All vehicles depreciate – as soon as you drive them off the forecourt of your local dealership in the vast majority of cases. And, although hybrid cars are amongst the best at retaining its value, it is still vital to keep your vehicle in great shape if you want to sell it for the best price. We’re going to explore some of the differences in looking after a hybrid car from a regular gas guzzler – and how to maximize your sell-on value. Let’s get started with some of the basics.
Understand the used car market
First of all, it’s important to understand what the average consumer wants from a used hybrid car. The most important factor they will be looking for is the battery pack. According to Mick’s Automotive, older hybrids can be incredibly expensive to replace – not to mention difficult. It’s essential, then, to ensure you are running routine maintenance on your battery, and getting regular service checks to keep it going for longer. Yes, an annual service is going to cost you, but far less than replacing your hybrid battery. And much of the cost of your services will be wiped out when the time comes to sell to a new owner. With hybrid cars, the better the battery, the more you can expect to get in resale value.
Understand the myths
There are plenty of myths around hybrid vehicles, and you will encounter plenty of them when it comes to selling your car. Many average consumers believe hybrids are expensive to maintain and complex to look after. However, arm yourself with the right knowledge, and you will protect your investment and encourage them to buy. Point out the fact that your hybrid is not the ticking time bomb they assume. Tell them that there are far fewer things that can go wrong in a hybrid than a regular car – there is no clutch, alternator, drive belt, or conventional starting motor. It’s also worth pointing out that companies like Honda still haven’t had to replace a battery pack from any of their cars from 2010 onwards.
Take care of the basics
Of course, there is still essential features and technology that you have to look after on a hybrid, just as you would with a regular set of wheels. Regular tire pressure checks will keep you driving more efficiently, and prevent damage to your suspension or bodywork. Brake pad tests are also necessary, despite the fact that the average brake pad on a hybrid lasts far longer than on a gas-powered vehicle. And, as you should already know, regular suspension servicing will be critical if you want to retain the highest value possible when you sell or trade your car in.
Get to know the differences
The battery isn’t the only difference between a standard car and a hybrid. You will also need to keep an eye on your motor brushes, which need replacing every 80,000 miles or so – check your owner’s manual for a more accurate figure. You will also need to change the oil regularly, although at a rate slower than a gas car – every 5-10,000 miles is around average. Finally, the hybrid car’s air filter will also need a little extra attention, and the coolant system is different, too. While costs of coolant maintenance tend to be higher, they will help you realize greater value when you sell your hybrid. Good luck with keeping down that depreciation!