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I do mostly short journeys and tow a few times per year - would it be wise to trade in my diesel car for a plug-in hybrid?

My current car is a four year old Citroen C4 Picasso 1.6 HDI with 33,000 miles on the clock. I tow a small caravan (700kg) several times per year on long journeys, but my regular usage is short trips of 20 miles or less, with one longer journey per month. Firstly, am I wise to get rid of the diesel now? Secondly, would a plug-in hybrid be a sensible buy? I would often be able to charge it from solar panels. If so, do you have any suggestions for a budget of £30,000 - £40,000?

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Values of small diesels have already fallen an extra five per cent this year and will continue to fall as the car gets older and the prospect of expensive repairs looms ever closer. I have never heard of charging a plug in hybrid from solar panels except the optional ones in the roof of a Prius PHEV, but at London sunshine rates that only gives about 400 miles a year. I rate Prius very highly because Toyota has the most experience of hybrids and somehow they have managed to make the Prius steer better than any other car in its class. That said, another reader has been very impressed with the performance of his BMW 330e.

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