Hybrid Hunt: 5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Pre-Owned Eco-Friendly Ride

Becoming more environmentally conscious is something that’s on everyone’s minds lately, and it’s easier to do than you’d think. One way you could do your part for the environment is to buy a pre-owned eco-friendly car, such as a Toyota Hybrid. With the increased popularity of hybrid vehicles, more and more are becoming available as hybrid used cars, making it easier than ever for you to get your hands on one.

If you’re in the market for a used eco-friendly vehicle, it can be helpful to know a few things before you make your purchase. As with any vehicle purchase, you want to make as informed a decision as possible. Here are a few tips that can help you find the perfect hybrid car for you and your family.

1. Buy From a Reputable Dealer

There are a variety of places and people looking to sell you a used hybrid car, but don’t be overwhelmed by the excess of options. You can simplify your search easily if you know where to look. A great way to narrow down your options and buy in the safest way is to choose a reputable used car dealer to shop with.

A certified dealership that sells used cars will be able to give you peace of mind when hunting for your new eco-friendly ride. They can provide you with background information on the car, as well as assure you that your vehicle has been inspected by the certified mechanics they have on-site. Many dealerships offer Certified Used Vehicles, which come with additional assurances. At your local Toyota dealership, for instance, that means warranties, a 160-point quality assurance inspection, a CARFAX report, and more.

2. Do Your Own Research on the Vehicle

While you can never be 100 percent sure of everything your potential used car has been through in the past, there are a few steps you can take to get a better understanding of how well it has been cared for. Doing research on your specific vehicle can provide you with information such as how often it has been serviced, how many big issues it experienced, and how many previous owners have been in possession of the vehicle.

One way you can conduct this research is by conducting your own search on CARFAX or a reporting service that works similarly. This tool allows you to see if there has been any major damage to the vehicle, as well as how many owners it has had. You can also take the vehicle you’re planning to purchase to an independent mechanic to make sure it’s in good working order. Even with a reputable dealership’s seal of approval, a second opinion can give you extra peace of mind.

3. Learn More About Hybrid Cars

It’s admirable to want to make a car-buying decision that is more environmentally friendly, but when you haven’t owned hybrid used cars before, you should be prepared to experience a few differences. Some things, such as the sounds it makes naturally, may throw you off if you’re not prepared for the change. There are also a few upkeep and maintenance requirements that you may not be aware of.

For instance, did you know that to be considered a hybrid car a vehicle has to have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor? Or that there are two separate batteries, one like in a traditional vehicle and one charged through regenerative braking, which is completely different from the battery of an electric vehicle since it doesn’t need to be plugged in? Learning more about hybrid cars, in general, can help you make a more informed decision when you’re on the hunt for an eco-friendly ride.

4. Ask About Financing Options

Just because you’re buying a used car doesn’t mean you don’t have options when it comes to financing. When you choose to buy your used hybrid vehicle through a reputable car dealer, you often have just as many financing options as you would if you were buying a new car. So, if you don’t have the cash to pay for your used car in full up front, a big benefit of choosing a dealership is that they often offer payment plans and flexible financing options.

To give yourself the best opportunity at being approved for financing, plan ahead to make sure you’re a good candidate. Dealerships will look at your credit score, your past experience with making on-time payments, as well as your current income level. If you know that one or more of these areas could use some work, address the issue before applying for dealer financing. This will ensure that you’re offered the best rates and increase your chances of approval.

5. Check the Warranty

One of the many benefits of investing in a used hybrid vehicle is that they are all relatively new, which means there’s a good chance that your potential used vehicle will still be under warranty. A wide variety of hybrids will have a warranty that lasts up to 100,000 miles or a certain number of years. This warranty will often cover your car’s battery and other electrical components that may give out over time, among other equipment. Checking this warranty beforehand can let you know how much wiggle room you have between when you purchase and the end of the warranty period.

When you choose to buy your used vehicle through a certified dealership such as Beaverton Toyota, they will often be in possession of the warranty. The dealer will be able to walk you through all that is covered within the warranty period and which parts are included in that as well. This information may help you make a better decision on which car to purchase, as a longer warranty period may save you from making large payments on parts in the first few years of owning the vehicle.

If you’re looking for hybrid used cars in the Portland, Oregon, area, check out Beaverton Toyota. Toyota’s history with quality hybrid vehicles goes back to the release of the Toyota Prius in the 1990s. You’ll be in good hands with their trained and certified technicians and CLEAR brand promise.

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