Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are a popular model for premium brands, which can often make these cars quite expensive to buy.
It’s true that if you were looking to buy a new PHEV, there are few available for less than £30,000. They also tend to hold their value, which helps to keep prices high.
However, as they’ve been around for almost 10 years the prices are starting to drop, with a variety of options available for under £15,000.
Let’s take a look at five great options for that budget.
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen’s GTE plug-in hybrid models have proven popular in the line-up – especially with company car drivers. The Golf GTE is better to drive than plenty of PHEVs, while the 31-mile electric range makes it very cheap to run.
The GTE is based on the seventh-generation Golf, which still has a high-quality cabin even by today’s standards. A facelift model arrived in 2017, but a £15,000 budget will limit you to the earlier model, which went on sale in 2015. It’s worth noting that the same 201bhp powertrain features in the Audi A3 e-tron, which is available for a similar price.
BMW 330e iPerformance
The BMW 3 Series has long been a popular company car, and the introduction of the plug-in hybrid 330e in 2016 only added to its appeal. Available as a four-door saloon originally, it’s a model that’s now surprisingly popular, with versions available from as little as £10,500.
A 25-mile electric range is not quite as lengthy as rivals, but is fine if you have a short commute and can charge the batteries regularly. The 330e is great to drive, and has a high-quality interior.
Toyota Prius Plug-In
The Toyota Prius was the car that helped kickstart the movement towards hybrid models, with this forward-thinking model launching in 1997 as a traditional hybrid. But in 2012, alongside the regular Prius, which remains a best-seller, Toyota launched a plug-in hybrid version.
It’s a model that’s best for those doing short urban journeys, as it has a modest 15.5-mile electric range. Models have held their value exceptionally well, though, with a 2012 version with around 100,000 miles on the clock still worth £10,000. This budget will limit you to the first-generation model.
Volvo V60 D5/D6 Twin Hybrid
The vast majority of manufacturers choose to use petrol engines in their hybrids, with the few firms that have had diesel-electric plug-in models including Audi, Volvo and Mercedes. This option does make sense, as diesel engines are much more efficient than petrol when the electricity runs out.
Volvo was one of the first, launching a diesel plug-in version of its V60 Estate in 2013 – the D5 and D6 Twin Engine models. Capable of travelling 30 miles on electricity, the model can return a claimed fuel economy figure of 156.9mpg. A high list price meant few made the plunge when new, meaning it’s quite a rare find – though it’s still possible to find used examples with a bit of digging. A 31-mile electric range is promised.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
If you’re looking for a new plug-in hybrid SUV, there’s no end of models to choose from. But if you’re looking for an affordable used model in this sector, one of your best options is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, a model that was the UK’s most popular plug-in model for some years.
Thanks to its popularity, there are plenty to choose from, with prices starting from as little as £9,000 on the used market. It comes well-equipped, too, and is a great family car thanks to its spacious interior. It can travel for up to 35 miles on electricity – allowing for a 141mpg fuel economy figure, and CO2 emissions of just 40g/km.