Author Topic: Should I buy a Prius  (Read 3485 times)

jackiechiles2

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Should I buy a Prius
« on: May 18, 2015, 08:16:40 AM »
For various reasons, I currently have a 50 mile commute each way.   I travel a lot with work on top of that commute.  I currently have a 2011 that I bought  a year ago before I'd discovered MMM.  It gets ok gas mileage, but not great.  I have 4 years left on the loan (I know I know) at a 1.9% rate. I owe roughly $10,800 on it.

I can find several used Priuses for less than I owe on my current car.  I'd also end up saving around $100 a month on gas.  I'm somewhat wanting to buy a Prius for close to what I owe on my current car and get a 4 year loan on it- so the payment would be the same and I'd have the benefit of the gas savings.  While I'd like to pony up some more cash and not have to worry about the loan at all, I'm hesitant to use our savings as my wife is having a baby in 2 weeks and those savings are our maternity leave for the next couple of months.

I doubt that I'll have the car loan for the length of the 4 years because I've been aggressively paying down other debt ahead of it, and it's the next in line. 

I guess what I'm wondering is would it be a mistake to get a Prius at this point or just stick it out with the Camry?

Bob W

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Re: Should I buy a Prius
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 08:26:43 AM »
Oh you have a Camry?  Good for you.  I just checked our Camry odometer --- 385K on an 01.   We are shooting for 500K.   

I know the newer Camrys are probably not as good but I think still pretty damn good.

So IMHO --   If you travel much on the highway you will not see a substantial enough savings on gas (hybrids less fuel efficient on hwy) to offset the cost of battery replacement down the line.

I vote --- Keep the Camry,  read some on hypermiling,  over inflate your tires,  keep your speed below 65,  and pay it off asap.   Once it is paid off you will be golden for probably a decade of Camry use with no payment. 

In a few years all electric cars with over 200 miles ability will become common.   So let's say in 7 years you decide to buy a used 200 mile car that might be your next move.

There are many 40 mpg used cars you could find for sub 6K as well.      If you were really gung ho you could consider trading the Camry for an older Camry with 150K.    IMHO that is a sweet spot.   

RWD

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Re: Should I buy a Prius
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 09:20:02 AM »
If you're doing mostly highway driving the Camry should cost about 2.4 per mile more in fuel than a Prius (assuming 2008 model year). The difference will be less if you can drive more efficiently than the EPA estimates (pretty easy).

The Camry is more reliable than the Prius (though they are both pretty good), so maintenance should be cheaper on the Camry.
http://www.truedelta.com/Toyota-Camry/reliability-264/vs-Prius-272

Insurance will probably be a little cheaper on the Prius, but you should get a quote from your company to figure out the actual difference. Depreciation should be minimal with both vehicles, but the Prius is probably better here too.

How long do you expect to continue driving so much for work? If it's not a permanent thing then switching cars in the short term probably doesn't make sense. Either way, since you're worried about dipping into savings I'd recommend continuing to drive the Camry for the time being while building up a larger savings buffer and then reevaluating your situation.

Another Reader

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Re: Should I buy a Prius
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2015, 09:20:18 AM »
In your shoes, I would focus on your wife and the new addition to your family right now.  Deciding which car is best and going through the selling and buying process now is not something I would choose to do.  You have a reliable, safe car that will carry you through the first few months of parenthood with no issues.

jackiechiles2

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Re: Should I buy a Prius
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 09:41:32 AM »
If you're doing mostly highway driving the Camry should cost about 2.4 per mile more in fuel than a Prius (assuming 2008 model year). The difference will be less if you can drive more efficiently than the EPA estimates (pretty easy).

The Camry is more reliable than the Prius (though they are both pretty good), so maintenance should be cheaper on the Camry.
http://www.truedelta.com/Toyota-Camry/reliability-264/vs-Prius-272

Insurance will probably be a little cheaper on the Prius, but you should get a quote from your company to figure out the actual difference. Depreciation should be minimal with both vehicles, but the Prius is probably better here too.

