Which type of hybrid car should you buy?

type of hybrid car should you buy

The popularity of hybrid cars is on the rise and more drivers are looking to adopt an eco-friendlier vehicle as of late. For many, the environment and our personal impact is at the forefront of our minds. Driving an eco-friendly car such as a hybrid is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and become less reliant on fuel powered vehicles. They can also be a good steppingstone towards going fully electric if you’re not quite ready yet! However, there isn’t just one type of hybrid car to get and there are three main types of hybrids to choose from. The guide below looks at each in more detail and helps you to decide which is right for your circumstances.

How do hybrid cars work?

Hybrid cars have been around for a number of years now and if you’re not familiar with how they work, they’re really impressive! A hybrid car still relies heavily on a petrol or diesel engine, but it’s also accompanied by a small electric motor too. The electric motor is powered by electric batteries which can be recharged. Depending on the type of hybrid you choose, the electric motor will work in different ways.

Full hybrid car.

A full hybrid car can use its electric motor to assist the engine to give it a boost or can be used on its own. When used on its own, the electric motor holds a small electric range and can drive purely on electric power alone. The batteries in the electric motor can be recharged whilst driving through regenerative braking by converting kinetic energy into electric energy. You can refuel your hybrid car as normal with petrol or diesel and there’s no need to worry about running out of electric range as the combustion engine will kick in instead.

Mild hybrid car.

A mild hybrid car can’t use its electric engine independently like a full hybrid can. Instead the electric motor is attached to the engine and is there to assist with your driving whilst accelerating. Just like full hybrids though, a mild hybrid can recharge it’s electric motor by regenerative braking and is used to provide a smoother performance whilst driving. Mild hybrids tend to be the cheapest hybrid to buy, so they’re great if you want to keep costs low.

Plug-in hybrid car.

When it comes to hybrids, the plug-in hybrid range is the top tier. They can use their electric motor both simultaneously and independently just like a full hybrid, but they tend to have bigger batteries with more power. They aren’t recharged by regenerative braking and instead can be plugged in just like a full EV. They can provide around 30-50 miles, based on the model you choose, of all electric driving which means if you drive within this range, you can benefit from a full EV without the higher price tag. Plug in hybrids do tend to be more expensive than mild and full hybrids though.

How to choose which is right for you?

It can be hard to know which type of hybrid would fit in with your lifestyle, but we essentially think it comes down your budget and your driving habits.


We’re not blind to the fact that hybrid cars can cost more to buy than their petrol or diesel counterpart. However, hybrid cars have been around for a while now and there are many used hybrid finance deals you can use to help spread the cost of ownership if you’re eligible. To put it simply though, mild hybrids the to be cheapest and then full hybrid and plug in hybrids being towards the more expensive end of the scale. Many plug-in hybrid drivers do argue that the lower running costs of using your electric motor independently can outweigh the initial purchase price though.

Driving style.

How far you drive and your accessibility to a charging point can determine which type of hybrid car you would be most suited too. If a charging point can’t be installed at your home, you’re worried about how energy efficient charging will be, or you don’t have access to one near you, a full or mild hybrid can be best. If you typically drive short trips around town, a plug-in hybrid can be the most effective as you can use the electric motor on its own and benefit from emission free driving all the time – just don’t forget to recharge it! Mild and full hybrids tend to work the most like traditional combustion engine cars and can provide more power when driving on motorways and longer journeys.

Timothy Pourner
Timothy Pourner
Timothy is a DIY enthusiast and home decorator who loves sharing tricks and tips to make your home look its best. From planting flowers to painting walls, he's got you covered. But don't just take his word for it - check out his blog and see for yourself what makes him such an innovative and exciting homemaker.

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