2000 Honda Insight MkI

Extremely rare UK market example of this pioneering hybrid; three owners; 80mpg+; legendary Honda reliability; the perfect car for our times?

Honda were well-ahead of the curve in 1999 when they launched the first-generation Insight. World-beating drag-coefficient of 0.25CD? Check. Lightweight aluminium and plastic structure? Check. Hybrid technology giving 80mpg? Check. Knight Rider meets Casio calculator dashboard? Check.

Bristling with technical innovations, the featherweight Insight had a 995cc three-cylinder lean burn petrol engine producing 67bhp. Allied to this was Honda’s ingenious IMA hybrid technology (Integrated Motor Assist), an ultra-thin 10kw electric motor located on the crankshaft which added another 13bhp and 36 lb/ft of torque when called on. It also acted as the starter motor and as a generator during deceleration and braking to recharge the vehicle’s NiMH battery packs.

The Continuously Variable Transmission was equally clever, determining the optimal gearing from an infinite spread of ratios with a computer control module automatically regulating how much power came from the petrol engine and how much from the electric motor. Added together, all these features led to amazing fuel economy, well over 100mpg being readily achievable by owners keen to play the ‘hypermiling’ game. Honda’s legendary reliability came as standard and it is not unusual for these cars to clock up over 200k miles with nothing more than regular servicing.

Expensive to manufacture and expensive to buy, only around 15,000 Insights were made in total from 1999 – 2006 of which only some 70 officially came to the UK with another 180 or so privately imported.
First registered in November 2000, this Insight is a rare UK-supplied model which has only had three owners from new, the second keeping it for 19 years (2002 – 2021). It has covered 139,500 miles to date and although the service book is no longer present, the second owner seems to have kept a detailed log of every mile he did in the car which also records various services, as do a handful of invoices from GP Chatham Honda of Edinburgh. There is also an invoice for an oil filter in September 2021 which is presumably when it last had an oil change.

There are also five old MOTs from 2003 – 2008, while an online MOT check implies that the car was unused between 2016 and 2021. The current MOT runs until August 2022 with just one advisory for worn front brake pads. Driven some 50 miles to the sale, the car has been starting instantly and running beautifully as we have moved it around on site.

Already collectable, the Insight becomes only more relevant as fuel prices (and sea levels) rise. Get one while you can and dare to be different!

For an informative buyer’s guide to the Insight, copy this link and paste it into your browser:


PLEASE NOTE: We have moved this car around on site several times since it arrived and the EML (engine management light) has now come on, as has the IMA warning light. The vendor states that neither of these lights were on during the drive to Brightwells.

For more details on this car contact James on 07970 309907 or email

Reg No: X822XSG
Chassis Number: JHMZE1350YT000034
Engine Number: ECA12000049
Engine Size: 995cc
Docs: V5C; MOT August 2022; five old MOTs; invoices; detailed usage log

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £3,000-3,500

Lot 23

Lot ended

Wednesday 30/03/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

Auction details and terms
  • Put in your highest bid you would be prepared to go to.
  • Bidding at the last moment may leave you disappointed. Any earlier bid is always taken first, so doing this may only push someone else up and prevent you from becoming the highest bidder.
  • No bids can be placed once the time remaining ends, therefore do not delay.