The goalposts might have moved when it comes to the complete switch to full EVs, with the date for the end of pure petrol and diesel cars shifted back from 2030 to 2035.

However, the increase of electrification in cars is continuing regardless. You need not go straight to a pure electric right from the offset, though, as a hybrid will help you improve your fuel economy without having to rely on charging points.

The self-charging hybrid is the version that has been around the longest, and they have developed a fair amount since the early examples of the Toyota Prius. Because of this longevity, there are plenty of second hand cars for sale with a hybrid powertrain.

Self-charging hybrids are not changing the car industry by radicalising the way in which cars are driven, or by switching the way we fuel them, but by slowly adjusting a generation of drivers to the idea that electrified motoring is a good thing.

What are the benefits of self-charging hybrids?

Good economy

Take a look at the sales figures for diesel cars in recent years – they have dropped off a cliff and hybrids are part of the reason for that. These days you can rely on a petrol-electric powertrain being able to compete with the diesel equivalent.

Plenty of brands, like Toyota, are even ditching diesel. When its Corolla Touring Sports is capable of getting around 55mpg, you can see why.


A plug-in hybrid features a large battery, and space often has to be found for that. The battery in a self-charging hybrid isn’t as big, which means that many of them can still provide the practical experience that a family needs. This means that the Honda Jazz can still offer its clever folding rear seats that give a huge amount of space when tucked away.

At home around town

A boost of electric motoring is best at lower speeds and when you are in an urban area. An electric motor is able to give you more of a punch of power when you set off, and it does so quieter than an engine. A self-charging hybrid’s electric-only range might be small, but most of them allow you to save the battery so you can use it when you are driving around town.

Tried and tested

Self-hybrid tech is not a new thing. The second generation of Toyota Prius – the first that sold in big numbers in the UK – was launched in 2003. This means it’s far from new and untested tech, which bodes well for buyers. It also promises great things for the future of electric vehicles, as all this learning has helped manufacturers refine their battery-only cars.

Long journey ability

A good hybrid, like the Honda Civic, will happily take on long motorway journeys without a second thought these days. The hybrid tech isn’t as useful at faster speeds, but it still provides a bit of a boost to the petrol engine and helps keep fuel economy in check.

The only slight factor is that their fuel tanks can be a little smaller so if you are a regular long-distance driver then you might find yourself spending a little longer at filling stations than you would in a diesel, say.

Value for money

Plug-in tech is still comparatively expensive, so self-charging hybrids are often a bit cheaper than their PHEV equivalents. Also, the amount of space needed for plug-in hybrid batteries and motors means that it is harder to fit it all into a smaller car – larger cars are also more expensive cars. The net result is that you can get a smaller, cheaper car if you go for a self-charging hybrid.