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How to Buy a Hybrid Hatchback

side of blue hatchback

A hybrid hatchback offers some of the advantages of a crossover Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), which combines features of an SUV with features from a passenger vehicle, in a smaller and more nimble package. The hybrid hatchback's fuel efficiency and many features make it a great option for drivers looking to save on fuel but still retain the luxuries they desire. By following some simple steps, you can buy a hybrid hatchback in no time.

Part 1 of 5: Decide on the hybrid hatchback you want

The first thing you need to do when buying a hybrid hatchback is decide on the type you want. Some of the most common differences between the various hybrid hatchbacks are:

  • Vehicle size
  • Price
  • Fuel economy
  • Safety
  • And other features, ranging from automatic climate control to a navigations system

Step 1: Consider hybrid hatchback size: Hybrid hatchbacks came in a wide range of sizes, ranging from smaller, compact two-seaters to larger eight-passenger SUVs.

When choosing a hybrid hatchback by size, keep in mind how many passengers you must accommodate.

price ranges of hybrid hatchbacks

Step 2: Assess hybrid hatchback price: The price of hybrids are higher than for more conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

When looking at price, you also need to consider how much the vehicle can save you in fuel costs in the long run.

alternative fuels data chart
Image: Alternative Fuels Data Center
  • Tip: Keep in mind that newer hybrid hatchbacks qualify for federal and state tax credits. The Alternative Fuels Data Center lists the incentives offered by state.

Step 3: Check hybrid hatchback fuel economy: Most hybrid hatchbacks get great fuel mileage.

Fuel mileage can range in the area of 35 MPG combined city and highway for models on the lower end of the scale and over 40 MPG combined city and highway for top-end models.

Step 4: Assess hybrid hatchback safety: Hybrid hatchbacks boast a variety of safety features.

Some of the more common safety features include antilock brakes, side and curtain airbags, and stability control.

Other features include a rearview camera, blind-spot intrusion, and impending collision technology.

Step 5: Look into hybrid hatchback features: Many hybrid hatchbacks include a bevy of popular features, including automatic climate control, heated seats, navigations systems, and Bluetooth capability.

You should also pay attention to the different seating configurations offered, as this affects the overall cargo space and seating capacity.

Part 2 of 5: Decide on a budget

Deciding which hybrid hatchback you want to purchase is only part of the process. You need to keep in mind how much you can spend. Luckily, newer models of hybrids are more affordable than they used to be.

Step 1: Decide if you want new versus used: The price difference between a new or used hybrid hatchback can be significant.

Another option is to purchase a certified used car. Certified used cars have been inspected and even come with extended warranties, but at a much reduced price when compared to a new hybrid hatchback.

Step 2: Keep in mind other fees: Make sure to factor in other fees such as registration, sales tax, and any finance charges.

The amount of sales tax varies by state. Factory Warranty List offers a helpful list of the tax rate for vehicles by state.

Part 3 of 5: Check out the fair market value

After determining how much you can afford to spend when purchasing a hybrid hatchback, it's time to look up the fair market value of the hybrid hatchback you want to buy. You should also compare what the various dealerships in your area are asking for the model you want to purchase.

KBB hatchback price guide
Image: Kelley Blue Book

Step 1: Find the fair market value: Check out the fair market value of the hybrid hatchback you are interested in.

Some common sites where you can find the fair market value of a vehicle include Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, and AutoTrader.com.

Step 2: Compare dealership prices: You should also check out the various car dealerships in your area and see what they are asking for the hybrid hatchback you are interested in.

You can check in the classified ads of your local paper, in local car sales magazines, and at the car lot itself to find prices.

More often than not, you will find a range of prices on many of the used vehicles that are available.

As far as new vehicles are concerned, they should have a consistent price at the dealership.

Part 4 of 5: Inspect vehicles, and take them for a test drive

Next, pick a few vehicles that you are really interested in. Plan to test drive them all on the same day, if possible, to see how they all run in comparison to each other. You should also have the ones that really stand out to you checked out by a mechanic.

Step 1: Inspect the hybrid hatchback: Inspect the outside of the hybrid hatchback, looking for any damage on the body of the vehicle.

Pay attention to the tires, looking for worn tread.

person leaning in inspecting the interior

Step 2: Inspect the interior: When inspecting the interior, look for any extraordinary wear.

Check out the seats to make sure that they still work properly.

Turn the vehicle on and make sure that all of the electrical devices and switches work properly.

  • Tip: You should also bring along a friend who can help you when checking the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals.

Step 3: Take the hybrid hatchback for a test drive: Take the vehicle for a spin, checking it for road worthiness, including making sure the alignment is good.

Drive the vehicle in similar circumstances that you expect to drive in on a daily basis. If you encounter a lot of freeway driving, then take it on the freeway. If you drive up and down hills, test out those conditions as well.

While out on your test drive, have one of our trusted mechanics meet you to check out the engine and other systems to see if everything is in proper working order.

Part 5 of 5: Negotiate, acquire financing, and finalize paperwork

Once you have settled on the vehicle you want, it is time to negotiate with the seller. Taking what you know about the vehicle's fair market value, what others are seeking for the same vehicle in your area, and any problems that the mechanic found with the vehicle, you can now try to get the seller to lower the price of the vehicle.

Step 1: Make an initial offer: After the salesperson has made their spiel, make your offer.

Don't let the salesperson bog you down with numbers. Just remember, you know how much the vehicle is worth and how much others are asking for it. Use that to your advantage.

Be prepared to walk away if they won't give you the price you want. Also, keep in mind that in the long run, a few hundred dollars won't make a difference.

  • Tip: If you have a trade-in, wait until you have settled on a price before offering it. Otherwise, the salesperson will try to work the numbers to take the trade-in into account while still making their desired profit.

Step 2: Acquire financing: The next step, after you have agreed to a price, is to get financing.

Usually, financing is sought through a bank, credit union, or the dealership.

An easy way to lower your overall monthly payment is to pay a larger down payment. So, keep that in mind if the price seems a little out of your budget range.

You should consider getting an extended warranty with a used hybrid hatchback to help protect your investment.

  • Tip: If possible, get pre-approved for financing. This way, you know exactly what you can afford and won't waste your time looking at vehicles that are out of your price range.

Step 3: Sign the necessary paperwork: The last step, after finding financing, is to sign all of the necessary paperwork.

You must also pay any appropriate taxes and fees, as well as register the vehicle.

A hybrid hatchback can give you the fuel savings that a hybrid vehicle offers while giving you the ability to reconfigure the vehicle to haul more cargo. When purchasing a hybrid hatchback, keep in mind the number of people you plan on carrying on a regular basis. Also, while performing your test drive, have one of our expert mechanics meet you and perform a pre-purchase car inspection to make sure the vehicle is running well and doesn't have any unforeseen mechanical issues..

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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