Across the country, gas is cheap. In fact, petroleum prices across the U.S. are almost a dollar cheaper now, than they were this time last year according to GasBuddy.com, a company that tracks gas prices and fuel data at nearly 130,000 stations in North America. That’s great news for anyone in the market for a used car—but particularly for those of you in the market for a used hybrid, plug-in or electric car. As it turns out, the cheaper gas gets, the better deal you can get on a hybrid or electric car.
It’s simple economics, really. When gas prices are high, people seek out ways to save on fuel—and that includes shopping for and buying used hybrids, plug-ins and electrics. When gas prices fall, however, demand--and hence prices--for used hybrids and electrics fall significantly. In addition, some hybrids and EVs that have come onto the used market aren’t faring as well as the sellers had hoped because they took a larger than expected depreciation hit. According to Forbes, some of those hybrids and plug-in vehicles have retained as little as 20% of the original sticker price after three years. Finally, when these factors combine with VW’s recent diesel problems, you have a perfect opportunity to get a great deal on a hybrid, plug-in or electric vehicle.
Cars.com recently reported that the best deals could be had on two used cars in particular, the Toyota Prius Plug-In and the Ford Fusion Hybrid (MY 2012-2014). They report that the asking price for a used Prius Plug-In is down as much as 5.7% to an average price of $17,936. The asking price for the Ford Fusion Hybrid is down 4.4% to an average price of $16,844. Cars.com went on to report that used Nissan Leaf prices have fallen as much as 33.7% from July of 2014 to October of 2015. That means you can get a used Leaf for an average price of $12,148. That’s more than $6,000 less than it would have cost in July of last year, when gas prices were higher.
Given all this, right now seems to be the right time to shop for a used hybrid, plug-in or electric vehicle. You can save a bundle of cash and drive a bit greener on your daily commute. If you want to know more about the ins and outs of purchasing one of these vehicles check out our recent blog post on all you need to know about buying a hybrid, electric or plug-in vehicle.
Digital media content producer/consultant & former CNN senior producer, now running CN'TRL : Cars, Tech, Real Estate & Luxury.