should you consider before buying a cheap used hybrid car?

While a used hybrid car is ideal for a variety of lifestyles, there are some factors to consider before you commit to purchasing one, including:

  • Hybrids do tend to cost a little more than a traditional petrol or diesel car.
  • A plug-in hybrid needs charging at the wall, so you’ll need to consider if you’re able to do that at home.
  • Hybrids are popular with private taxi services, so look out for high-mileage examples – the dealership is legally required to disclose whether the vehicle was used as a private hire vehicle or taxi.
  • If you’re doing mainly long distances, then you might find that a hybrid doesn’t return the same fuel economy as a traditional petrol or diesel.
  • Hybrid vehicles emitting less than 100g/km CO2 and registered before April 1, 2017 are exempt from road tax – making them even cheaper to run.
  • There are both diesel and petrol-powered hybrid cars, with the former being particularly fuel-efficient.

The best cheap hybrid cars

Thankfully, there’s a good variety of cheap hybrid cars out there on the market today, offering something for all types of buyers and users. Some of the cheapest hybrid cars on sale in the UK today still come with plenty of onboard equipment, too, so you don’t need to scrimp on tech if you’re still looking to save.

  1. Toyota Prius
  2. Mitsubishi Outlander
  3. BMW 330e
  4. Kia Niro
  5. Toyota C-HR
  6. Hyundai Ioniq
  7. Volkswagen Golf GTE
  8. Lexus CT
  9. Audi A3 e-tron
  10. Honda CR-Z

1. Toyota Prius (2015-2022)

If there’s a car that people think of right away when the term ‘hybrid’ comes up, it’s the Toyota Prius. For many, it’s the original hybrid having kicked off the segment and quickly becoming the go-to model for eco-conscious drivers around the world.

But as well as this reputation, the Prius is backed by a well-built interior and some clear screens and graphics. Plus, because the Prius has been on sale for a little while now, it represents one of the best cheap used hybrid cars on sale today.

We like the most recent version – sold from 2015 – as there are plenty of good-value models around that get must-have luxuries like air conditioning and cruise control. Plus, the 1.8-litre hybrid system in this age of Prius is great on fuel. A plug-in hybrid version is also available, but it does command a premium over the ‘regular’ version.

Best Features

  • The Prius is superb on fuel, with most models able to deliver up to 56mpg without any real effort.
  • There’s 343 litres of boot space in the regular hybrid – this drops to 191 litres in the plug-in hybrid version, however.
  • All versions get dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera and 15-inch alloy wheels.


Things to consider
  • The Prius is a popular option among cab drivers and private hire firms, so keep an eye out for these examples.
  • Regular hybrid versions appear to have held their values better than plug-in hybrid models.
  • This model of Prius has been recalled several times for potential issues – make sure that these have been completed on any car you’re looking at.

2. Mitsubishi Outlander (2013-2021)

The Mitsubishi Outlander broke new ground as an SUV which also used a hybrid setup. The added space that this upright model brought meant that it was a real hit with families and, because of this popularity, it makes for an excellent and readily-available option in the used market.As a plug-in hybrid model, the third-generation Outlander brought even more efficient and low-cost motoring. There are some really nice features inside, with later models getting a handy central screen for satellite navigation and media functions.

There’s comfortable seating for five people too, while the boxy design of the Outlander means that there’s plenty of headroom. It’s worth adding that though the Outlander could feature seven seats, this was only available on the standard petrol version – plug-in hybrid cars stick with five chairs.

Best Features

  • A roomy cabin and plenty of headroom make the Outlander a great family vehicle.
  • The Outlander gained five stars in Euro NCAP safety tests, making it a very secure option.
  • Square dimensions mean the Outlander is surprisingly easy to park for quite a large vehicle.
Things to consider
  • The Outlander uses a CHAdeMO charging connector, which isn’t offered at many of the latest charging points.
  • Hybrid variants don’t offer the added benefit of seven seats.
  • As a plug-in hybrid, they’ll need to be plugged in to recharge so consider whether you have the capability to do this at home.

3. BMW 3 Series 330e (2016-2019)

Though known for its performance models, in recent times BMW has started to gather pace as a producer of EVs and hybrids. The 330e is a plug-in hybrid adaptation of its ever-popular 3 Series, combining the refined experience of a petrol or diesel version with a clean-running hybrid setup.

The sixth-generation model saw the 330e arrive, combining the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine of the 320i with an electric motor and battery. With this blend, you get performance similar to a powerful 330i – it’s a great compromise of efficiency and go-faster features.

