Are Hybrids More Expensive to Maintain?
Hybrid vehicles are the perfect blend of electric and fuel-injected power. These models boast great fuel efficiency stats, which makes them ideal for commuters. Hybrids also are less expensive than electric models and can be more accessible to those on a tighter new car budget.
Car owners who are used to driving and maintaining a standard vehicle might wonder about the costs associated with hybrid vehicles. Are hybrids more expensive to maintain?
For those about to invest in a hybrid, the typical maintenance needs for these models include:
- Routine oil changes
- Routine tire rotations
- Brake inspections
- Brake pad replacement
The typical maintenance needs for a hybrid are the same maintenance needs for a standard vehicle, however, the hybrid model might actually save car owners on these costs. Here’s why.
The Anatomy of a Hybrid
Hybrids use both a standard engine and a battery-powered engine to power the vehicle. This is why they are known as hybrids. The duality of the hybrid, though, means that the car shifts some stress off of the fuel-injected engine, and this is how car owners can actually save a little money.
Hybrids might need less frequent oil changes, as the electric engine doesn’t utilize oil for lubrication. When the vehicle is using the electric option, it has no need for the oil. Hybrids might drive up to 5,000 miles without needing an oil change.
In addition, since hybrids offer a braking system that is different from the standard vehicle, there also might be less wear on the brake pads. Those, too, might need to be replaced less frequently.
Car owners should read the owner’s manual for their hybrid vehicle to better understand the manufacturer’s recommendations related to oil changes or other maintenance needs.
Typical Maintenance for all Cars
All cars need routine maintenance. Hybrids are no exception. Tire rotations and brake inspections should be scheduled at certain mileage milestones or at specific intervals.
Rotating the Tires
Depending on how often the car owner drives their hybrid, tire rotations will eventually become a necessary maintenance cost. However, all cars should have their tires rotated typically every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. This is roughly every other oil change.
Remember, though, hybrids need less frequent oil changes. Car owners might need to keep up with that odometer to make sure routine rotations are scheduled.
New brake pads are typically a more common maintenance need than new brakes. Most experts recommend that car owners should have their brakes inspected twice a year (every six months). Set a reminder on a smartphone to make sure this important mechanical component is checked out regularly.
The Electric Engine Can Be an Expensive Repair
There is one component of the hybrid that can be a more expensive repair for car owners. If there are issues with the battery pack and it needs to be replaced, this can cost thousands. According to The Drive, car owners can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000 for a new battery for their hybrid.
In addition, the mechanics of a hybrid are unique because of the dual engines. This means that transmission repairs or issues with either engine could be more expensive than the standard vehicle.
Before purchasing a specific hybrid, car buyers should research the warranty on the vehicle’s battery pack. Toyota now offers a 10-year, 150,000-mile battery warranty for its hybrids. This means that the battery is guaranteed for either 10 years or 150,000 miles—whichever comes first.
For car buyers who want to drive their car far beyond 150,000 miles, the battery warranty might be an important factor to consider. In addition, driving habits might be an important consideration for those who are leaning towards a hybrid model.
What is the Least Expensive Hybrid?
While routine maintenance costs might be cheaper for a hybrid, how do these cars compare to standard vehicles regarding sticker price? Is a hybrid more expensive? What is the least expensive hybrid on the market?
Hybrid vehicles are less expensive than electric vehicles but are more expensive than standard vehicles. The least expensive standard vehicle on the market is currently the Mitsubishi Mirage—it’s priced at less than $15,000.
In contrast, the least expensive hybrid is the Ford Maverick XL FWD for $21,490. Yes, the least expensive hybrid is a truck. The Honda Ioniq Blue is the least expensive hybrid sedan with a base price of $24,625.
While car shoppers can find several standard car models for less than $20,000, there is not a single hybrid new model that is less than $20,000. The only way that buyers can find a less expensive hybrid that’s priced below $20K is by shopping the used or pre-owned inventory.
The concern that some car buyers might have when shopping for a pre-owned hybrid is the battery life. If a pre-owned model offers a new battery, there might not be an issue. However, if the pre-owned hybrid still has its original battery, it could no longer be under warranty (buyers will need to research this) and it may have a limited lifespan.
Hybrids vs. a Standard Car
Car buyers who are on the fence about upgrading their ride to a hybrid might need to weigh the pros and cons of these vehicles. There are trade-offs when driving a hybrid.
These cars boast incredible gas mileage stats—many can get more than 60 MPGe. Alternating between the plug and the pump also means drivers will save money on fuel costs.
In addition, since the power of the vehicle is fueled by both gas and electricity, there may be some savings related to oil changes and brake costs, too.
However, the battery pack that powers the electric engine is an expensive repair. Car buyers should research the warranty from the manufacturer related to the battery pack. Look for longer warranties like those provided by Toyota.
Are Hybrids Cheaper to Maintain than Electric
While hybrids can be cheaper to maintain than standard vehicles in some ways, other repairs can be pricier. How do the maintenance costs of hybrids compare to electric models, though?
Electric cars don’t use any type of fuel to power their drive. This means they don’t require oil to lubricate a fuel injected engine. Electric models don’t require oil changes.
Tire rotations and other routine maintenance is still necessary for electric models. Replacing a battery pack also is a huge expense if this component fails.
In addition, electric vehicles are more expensive than a hybrid model. However, they are more energy-efficient and better for the environment. The least expensive electric vehicle is the Nissan Leaf, which has a base price of $27,400—about $3,000 less than the Ioniq Blue.
All-electric vehicles also could cost more to repair than a standard vehicle. Again, there are trade-offs for every type of vehicle.
Find the Best Hybrid Using Carzing
Car buyers can use Carzing to find the best hybrid for their budget. Carzing lets buyers search by make/model, price and body type. When researching available hybrids, car shoppers can use the price search query tool to initiate the search.
Carzing will bring up a mix of all the options—including standard vehicles. However, car shoppers can use the search tool to the left of the results to select fuel type for their vehicle. One of the choices is ‘hybrid.’ Once buyers make this selection, only the available hybrids will appear in the search. Shoppers can sort their results by price or other preferences, too.
Carzing also lets buyers get pre-qualified for financing. Getting pre-qualified won’t impact an individual’s credit score, but it can help them understand the financing options for which they might qualify. Find the best loan that fits the monthly payment budget and print out a voucher to present to a participating dealership.
With Carzing, buyers can find the car they want at the price they need without leaving home or visiting the dealership.