Author Topic: Sell car and switch to Prius?  (Read 1502 times)

Jacobi

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Sell car and switch to Prius?
« on: August 30, 2017, 10:11:44 PM »
Hi folks! I have a paid-off 2011 Volvo C30 with 75k miles on it that I like very much. Routine maintenance is quite expensive on this car, though, and the mileage is not great (I'm getting 23 MPG combined). The other downside is that it's a 2-door car, and I've come to realize that a lot of practicality is lost in not having 4 doors.

Doing some Craigslist research, it seems that I could sell the car for as much as 12k. So, I'm considering selling it and buying a used Prius in the $7-8k range. If I can net $4000 from the switch, use that money to pay down student loans, and come out of it with a less-expensive-to-maintain car, it seems like a good option to me.

Questions:
- Would you do it?
- Is a Prius in that price range going to be a good buy in terms of reliability?
- What's the Prius's safety reputation? I like that my Volvo feels like a tank when I open the doors.
- Have any of you switched to a less expensive car and regretted the decision?

Thinkum

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 10:28:37 PM »

Questions:
- Would you do it?
- Is a Prius in that price range going to be a good buy in terms of reliability?
- What's the Prius's safety reputation? I like that my Volvo feels like a tank when I open the doors.
- Have any of you switched to a less expensive car and regretted the decision?

- I did it already! Used to drive a 4th gen GTI, so I know exactly where you're coming from. I liked the C30, but 2 doors, heavy car, mpg, expensive maintenance were all nonstarters, just like the MKIV GTI.
- You're most likely looking at a 2nd gen Prius which is stout. I have an 06 with lowish miles for it's age. I did replace both batteries last year which was sort of pricey. However, besides that, this car is CHEAP to maintain, seriously. Great mpg, awesome space, and plenty of room for passengers. It has been much more reliable than my old GTI and of course much less expensive to maintain.
- As far as I know, the Prius is a very safe car. I have seen and read some gnarly reports of accidents, but most any car nowadays is safe enough.
- I have never regretted getting this car. Sure it's not as fast or as sporty as the GTI, but I don't care. I went down another rabbit hole that made cars in general, boring. So instead I grew to appreciate the efficiency of the Prius and how much money it saved me.

Good luck.

EarthSurfer

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 02:52:39 AM »
Seems like a great plan! It's also a good experiment to demonstrate to yourself the power of financial planning in all purchases.

Do you live in an area with non-dealer Hybrid repair shops? Dealer service is  insanely expensive, and finding a local shop can help with keeping costs lower when you drive your Hybrid beyond 200,000 miles. These shops will have access to lower cost refurbished and used parts, and may have the ability  to repair a traction battery should there be a problem.

In my state, there are a few costs and benefits to be aware of.

1. Are there any sales taxes or major fees? Auto sales in my star are subject to the sales tax based on the location of the buyer. In Denver, that would be about 8%. Taxes are paid as part of the title & license plate application process.

2. Hopefully you will have a lower license plate cost. Colorado license plate cost includes an ownership tax based on the new sticker price, and decreases over 10 years to $1. (There is about $100 in road & other fees added.) The cost for a new $30,000 vehicle would be about $630 ownership tax plus $100 in fees! You can have the unused portion of a license plate Year applied towards the plate cost for a new vehicle.

3. Consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage when the value of your Prius drops below about $5,000, or the amount you could pay without having to take out a loan. My Ford Escape Hybrid passed this threshold long ago.

4. Consider carrying some form of towing insurance or road service. I have had my Hybrid refuse to run twice. Both cases there would have been substantial towing fees if I didn't have AAA with long distance towing coverage.  If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, it may only be $12/year (Nationwide insurance).  I have had AAA through a sponsored membership. There may be some credit cards that offer coverage, but I am uncertain about the fees and usage requirements.