As with other 3 Series models of this generation, the 330e is really sharp to drive but feels effortless and quiet on the motorway. At launch, BMW claimed that the 330e could manage up to 25 miles of electric-only power on a single charge but, with a cheap used example, we’d expect that to have dropped a fair bit.

Best Features

  • Drives as keenly as a ‘regular’ 3 Series.
  • Interior is smartly designed and has plenty of equipment.
  • Really comfortable over long distances.
Things to remember
  • Electric range will have dropped since launch.
  • Only saloons available – no estate or ‘Touring’ version.
  • Heavier than regular 3 Series so may go through tyres more quickly.

4. Kia Niro - (2016-2022)

Kia has quickly transformed to become one of the go-to brands in the electrified segment, with hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars delivering big on technology at a price that isn’t too much of a hurdle for many buyers.

The Niro was a car that came to establish itself as an option for everyone. It’s why it was introduced with petrol, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric versions so that all types of drivers could find a setup that suited them. It was also a car created specifically for electrified powertrains from the start, rather than adapted from an existing model.

What really shines through with the Niro is how ‘normal’ it feels. It doesn’t scream about its hybrid setup, while inside you’ll find solid materials – and all cars get climate control and alloy wheels as standard, too. Good efficiency and great fuel economy make this very good value to run as well.


Best Features

  • Spacious and well-made inside.
  • Boxy design means it’s great for taller passengers and drivers.
  • 7-year transferrable warranty means some used models can still be bought with cover.
Things to consider
  • Option of either ‘regular’ or plug-in hybrids – you’ll need to be able to charge up the latter easily.
  • Later examples got Kia’s new badge design.
  • Specifications are numbered – ‘1’ is the entry point, while ‘4’ is the most luxurious.

5. Toyota C-HR (2016-2019)

If you’re after cheap used hybrid car that isn’t going to be a hassle to live with, then the Toyota C-HR could be the model for you. It’s all based around a very compact platform and this makes the C-HR a doddle to drive whether you’re in town or further afield. The short overhangs and stubby design mean it’s great to park, too.

The C-HR is a compact SUV, so it does have a slightly raised seating position for people who like a better view of the area ahead. It’s also one of the few compact SUVs to get a hybrid setup, which in this case is a ‘regular’ one so that it doesn’t need plugging in – the energy is supplied from the 1.8-litre petrol engine.

The only drawback with the C-HR is its sloping roofline which makes the rear seats a little tighter than rival offerings.

Best Features

  • Compact dimensions make it great for city and urban drivers.
  • ‘Regular’ hybrid setup requires no plugging in.
  • Standard equipment is strong – all versions get dual-zone climate control, for instance.
Things to consider
  • The C-HR was refreshed in 2019, bringing an updated exterior look and more equipment.
  • Sloping roofline makes the rear of the C-HR a bit tight for taller passengers.
  • Smartphone mirroring isn’t included as standard.


6. Hyundai Ioniq (2016-2022)

In a similar vein to the Kia Niro, Hyundai offered the Ioniq with three powertrain options so that there was something for everybody. The core hybrid models provide a good amount of performance, too, with the ‘regular’ version being a great pick for people after a cheap used hybrid model that won’t cost the earth to run or maintain.

Where the Ioniq really excels is in its refinement. It feels really quiet when you’re on the move, while the suspension does a good job of soaking up the road’s lumps and bumps. It’s also a very safe option, with autonomous emergency braking coming as standard on all models. All cars get a reversing camera to help with parking, too.

If you’re doing shorter trips, then the plug-in hybrid model’s 30 miles of electric range could really help to drive down fuel usage and make monthly bills much lower.

Best Features

  • Nice spacious interior that has plenty of room.
  • The plug-in hybrid model has a good amount of electric range.
  • An update in 2019 brought slight exterior tweaks and a small boost in electric range.
Things to consider
  • Not the most eye-catching of designs.
  • The driving experience could be a little more engaging, but it impresses in terms of comfort.
  • Various hybrid types to choose from, so do your research before buying.

7. Volkswagen Golf GTE (2015-2019)

How do you go about converting a car as iconic as the Golf GTI into a hybrid model? Well, Volkswagen took on the challenge with the Golf GTE. It’s a model which aimed to bring the same sporty characteristics as the petrol GTI, but with an electrified setup that could help reduce fuel usage.

A plug-in hybrid version of the seventh-generation Golf, this GTE linked a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and battery. In fact, Volkswagen said when it was launched that it could manage up to 31 miles on just electric power.