How long do you expect to continue driving so much for work? If it's not a permanent thing then switching cars in the short term probably doesn't make sense. Either way, since you're worried about dipping into savings I'd recommend continuing to drive the Camry for the time being while building up a larger savings buffer and then reevaluating your situation.

Honestly, I think my driving will likely ramp up with work. I'm starting to pick up more cases 2-3 hours away, which means more travel there for various things.   I put around 1000 miles on the Camry last week alone.  That's not typical, but it seems to be becoming the norm.

Since I'm reimbursed 56 cents per mile (not for the daily commute), I also have an incentive to maximize the gas mileage I can get out of the car to increase my "profits" as it were.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Should I buy a Prius
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 10:58:08 AM »
I put around 1000 miles on the Camry last week alone.  That's not typical, but it seems to be becoming the norm.

Since I'm reimbursed 56 cents per mile (not for the daily commute), I also have an incentive to maximize the gas mileage I can get out of the car to increase my "profits" as it were.

Personally I'd look for a '10 or later Prius.  They get better fuel economy, the traction battery lasts longer due to the '10 having a 1.8 liter engine instead of a 1.5 (thus not working the battery as hard when dealing with hills) more comfortable IMO, and they did away with all the accessory belts entirely.  The '10 and later Prius actually has NO belts to change at all.  Both models use a timing chain (not a belt) so maintenance overall should be low, especially for the '10 model.

The other thing is that this is clearly a work vehicle.  I don't like the idea of being stranded when I am supposed to be working.  I'd lean towards getting a newer, lower mileage '10 or later and staying on top of all the maintenance.  Another nice thing on the '10+ model: Toyota issued a service bulletin a year or two after the cars came out stating that the official oil change interval when using the recommended synthetic oil is now every 10,000 miles.  Fewer oil changes means less downtime for your work vehicle.

ChaseJuggler

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Re: Should I buy a Prius
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 11:14:58 AM »
We own two salvage title '07 priuses that have had zero major problems. It's pretty easy to find salvage title hybrids because people tend to think they are much more delicate than they are. (As long as the accident was nowhere near the rear batteries, who cares?) Just have a dealership check it out before you buy, and then you're good to go!

Here's one of a million examples of a stupidly cheap Prius just because the side doors were damaged!

http://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5017530987.html


We actually sold my girlfriend's '02 camry this year because the gas costs on her 50 mile commute were killing us. She said that 10 gallons in a Pirus lasts longer than 15 gallons in a Camry (and her commute is mostly interstate.)

If you do a lot of driving, the Sallie Mae credit card gives 5% cash back at gorcery stores, Amazon, and gas stations.

jackiechiles2

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Re: Should I buy a Prius
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 12:21:12 PM »
We own two salvage title '07 priuses that have had zero major problems. It's pretty easy to find salvage title hybrids because people tend to think they are much more delicate than they are. (As long as the accident was nowhere near the rear batteries, who cares?) Just have a dealership check it out before you buy, and then you're good to go!

Here's one of a million examples of a stupidly cheap Prius just because the side doors were damaged!

http://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5017530987.html


We actually sold my girlfriend's '02 camry this year because the gas costs on her 50 mile commute were killing us. She said that 10 gallons in a Pirus lasts longer than 15 gallons in a Camry (and her commute is mostly interstate.)

If you do a lot of driving, the Sallie Mae credit card gives 5% cash back at gorcery stores, Amazon, and gas stations.

That car is very close to my location.   I'm tempted to check it out.  I'll keep the sallie mae credit card in mind.  I've got a discover that I mainly use, but it only gives 5% cash back for gas like 3 months out of the year. The rest of the year it's 1%.

daverobev

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Re: Should I buy a Prius
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2015, 06:27:55 PM »
SM card is only 5% on $250 a month. Worth doing for sure, but not if you can get the Wells Fargo card that is 5% permanent I think.

Also try Chase Freedom (rotating like Discover, hopefully different periods), and BofA Cash Rewards.