RAC Cars News


Feeling Electric – the smarter used car choice

By raccars Published

Nissan Leaf

With petrol prices set to rise, is it the time to go electric?

Petrol prices are back in the news – the falling value of the pound plus the fact that oil is priced in US dollars means that we should expect up to 5p a litre on top of the price of fuel by the end of the month.

The case for buying an Electric car was once just about the environmental benefits. However an increasing number of people are choosing them for simple fuel efficiency – and the one-time premium of electric cars over their petrol and diesel cousins has largely disappeared in the used car market. Is now the time to be considering an electric alternative on your driveway?

Before we get going, a quick summary of the two main technologies involved:

• Hybrid – basically this is a car with two motors: an electric one to get it going and travel at slow speeds; then (usually) a petrol one for longer journeys that also recharges the electric battery

• Electric – purely battery-driven, which usually means incredible mileage efficiency and also very fast acceleration (due to something called instant torque)

Lots of the mainstream brands – Ford, VW – now offer hybrid or electric options for their regular cars. In addition there are the super-cool (and super expensive) cars made by industry leader Tesla. However as RAC Cars (www.raccars.co.uk) is focussed on used cars we have pulled out the options that have been around for a few years – and with over 3000 electric and hybrid vehicles to chose from you are bound to find the right one for you:


· Prius – you will mostly find these in hatchback form but MPVs are available to. There are some excellent bargains to be had, none more so than this RAC Approved example – view this vehicle 

· Auris – more geared towards those of us that travel lots. The Auris in my opinion has a sense of executive class, particularly the newer models. This excellent estate version is stunning 

· Yaris – The baby of the family but charming in every way. The Yaris is an excellent city roamer or perfect for local travel. I particularly like this example


· CT – as with most Lexus vehicles the CT has an executive feel. The CT offers the perfect blend of hatchback drivability and a sleek interior. This RAC Approved vehicle is particularly nice

· IS – moving up to the saloon range is the IS, a vehicle with over 200 BHP, 0-60 in a little over 8 seconds but still returning over 60 MPG. Not bad going at all. Check out this recently reduced example

· RX – if size, power and grunt is what you are after then the RX delivers this in abundance. This recently reduced RAC Approved example has it all


· Leaf – the Leaf is all electric, no petrol or diesel here. With a range in excess of 120 miles and 4000 charge points across the UK the Leaf is leading the electric charge in the UK. This example with 8400 miles on the clock and under £8,000 should appeal to most

Interesting fact – In 2013, Forest Green Rovers FC chairman, Dale Vince, purchased 11 Nissan Leaf’s for Players commuting to and from games.

Wishing you a week of happy, safe and economical driving

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