Despite this, the GTE could nearly match the GTI’s 0 to 60mph time, while its interior was just as spacious and practical. Because the GTE was quite expensive when launched it came with loads of standard equipment, but this means it’s a very appealing cheap used hybrid to buy as a result.

Best Features

  • Performance is nearly the same as a petrol GTI.
  • Practical, easy to live with and good to drive.
  • Returns a decent amount of electric range.
Things to consider
  • GTE will cost more than the equivalent ‘normal’ Golf.
  • The boot is slightly smaller than what you’ll find on regular models.
  • You’ll need access to charging to get the most efficiency from the GTE.

8. Lexus CT (2011-2020)

Lexus took a typically premium approach when it launched the CT. In keeping with other luxurious models in its range, the CT had loads of high-end materials inside and some very futuristic features. For example, it had a clever trackpad-style controller for the main screen system.

But as well as all of this tech, Lexus also made the CT very quiet and refined which means it’s great for taking the backache out of longer trips. Just one engine is available – a 1.8-litre hybrid – and it’s there to offer a good combination of performance and efficiency. It’s a regular hybrid, too, so there’s no need to plug it in to charge. The nippy handling means that the CT is good for town drivers as well.

As you’d expect from Lexus, the CT’s build quality is great and – despite being a cheap used option – feels very upmarket.

Best Features

  • Loads of equipment for the money.
  • Lexus – and the CT – have a great reputation for reliability.
  • Good materials mean even older examples will still look good.
Things to consider
  • Production started in 2011, so tech may feel a little dated.
  • Only available with a regular hybrid powertrain.
  • Not the most dynamic to drive.

9. Audi A3 e-tron (2014-2018)

These days, you might associate ‘e-tron’ with Audi’s range of electric vehicles, but only a few years ago it was part of the firm’s flourishing hybrid segment, too. It was also used in conjunction with the ever-popular A3 hatch to create the plug-in hybrid A3 e-tron.

It uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine, but when this is combined with the electric motor and battery, it provides sharp acceleration. However, a range of around 20 miles in pure-electric mode means that there’s some scope for reducing your fuel bills – particularly if you’re often driving around town or have a shorter commute.

The A3 e-tron is only available as a 5-door ‘Sportback’ setup, too, so it’s very spacious and has a reasonably large boot – though it is smaller than the one you’ll find in the standard A3. However, you do get plenty of equipment and some really nice materials.

Best Features

  • Decent levels of performance.
  • Ability to drive for up to 20 miles on electric-only power.
  • Interior has lots of storage for odds and ends.
Things to consider
  • Boot isn’t as large as the one in a ‘regular’ A3.
  • Will need to be kept charged up to deliver best efficiency.
  • Might be slightly more expensive than rivals – but is still very good value.

10. Honda CR-Z (2010-2016)

Fancying something a little quirkier that still offers great value? Then the Honda CR-Z could be the best cheap used hybrid car for the job. It was a car which aimed to combine sportiness and efficiency in a car that would really turn heads and, from the outside at least, you’d say that Honda definitely achieved this.

All cars used a 1.5-litre petrol engine linked up to an electric motor and battery, which Honda said could deliver up to 55mpg when it was first launched. You should easily be able to see 45mpg on a daily basis.

The back seats are pretty snug, but they can be folded down to make the boot larger. However, those sitting up front get a surprising amount of space given that the car is quite compact overall. Plus, Honda has always done well in the reliability department, so the CR-Z shouldn’t cause too many mechanical headaches.

Best Features

  • Quirky styling really stands out.
  • Engine setup combines good efficiency with a decent level of performance.
  • Interior looks really space-age with eye-catching graphics and dials.
Things to consider
  • Relatively few available on the used market, but prices are very affordable.
  • CR-Z is a ‘regular’ hybrid which can’t be charged up with a plug.
  • Rear seats are only really spacious enough for smaller children.

Tips for finding and buying a cheap used hybrid car

The good news if you’re wanting to buy a cheap used hybrid car is that they’re readily available across the UK. You may want to consider financing the car using PCP or HP agreements, as these can split the cost of the car over a set period of time.

As with all cars, it’s best to have a test drive of a hybrid before purchasing. Listen out for any unusual squeaks or rattles and make sure that the transition between the petrol and electric motors is smooth – there shouldn’t be a big ‘clunk’.

If you’re checking out a plug-in hybrid, then you’ll need to consider how you’ll charge it up. PHEVs will run without charge, of course, but they’re at their most efficient when their batteries are topped up – so think about how you’d do this and whether or not you can install a charger at home.


Related Articles and Advice