Author Topic: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?  (Read 21822 times)

IamDavin

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Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« on: February 26, 2015, 08:11:56 PM »
Hello,

I'm new to the forum and looking for some advice.  After learning through MMM and ERE I am trying to change my habits and starting to work on lowering housing, food, transportation.

In 2009 I bought a brand new Honda Ridgeline truck.  Purchase price around $30k (I know bad move but I hadn't found this info yet).  The truck is paid off and good maintenance kept with 150k miles on it.  Could easily see it lasting at least another 5 years.

After reading MMM about cars I am contemplating trading it in on a Prius. 

I see older models used going for around $13k which is about ball park for what my truck is now worth. 

So.. I am hoping for it to be about and even trade vehicle for vehicle. Although I'm sure I will have to shell out some money, plus taxes, etc.  But, I would give up a nicer truck to save about $3-4k a year in fuel costs. (first year maybe break even with trade costs). Maybe save more if I add another battery pack, etc.  I drive roughly 30k miles a year as a commercial electrician that bounces from job site to job site. Maintenance I am guessing would be a little cheaper on the Prius as well. 

I'm also guessing gas prices will go up again and that savings will get bigger between the two.

Is this something you think I should do.. or since its paid off and in good condition.. should I just keep it another 5-10 years and go for fuel efficiency on the next vehicle?  I think it may be an easy decision and should do the trade.. maybe I am just having mental hang ups on the fact I lost $18k in 5 years and would be made fun of for driving a Prius! haha

Am I missing anything?


Bob W

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 08:33:51 PM »
Pretty sure you already know this answer.

FranzJoseph

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 08:52:05 PM »
I bought a used 2008 Prius with 50k miles on Craigslist for 10k.  Sold Subaru Impreza WRX on Craigslist as well.  No taxes, trade-in costs, etc. and shady car dealers.  Even made a few hundred dollars after all was said and done and doubled my mpg.  Funny thing is that I love the Prius more than the badass Impreza - it's a lot more user friendly.  Get rid of that truck!

Ricky

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 09:59:16 PM »
$30k and $18k are both sunk costs. They aren't related to what you should do now.

It doesn't have to be a Prius to save money. You could find something for $8-10k with possibly better mileage, 30mpg, and pocket the $~3k and continue to enjoy the cheaper costs of ownership. Gas savings of course will be the biggest difference, so I say do it.

DarinC

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2015, 10:10:26 PM »
Get an $8k-10k Prius. They're pretty reliable and will save a bunch on gas.

FIreDrill

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2015, 10:54:07 PM »
If you don't need the truck for work then I would definitely sell the truck and get a Prius.

Cwadda

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2015, 11:15:58 PM »
Yeah, definitely go with the Prius. It's still a hatchback style which hopefully can still fit your needs.

southernhippie

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 03:46:54 AM »
I just recently downgraded from a Nissan Titan to a Prius.  You will miss your truck some when you make the move but overall its a good decision to downgrade.  If you want financial freedom, then it's an obvious move.

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 04:43:58 AM »
Thanks everyone! Makes me feel more confident knowing others have done the same and are happy.

I don't need the truck for anything a prius couldn't handle so I will make the trade.

Any specific years/mileage to stay under, etc that are best?

boarder42

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 05:23:19 AM »
If you do need a bit more space for your tools etc. a ford escape hybrid can be had for near the same price and gets pretty close to the same gas mileage for under 55mph.  But i would only do this if you need more space.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 06:05:41 AM »
Any specific years/mileage to stay under, etc that are best?

For the main Prius, there's been 3 generations:

1st gen, 2001-2003: Very small sedan based on the Turdcel.  I see these going for $3-5k on craigslist all the time.  Fuel economy in the 40-44mpg range.  Highest battery failure rate and highest cost to replace the battery.  I'd skip these cars entirely.  If you're looking to spend $3-5k, get a conventional non-hybrid economy car instead.