My Dad loved his Prius, and always marveled at getting 50 MPG at every fill up. I intend to drive my Hybrid Escape until I have a repair that exceeds the value of the vehicle. (I perform most repairs and maintenance.)
Retired early, retired often since 1998...

happy

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 05:47:37 AM »
I had a medium size SUV. My son wrote it off and I changed to a used Prius and have never regretted it. Great fuel economy and if you run it on power mode its pretty lively. There are only 2 downsides to a Prius that I know if
1) if you are 6 foot or taller, your head tends to hit the roof. My 6foot 3 son opens the internal hatch on the sunroof when he gets in mine.
2) its very low to the ground - not much clearance at all.
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

jdotPT

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 07:50:03 AM »
I'm buying a used prius in Oct. in the $12-15k range.

ringer707

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 08:46:42 AM »
Following this. I have a Hyundai Sonata I've recently been thinking about selling and getting a Prius. I've been happy with the Sonata, but the gas mileage on it isn't much better than my husband's Hyundai SUV. I drive a lot so I think the Prius would make sense for me. I've already owned one Toyota previously and drove it to 265k miles.

Janson

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 02:35:28 PM »
We just bought a 2012 Prius a few weeks ago. We talked ourselves down from a facepunch worthy new Kia Niro. This used Prius is better in almost every way and at 27k miles its practically brand new anyway.

I've wanted one for a few years now and it's as good as I imagined. I love trying optimize my gas mileage while driving. I've had single trips in the 60+ MPG range and the average is hanging around 56.5 MPG at the moment.


Nickels Dimes Quarters

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 05:40:59 PM »
I switched to Prius a few months ago and will never go back. It fits our lifestyle, the constant in town driving for the family, and the low cost of driving/insuring has been great for saving/investing.

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aceyou

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 08:16:30 PM »
Not only WOULD I do it, but both myself and my wife DID do just that two years ago. And we both got 5-6k Prius's, and even then we've had virtually no maintenance costs.  These vehicles are amazing. 

After getting a vehicle like that, you just can't get anything that is less fuel efficient.  You quickly get really used to spending $20/month on gas and can't go back.  I used dream of getting a BMW Z4 convertible when I retired for fun, but the Prius has ruined that for me...the Z4 is just too inefficient:) 

My next car, if these things ever die, will likely be electric or another prius. 

Good luck!

Indio

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 08:02:14 AM »
I love my '08 Prius because the mpg is incredible compared to my minivan.With hypermiling, I got it up to 63 mpg. Sweet!! When I fill it up it costs about $20 because the car can go over 450 miles on its small tank of gas. Kept the minivan just in case I need it for moving lots of kids or for those camping trips. If I had a gripe about the Prius, it is that there is little storage, which is part of the reason it gets good mpg. However, if storage is an issue you should look at the Prius V. Another minor issue with the car is that the handle on the hatchback melted. yes, you read that correctly. Who ever heard of a car part melting? And I live in east coast not some place where there is a dry heat. The replacement handle isn't cheap either. who knew?

BFGirl

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2017, 03:20:18 PM »
Just remember, Prius isn't the only hybrid on the market.  I don't have a Prius, but I traded in my SUV last year on a Ford C-Max hybrid, which I love and it was less expensive than a similar model Prius.  I have also driven Ford Fusion hybrids off and on for the last 7 years and they are reliable cars too.

Jacobi

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2017, 06:48:07 PM »
Thanks for the insights, all.

civil4life

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2017, 07:03:39 PM »
I had a 2010 Ford Fusion that I loved, but went from a 2 mile commute to 30 miles in one direction.  I traded in the Fusion for a 2013 Prius in May 2014.  The only things I do not like about the Prius is I wish there were more cup holders and the center console is poorly designed.  It is so nice to fill up for under $20.  They are more spacious and more storage than you would expect  I have only had people in the back seat a couple of times, but grown adults thought it was roomy.  The maintenance is very cheap.  You might want to check out Edmonds about the different generations of the Prius.  I believe it is in the 3rd or 4th generation.  I am at $86,000 miles and have not put anything into it besides routine maintenance and wearable items like tires and windshield wipers.  I have not had any mechanical or battery issues.

