Demand for hybrid, electric and fuel-efficient cars rises amid price hikes

The used car market has skyrocketed over the past year and it doesn’t look like it’s going down anytime soon. A recent study by iSeeCars shows used car prices are up 35% year-on-year as the shortage of microchips continues to impact the automotive industry. However, despite the crazy price hikes in the recent market, the demand for hybrid, electric and fuel-efficient cars has also increased.

Hybrid and fuel-efficient cars have suffered the biggest price increases

2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid | hyundai

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The folks at iSeeCars analyzed 1.8 million car sales and came up with a list of the top 10 used cars with the biggest price increases. Unsurprisingly, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid tops the list with a 61.2% year-over-year price increase in the month of February. Although not a hybrid car, the Chevrolet Spark trails the Sonata with a 54.5% year-over-year increase and the Nissan Leaf trails this car with a 54% increase. 3%.

The only other electric car on the list is a Tesla Model S, which has seen a 47.4% increase over the past year. According to Karl Brauer, executive analyst for ISeeCars, “Hybrid cars are in demand right now due to soaring gas prices, with the hybrid category as a whole increasing by 47%.”

Otherwise, the list is very heavy for Kia with the inclusion of the Forte, Rio and Soul, all of which have seen their prices increase by around 50% year-on-year. However, perhaps the most surprising car on the list is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, which saw a 52.1% increase due to an increase in demand over the past year.

“The wait for a new version of the Mercedes G-Class is over a year, so buyers who want this opulent off-roader are looking to the used-car market,” Brauer said.

There is a surge in demand for hybrid and electric cars due to gasoline prices

A petrol pump fueling a car

Fuel pump | Getty Images

It’s no secret that the main culprit for the increase in hybrid and electric cars is mainly due to soaring gasoline prices. The current national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $4.24, but you can expect to pay closer to $6 for a gallon in some states like California. As such, it’s no surprise that the data presented by iSeeCars also shows a marked increase in the prices of hybrid and electric cars on the used market.

“Rising gasoline prices have led to a surge in demand for hybrid and electric vehicles,” Brauer noted. According to the data, prices for hybrid vehicles have increased by 47%, while the cost of electric cars has increased by 43% over the past year. By comparison, the average price of a non-hybrid or electric vehicle has increased by 34%.

Is it the right time to buy a hybrid or electric car?

EV charging;  electric vehicle charging

Nissan Leaf EV charging at a charging station. | Smith/Gado/Getty Images Collection

Technically speaking, no. Since the prices of used cars, in general, are constantly rising, it is better to wait to buy a used hybrid or electric car now. However, the cost of fuel is also on the rise, so many Americans may be looking to ditch their gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks for their gas-guzzling counterparts. In that case, buy a hybrid or electric car if it suits your needs better, but be sure to do all your price research before doing so.

RELATED: Used Car Prices Are About To Drop, But When?

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