Top Used Plug-In Hybrids for Under $25,000

Save Big on Your Next Car Purchase with Up to 48 Miles of Electric Range and up to $4,000 in Tax Credits!

5 min read

By Jia Li • January 29, 2024

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Are you in the market for a used car and looking to take advantage of the federal Plug-In-Hybrid Tax Credit? Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) priced between $15,000 and $25,000 could be your ticket to saving big on your next vehicle purchase. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the best used PHEVs that not only help you reduce your carbon footprint but also qualify for the Plug-In-Hybrid Tax Credit of up to $4,000, even as used vehicles.

Why Choose a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)?

PHEVs offer the perfect compromise for buyers who want to benefit from the federal tax credit but aren’t ready to make the leap to a full electric vehicle (EV). These vehicles combine the advantages of electric driving with the flexibility of a gasoline engine, making them an excellent choice for eco-conscious buyers. Plus, PHEVs now qualify for the tax credit, making them even more appealing.

Understanding Tax Credit Guidelines

To ensure you qualify for the Plug-In-Hybrid Tax Credit, it’s essential to keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Model Year: The used PHEV you choose must be from the 2022 model year or older.
  • Price: The price of the PHEV should fall below the $25,000 cap.
  • Seller: The vehicle must be sold by a dealership, not a private seller.

Top Picks

To simplify your exploration of the world of used PHEVs, we’ve carefully curated a selection of three recommended models at different price points, all eligible for the full tax credit. Let’s dive into the details:

2016–2018 BMW X5 xDrive40e

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  • This BMW harmoniously blends luxury and efficiency.
  • Features a 14-mile electric-only range and impressive performance.
  • Well-equipped examples with 40,000 to 80,000 miles available.

2017–2021 Toyota Prius Prime

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  • Renowned for its efficiency and reliability.
  • Offers an EPA-estimated 25 miles of electric-only range.
  • Affordable options with fewer than 30,000 miles on the odometer.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

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  • Mitsubishi’s pioneering plug-in hybrid SUV.
  • Equipped with fast-charging capabilities and a 24-mile electric-only range.
  • Two-year-old models with 25,000 to 50,000 miles available.

2014–2016 Cadillac ELR

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  • A unique PHEV coupe with distinctive styling.
  • Improved suspension, brakes, and performance in 2016 models.
  • Some available with only 50,000 miles on the clock.

2017–2018 BMW 330e iPerformance

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  • A sporty plug-in hybrid offering from BMW.
  • Provides a 14-mile electric-only range.
  • Delivers spirited driving dynamics and handling.

2018–2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

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  • A futuristic Honda with a spacious interior.
  • Boasts an EPA-estimated 48 miles of electric-only range.
  • Early model years available at or below $20,000.

2016–2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

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  • Audi’s efficient four-door hatchback.
  • Offers respectable acceleration and a 17-mile electric-only range.
  • Many options in the $25,000 range with 60,000 to 80,000 miles.

2014–2018 Chevrolet Volt

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  • The groundbreaking plug-in hybrid renowned for its impressive range.
  • Low-mileage first-generation or higher-mileage second-generation options available.
  • Known for being fun to drive and easy to recharge.

2014–2019 Ford Fusion Energi

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A stylish mid-size sedan with electric capability.Provides a 20-mile electric-only range and nearly 40 mpg on gasoline.Final model years (2017–2019) with improved EPA ratings.

Used PHEVs vs. Hybrids: Advantages & Considerations

  1. Fuel Efficiency: PHEVs excel in fuel efficiency. They’re perfect for short trips, reducing gasoline usage and your fuel expenses compared to regular hybrids.
  2. Environmental Impact: Slash your carbon footprint with PHEVs. They emit fewer pollutants than gas-powered cars and even traditional hybrids, promoting cleaner air and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Tax Incentives: Opting for a used PHEV can lead to substantial savings, thanks to the Plug-In-Hybrid Tax Credit, making them budget-friendly.
  4. Electric-Only Driving: PHEVs offer electric-only modes for short journeys, ideal for daily commutes, further curbing fuel costs.
  5. Lower Operating Costs: Charging a PHEV costs less than filling up on gasoline, providing convenience and cost savings.
  6. Reduced Maintenance: PHEVs use regenerative braking, reducing brake wear. Less stress on the engine and transmission translates to lower maintenance expenses.
  7. Flexible Charging: Charge your PHEV at home or dedicated stations, offering convenience wherever you are.
  8. Zero-Emission Driving: In electric mode, PHEVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, perfect for eco-conscious areas.
  9. Resale Value: PHEVs retain their value well, making them a wise long-term investment.

Consider charging access, driving patterns, and budget. Opt for a used PHEV for short commutes, lower emissions, and tax incentives with regular charging. If long-distance driving prevails and charging options are scarce, a traditional hybrid may be more practical.Evaluate your needs and priorities to determine which option aligns best with your lifestyle and values.


Unlock the benefits of owning a PHEV and enjoy substantial savings with the Plug-In-Hybrid Tax Credit. We suggest reviewing the tax credit guidelines and exploring our high-quality PHEV selection to find the perfect match for your budget and preferences. Happy car shopping, and may you discover the ideal PHEV to enhance your driving experience while contributing to a greener environment!

Posted by Jia Li

Categories: Buyer’s Guide

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