Gray_ghost

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 01:16:22 PM »
Another thing to consider with the Prius is the MUCH lower maintenance costs than most vehicles. With the Regen braking it rarely uses the brake pads , I've seen stock brakes last 150,000 miles+ . Also with minimal horsepower , the tires last longer than other vehicles.

bmelissa545

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2017, 09:49:34 AM »
One thing to consider is if you are looking for a prius under 8k you are most likely only going to find one with 100k plus miles on it. https://www.autolist.com/toyota-prius#section=pricing-analysis might be worth getting a slightly newer one. but if you're okay with that i say go for it, the low mpg you get on those things are unreal and you will quickly wonder how you lived without

zenyata

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2017, 04:15:25 PM »
I have a 2015 Prius that we bought new when they changed the styling and Toyota was trying to off-load the remaining inventory of the old body style so I can't speak specifically to used / older Prius (Priuses / Prii) but I repeatedly tell my partner, her relatives, and my relatives that if you are looking for a car - just a car (that admittedly continues to surprise me with its capability) - and you don't have any REALLY special absolute NEEDS (high clearance / hauling your yacht / pulling out tree stumps on a daily basis) the Prius is one of the biggest no-brainers in the history of civilization. 

In comparison nearly any other just normal car is the equivalent of traveling while setting dollar bills on fire every few miles... and compared to larger vehicles like SUVs - forget about it... mid-50s mpg absolutely crushes virtually anything else out there and that's not even by driving it conservatively (efficiency drops off somewhat with more aggressive driving but nowhere near the decrease that people who drive their supposedly 25 mpg SUV or minivan by pushing the gas to the floor off of every light experience - they're probably getting more like high-teens mpg at best and the Prius mpg does not fall off nearly that much).

They are great cars - just get one !   :)

p.s. - my hard sell approach to the relatives actually did convince one of them to get a Prius and they also love it - so much that they took it this past weekend to an all-electric / hybrid / alternative fuel car show... which I didn't even know was a thing... but I guess it is now...

pdxvandal

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2017, 07:12:18 PM »
I bought my first Prius a year ago and really like it. It's a 2008 "touring" model (leather, slightly wider wheel base, fog lights) and I bought it from a bartender for $3,200. A steal you say? Kind of. It had 260k miles on it. Now it's pushing 280k with no signs of stopping. Just enough pep, good handling, efficient, well designed and reliable as $hit.

I'm tall, so the head clearance isn't great when you're trying to see the traffic signal (if you're near the front of the intersection). But when you fold the seats down, it holds a lot of stuff, like a small pickup.

Besides the headroom, I don't love the low clearance (in snow), but living in a place that doesn't snow often. It drives GREAT in the snow with winter tires, as long as you aren't pushing snow.

I spoke with a person who buys used Prius and parts them out. He says he's never seen a 2nd Gen prius battery go bad, only 1st Gen (1997-2003).


Plugra

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2017, 07:41:35 PM »
The Prius is a great car, an engineering marvel.  Mine is five years old and I have spent zero on repairs, and very little on maintenance.  If you can do your own oil changes, you can drive it 100k miles and never take it into a shop.  (Okay maybe you'll need some new tires along the way.)


TheAnonOne

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Re: Sell car and switch to Prius?
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2017, 09:50:53 PM »
I did this, but with a Chevy Volt. I got my 2013 with 40k miles for just over $13k

Now I...

1. Never spend money on gasoline, unless I take a long weekend drive, even then its >40MPG
2. (basically) Never spend money on oil changes
3. Never spend money on brake work because regen

ect ect ect

I basically cut my monthly spending by $120 with this one move. I was using around a tank a week, sometimes more. Now I use basically none. My power bill went up, yes, but only around $30 at the high end.


After having driven both cars as well, the Volt is.... the better "car" it handles better, its faster, ect. <-possibly subjective