What is a Hybrid Car?

A hybrid vehicle is one that uses a combination of a traditional internal combustion engine and electric motors to power the vehicle.

With the government putting in place a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 many people who are looking for their next vehicle are considering hybrid as a stepping stone towards a fully electric model before this ban, which also includes hybrids, comes into place. This is because a hybrid offers some of the benefits and driving experience of an electric car, but because of the combustion engine you do not have the charging and range concerns that a fully electric model has.

Types of Hybrid

There are a number of different types of hybrid systems used by car and van manufacturers but the three main types you’ll find in the UK are plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), full hybrids (HEVs) sometimes known as self-charging hybrids and mild hybrids (MHEVs).

A PHEV requires you to charge the vehicle in order for the electric component to work and so when looking at which type of hybrid is the right choice for you then you’ll need to consider how you will charge a PHEV. We’ve got a more detailed section on charging below but wanted to highlight that this is an important factor when deciding on the right type of vehicle for you. Most PHEVs have a fully electric mode and then switch to the combustion engine when they reach the end of the electric mileage range.

The electric range on a PHEV is usually between 20 and 30 miles so if you only do short journeys and are regularly able to charge your vehicle then you could use a PHEV almost entirely on its electric range.

The battery in a HEV is charged when the vehicle is in use by the combustion engine and through regenerative braking which captures released energy. This means that unlike a PHEV you will not need to factor in charging if you opt for a HEV. The fully electric range of a HEV is usually lower than a similar PHEV, allowing you to travel a short distance or only at lower speeds using the electric motor before switching to the combustion engine.

An MHEV is a type of hybrid that does not need charging like a PHEV and uses simpler and cheaper technology than a traditional HEV design. In a MHEV the vehicle does not have a fully electric mode, instead it is designed to give the combustion engine a boost under heavy acceleration and from a standing start, as well as utilising stop-start technology. MHEVs do not save as much fuel as a conventional hybrid, and because they do not have a fully electric mode they also don’t qualify for a lot of the incentives in place for electric vehicles.

As MHEV technology is easier and cheaper to integrate into a conventional vehicle design this is often reflected in the price for you to lease or purchase. It also means that we are seeing a lot more new vehicles utilising this technology even if they aren’t available in a PHEV or HEV option.

If you want to see what hybrid and fully electric vehicles are available at the minute then take a look at our electric offers.

Charging a Hybrid Vehicle

If you opt for a PHEV then you’ll need to consider how you are going to charge the vehicle in order to get the best out of your car.

There are different types of connectors for charging and these vary between vehicle models and power rating of the charging point.

Most vehicles have a type one or type two connector for slow and fast charging and either a CHAdeMO or CCS for DC rapid charging.

Slow, fast and rapid are the three speeds of charging available on the UK’s charging network and you can find out more information on each of these on our guide to electric vehicles. 

The time it takes for a vehicle to charge can vary because of the type of charging station, how much power the station can provide and how much power the vehicle can accept. When you’re looking at hybrid cars the manufacturer will advise on the charging times and if you’re looking at leasing one of our Leasing Consultants will be able to confirm this for you as well before you make any decisions.

There is an entire network of public chargers around the UK, at a variety of locations including car parks at supermarkets, shopping centres and motorway service stations. Some Local Authorities are also putting in place public charging units on streets for residents to use where home charging units might not be possible.

You can take a look at all available chargers across the UK here on carwow’s interactive map.


Many electric and PHEV owners also explore having a charging unit installed at home for overnight charging.

A home charging unit might not always be possible if the property does not have off-road parking or it is a rented property and you do not have permission for one to be installed.

Want to know more or arrange a home charging unit? Just give us a call on 0330 221 0000 and one of our Leasing Consultants will be happy to help.

Why Choose a Hybrid Car?

There are a number of reasons you might choose a hybrid car, and these include:

  • They’re a greener alternative to a petrol or diesel vehicle without committing to a fully electric model so less of an adjustment for you to make.
  • If you opt for a HEV you will not need to worry about charging the vehicle.
  • Hybrids produce fewer emissions than those with traditional combustion engines so are slightly better for the environment.
  • Unlike pure electric vehicles, you will not have range anxiety or as extreme worries about charging as once the electric battery runs out they will switch to using the combustion engine.
  • There are some tax incentives including lower Benefit in Kind (BIK) rates due to their lower CO2 emissions.

Is a Hybrid Right for You?

There are a number of factors you’ll need to consider when deciding if a hybrid car is the right choice for your next vehicle.

Although hybrids typically use less fuel they still require petrol or diesel so you’ll also need to consider your fuel consumption and the cost of this when budgeting for the vehicle.

If you opt for a PHEV then you will need to consider how you will charge it and if the considerations mentioned above will realistically fit into your life.

Servicing and maintenance on a hybrid car will usually be more expensive than those with a traditional combustion engine as they also have the electric motor and components that need to be looked after. If you’re looking at leasing then you might want to consider adding a maintenance package to reduce the financial impact of this. For more information take a look at our guide here.

The electric range on a hybrid is limited and most can only drive a short distance or at low speeds in electric mode before switching over to the combustion engine. So if you are looking for a company car and considering a hybrid because of the electric benefits then you will need to carefully check to ensure the vehicle you choose qualifies.

If you want to discuss whether a hybrid vehicle is suitable for your next company car or are just interested in learning more about whether a hybrid's the best choice for you, then you can speak to one of our helpful Leasing Consultants on 0330 221 0000.

Hybrid or Fully Electric?

A lot of people look at a hybrid as a stepping stone to a fully electric vehicle.

This is especially true for drivers looking at a HEV or vehicle that uses mild-hybrid technology as they are less of an adjustment as you do not have to charge the vehicle.

When deciding whether an electric or hybrid vehicle is the right choice for you a lot of people get concerned about the range that an electric vehicle provides. One question we recommend you ask yourself is how many miles do I drive on average each day.

When you look at this number compared to the electric range you can achieve with most PHEVs you’ll find that this often covers a large portion, if not all, of your daily miles and as it’s a hybrid the rest will be covered by the fuel in your tank when it switches over to the combustion engine.

If the range of a fully electric vehicle and the time it takes to charge is a reason you don’t think that a fully electric is the right option for you at the minute then a hybrid which switches to the petrol or diesel engine once it’s battery is low could be a great choice for you.

A hybrid is also a good choice if you don’t currently have the ability to install a home charging unit or are worried about finding time in your schedule to charge the vehicle using public chargers as you can opt for a HEV or MHEV.

Another consideration to take into account is the financial benefits like lower BIK rates aren’t as high as on a fully electric vehicle, so you’ll want to include this in the financial factors.

If you want to find out more about the benefits of hybrid vehicles you can head to this guide  or if you’ve decided that you want to learn more about fully electric vehicles then take a look at our guide to electric vehicles or the benefits of electric vehicles. 

We’re happy to help with any questions you might have as well, and are always available to talk on 0330 221 0000.

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