It’s no secret that hybrid vehicles cost more than their gas-only counterparts. Unfortunately, the price of a shiny new eco-friendly, fuel saving green machine is more than many can afford. Combine that expense with the fact that gas prices are fast approaching $4 per gallon, and you’ve got a lot of people searching for used hybrid cars.
The good news is a high quality, pre-owned hybrid car can still be found if you know where to look. This series of articles will review several resources that will get you off on the right foot. Some are fairly obvious, but often overlooked (i.e. local classifieds, local car dealer websites). Others you might never have considered (i.e. Craigslist.org). If you have a specific pre-owned hybrid auto in mind, sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to locate it.
One of my favorite places to search for used hybrid cars is on eBay Motors. In fact, I’ve purchased my last 4 vehicles there, including my current Highlander. If you’ve never tried it, the following link will take you to the starting page for finding a used hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle on eBay Motors.
You have to be careful when you shop for any used car, and that really holds true online and on eBay, where in most cases you won’t have an opportunity to see or drive the car your bidding on. There will be times when you will find a car on this online auction site, and the price will seem almost too good to be true. In most cases, there are reasons why some used cars are thousands below similar ones. Often, these are cars with salvage titles, where the extent of prior damage reached a point that a clean/clear title could no longer be issued.
As an example, I just viewed a 2007 Prius with under 10,000 miles, GPS, navigation, BluTooth, Xenon lights, a back up camera – and an incredible Buy It Now price of only $18,000. Guess what? Yep, a salvage title. There are lots of great cars on eBay Motors…but you have to read descriptions carefully and always contact the seller before bidding if you have any questions.
When I search for hybrid cars on eBay, I try to include the negative keyword “salvage” to make sure it is not listed in the title or description of the vehicle. This can sometimes have the opposite effect, for example if the seller writes, “this vehicle has a clean title…not a salvage title.”. For the most part though, it simply removes the hybrid cars that have received significant damage in an accident. Even though these cars may have been fully repaired, I prefer to buy mine with a clean title.