If you’re looking to buy a used car in NZ, there are heaps of options to choose from and lots to think about. One of the main considerations is what you want your car to run on—fuel, electricity, or a mix of both. Electric vehicles have come into the mainstream, offering a range of benefits to you and the environment. Whether you want to go 100% pure electric, or make the most of the great hybrid systems out there, we’ve compiled a list of important factors to help you figure out whether petrol or electric will work best for you.

Environmental Impact

When it comes to environmental benefits, electric vehicles come out on top by a mile. They create 80% fewer CO2 emissions compared to petrol cars, making them a great option if you are looking for ways to do your bit for the planet. Another win; 80% of NZ’s electricity comes from renewable sources, so charging your electric car is no issue. If a pure electric vehicle isn’t an option, a hybrid is still a good way to reduce your carbon footprint, as they have both electric and fuel engines under the hood that the car switches between as you drive, significantly reducing emissions.

Purchase Price

When looking for your next car, price will no doubt be a factor. Petrol cars are generally more affordable than electric, as they have less complicated technology. If you have a tight budget but your heart is set on electric, why not look at used car options? Used hybrid cars come in a range of prices, and could be the perfect way to get an electric car within your budget.

Running cost

Fuel vs Power

In terms of keeping your car running, pure electric is the cheapest option, especially if you have an off-peak power plan, and can charge overnight. Hybrids will still save you a bit of cash as they need less petrol, especially if you’re a city dweller making relatively small trips, as this will make the best use of your electric engine. Petrol cars will hit your wallet the hardest of the three, so spending more on an electric vehicle or hybrid initially might be worth it in the long run.


If fear of massive maintenance bills is stopping you from going electric then fear not, as they require significantly less work than combustion engines. This is because they have much fewer moving parts to service. However, if your electric vehicle does break down and need parts, this may be more expensive to deal with than a regular petrol car, as parts are harder to source. Hybrids have similar general maintenance costs to petrol cars, as they still share a lot of similarities.


Electric and hybrid vehicles go hand-in-hand with city living. An electric vehicle will handle your commute to work easily, and won’t create carbon emissions while you sit in traffic. A hybrid thrives off the stops and starts that come with driving in town, as most hybrid engine batteries recharge themselves when the car decelerates and brakes. While you can’t go much more than 200km in one trip with many electric cars, a hybrid can handle this without a problem, as the petrol engine is there ready to do the hard yards. If you have a long commute, or do a lot of driving on the open road, then a petrol car will be a reliable choice, since you won’t have to stop and charge.

Find the car that suits you at MotorCo

Convinced that a hybrid car is the best way to go? Or keen to stick with classic petrol vehicles? Whatever you decide, MotorCo has a range of options to suit your needs with a huge selection of quality European and Japanese import cars. Talk to us today to find out more.