What is a plug-in hybrid car?

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is quite simply a hybrid car you can 'plug in', meaning the battery can be charged from an electric outlet including your ‘normal’ plug sockets at home.

Plug-in hybrids can travel further using only electric power than conventional hybrids, although not as far as pure electric cars (Battery Electric Vehicle or BEVs).

Most PHEVs have an electric-only range of around 30 miles.

Plug-in hybrids are a great option for those of us who can charge the car at home or work and have a commute of 30 miles or less.

Being able to run your car primarily on ‘electric mode’ will save you money (you’ll be using very little petrol) and is of course good for the environment.

Are hybrids popular?

Here at OVL Group we are seeing more and more customers opting to lease hybrid cars. No doubt encouraged by the increasing range available (view our offers on hybrid cars here) and the desire to go green.

Of course the Government’s 2017 announcement that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040 has spurred further interest in leasing a hybrid.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that despite a year-on-year fall of almost 7% in new UK car registrations in 2018, hybrid cars still managed to post a strong growth in sales last year.

Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles were up 24.9% on 2017 figures (with total sales of 44,437), with petrol-electric hybrid new car registrations up 21.3% year-on-year to 81,156.

There wasn’t such strong demand for diesel-electric hybrid, though, with registrations plummeting to just 167 in 2018, a year-on-year drop of 78.3%.

Hybrid vehicles account for a relatively small overall percentage of new car registrations (5.3% in 2018), although as more manufacturers launch hybrid options, this figure is more than likely to rise.

Are hybrids cheaper to run?

One of the main benefits of a hybrid car is greater fuel economy with hybrids using up to 30% less fuel per mile than conventional fuel-powered vehicles.

If you have regular access to charging facilities and most of your journeys are less than 30 miles, a plug-in hybrid could cut your fuel costs significantly as a great deal of your driving will be via electricity only.

However, be aware that when their batteries run out of electricity on longer journeys PHEVs essentially become heavy petrol cars that will return poor fuel efficiency.

This means if you spend a lot of time on the road, particularly driving at high speeds, a hybrid may not be the right choice for you and it could be cheaper and more energy efficient to choose a clean diesel or petrol engine instead.

Are there any tax benefits?

Yes! Hybrid vehicles tend to emit less CO2 and are subject to lower tax bands.

Please contact us for expert advice about the tax benefits of ultra low emission vehicles.

Plug-in Car Deals

Electric and Hybrid Car Leasing Jargon Buster

Electric and hybrid vehicles are more popular than ever with alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) now commonly seen on the UK roads.

You can take a look at our latest plug-in hybrid car leasing deals and of course our team are on hand to answer any questions you may have about leasing an electric, hybrid or PHEV car, but in the meantime, here’s a bit of a jargon buster!

AFV - alternatively fuelled vehicle

An AFV is any car that doesn’t exclusively use a conventional petrol or diesel engine.

EV - electric vehicle

This term is used for cars that run solely on electricity.

Hybrid vehicle

A vehicle that is powered by both a fuel engine and an electric motor. Many hybrids will switch between the two ‘modes’ when driving conditions are best suited to that particular form of power.

PHEV - Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

A type of hybrid car with a particularly good range of electric power thanks to a large propulsion battery.


The distance any given electric vehicle can travel, from full charge, before it would run out and require charging again.

Range extender

A car with a range extender runs on electricity but has a small petrol or diesel engine that is used to produce electricity to recharge the batteries and extend the car's range. The petrol/diesel engine does not power the wheels.

Wallbox or home charger

If you lease an electric car, you can get a home charging station installed. These come in either slow 3kW or faster 7kW and 22kW forms.

Public chargers

There are currently about 17,000 public charging points in the UK, and this number is growing. It is now a legal requirement for all large petrol stations and motorway services to provide charging points.

80% charge

Manufacturers often quote a charging time to 80%, rather than 100% or fully charged. This is because not fully charging each time extends the life of the battery, so is recommended, and also because the last 20% takes longer to complete relative to the first 80%.

Green Car Leasing Questions

If you have any other questions about electric car leasing or leasing a hybrid car please contact us.