2nd gen, 2004-2009: The popular Prius.  They're small but they're hatchbacks, which makes the utility very good compared to most sedans.  I see these typically $4-10k on craigslist depending on how beat they are, age, and mileage.  Fuel economy in the 42-48mpg range for most drivers.  Batteries last 120-250k miles for most users.  About half the ones I see on craigslist already have had the hybrid battery replaced and are probably good for many more years/miles.  Typically a very solid buy.

3rd gen, 2010-2015: The current Prius, in its last year.  Its a little bigger than the 2nd gen and feels more like a midsize sedan inside for most people, not like a compact car unless you're trying to fit 3 in the back.  Its hard to find any under $10k, but if your budget is $13k, that should be enough to get you in a higher mileage 2010 or possibly 2011 model.  Fuel economy in the 44-52 range for most drivers.  Battery failure rate supposedly even lower than the 2nd gen, partly due to everything Toyota learned about batteries in the 1st and 2nd gen, and partly due to using a larger, more powerful gasoline engine that doesn't rely so heavily on the electric motor in the first place.  Handling is better on the 3rd gen too, with much improved damping rates and anti-roll bars compared to the 2nd gen.

I owned a 3rd gen before my divorce and thought it was a wonderful car.  Since you're talking like you're willing to spend up to $13k or so, I think you'll be happier with a 3rd gen than you will a 2nd unless you're looking to spend far less money, like trying to find a high mileage 2nd gen in the $5-7k range.  I've read a lot more complaints about the seats in the 2nd gen than I have for the 3rd gen, but that's a personal thing.  The 3rd gen is also a quicker car, thanks to its 1.8 liter engine versus the 1.5 in the 2nd gen, if that matters to you.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2015, 07:26:18 AM »

Is this something you think I should do.. or since its paid off and in good condition.. should I just keep it another 5-10 years and go for fuel efficiency on the next vehicle?  I think it may be an easy decision and should do the trade.. maybe I am just having mental hang ups on the fact I lost $18k in 5 years and would be made fun of for driving a Prius! haha

Am I missing anything?

The Vulcan Logic about saving money by selling is correct.

I'm in the same boat as you. Paid off truck. I could sell and get some $$ out as well as reduce my operating cost.

But I'm not doing that.

Why?

- I worked hard to pay for that rig and I like driving it
- I've owned small cars and didn't love driving them
- my FI plans won't be significantly impacted by keeping it
- I use the truck for both of its purposes [hauling stuff/people] and status [rolling up to a Client's office]
- I bike or ride my motorcycle when I don't need the truck

So the truck stays. Probably for another 10yrs as it's driven lightly.

-- Vik
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 07:28:59 AM by Vikb »

Dimitri

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2015, 07:36:00 AM »
Thanks everyone! Makes me feel more confident knowing others have done the same and are happy.

I don't need the truck for anything a prius couldn't handle so I will make the trade.

Any specific years/mileage to stay under, etc that are best?

An excellent source of information for all things Prius is www.PriusChat.com.

Jack

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2015, 08:02:18 AM »

Is this something you think I should do.. or since its paid off and in good condition.. should I just keep it another 5-10 years and go for fuel efficiency on the next vehicle?  I think it may be an easy decision and should do the trade.. maybe I am just having mental hang ups on the fact I lost $18k in 5 years and would be made fun of for driving a Prius! haha

Am I missing anything?

The Vulcan Logic about saving money by selling is correct.

I'm in the same boat as you. Paid off truck. I could sell and get some $$ out as well as reduce my operating cost.

But I'm not doing that.

Why?

- I worked hard to pay for that rig and I like driving it
- I've owned small cars and didn't love driving them
- my FI plans won't be significantly impacted by keeping it
- I use the truck for both of its purposes [hauling stuff/people] and status [rolling up to a Client's office]
- I bike or ride my motorcycle when I don't need the truck

So the truck stays. Probably for another 10yrs as it's driven lightly.

-- Vik

Your truck is "driven lightly." The OP's truck is driven thirty thousand miles per year. That makes ALL the difference!

skunkfunk

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2015, 08:21:26 AM »
Don't feel married to a Prius just yet. Find a great deal on something that gets great mileage - it does not have to be a hybrid and it does not have to be a Toyota.

And I agree with the previous poster that at 30K miles a year, you'd be crazy to forgo a switch. I personally drive a '69 firebird and a '91 chevrolet 4x4 but hell, they get so few miles it barely matters.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 08:39:36 AM by skunkfunk »

boarder42

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2015, 08:38:46 AM »
Hybrids are NOT prone to higher maintenance or a work in progress.  The Ford Escape Hybrids ran as taxi cabs in new york and were sold off still running with over 300k miles.  You can still find some popping up on ebay still running with over 500k miles.  i have one thats about to roll over 200k and havent had an issue yet.  Ford has never had to replace a battery in one before the engine needed a rebuild.   the whole battery replacement thing is a rumor cooked up by people who dont do research.  The maintenacne on a hybrid is lower that a typical car ...

WHY?  B/c my electric motor is used to brake the car initially until you apply enough pressure then the actual brakes engage.  So less brake wear and tear. 
The Oil changes arent needed as often b/c the engine turns off a lot.  The engine doesnt actually have 200k miles on it in my car its probably 75% of that b/c it turns off a lot. 

Dont make a blanket statement about maintenance on a hybrid if you havent owned one. 

Retire-Canada

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2015, 09:26:30 AM »
Your truck is "driven lightly." The OP's truck is driven thirty thousand miles per year. That makes ALL the difference!

My truck could be driven a ton more. The lower mileage is not an accident.

The OP needs do an analysis of his FIRE plan and the determination of what impact switching vehicles will have.

Figure out that impact in extra months you have to work and also consider other cost mitigation options [car pooling with others, asking for a mileage allowance, etc...] and soft factors like simply enjoying the vehicle he's paid a bunch into.

-- Vik

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2015, 10:05:44 AM »
When you get your car (whatever it may be) take it on the curviest road you know of, make at least 5 U-turns, then take it to the most crowded parking lot you can think of and park it, wait 30 seconds, then find another spot and park it again.  Repeat until you KNOW you made the right decision.  I hate when I have to drive someone else's beast of a vehicle around town when I try to park it and I routinely squeal the tires around curves I take all the time because of the higher center of gravity.  You might look at a manual transmission as well, if that is your thing, it really adds to the sporty feel of a smaller car.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2015, 10:32:02 AM »
Ford has never had to replace a battery in one before the engine needed a rebuild.   the whole battery replacement thing is a rumor cooked up by people who dont do research.

I'm pretty sure I know the PR data you're quoting and you're quoting it wrong.  Ford has never had an electric motor fail.  They've done battery replacements however.  Even as of an article I found in 2011 they had already admitted to doing battery replacements.  They are extremely reliable however, similar to the later Toyota's though.  See Honda vs Toyota here:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/02/honda-civic-hybrid-battery-reliability-gets-worse/index.htm

Hopefully Consumer Reports will do a similar comparison updated for 2015 and include Ford in the mix, as I view them as the next most important player in this field of play.  From what I have seen, the reliability rate on Toyota/Ford hybrid systems for 2008 and later is as good or better than the overall industry average reliability rate for automatic transmissions in general, which is a common failure part of similar price in conventional cars.  You see people talk all about hybrid batteries and how they might only go 150-250k miles but I've seen automatic transmissions show a similar or higher failure rate and are just as expensive as a hybrid battery rebuild from a 3rd party shop.

Either way, I think the OP has a lot of good info to work with there.  Statistics are all good and well, but in the end individuals only own an individual car.  It doesn't matter if 99 out of 100 cars are great if you're the one guy that gets the 1 out of 100 that's a lemon.  I know its happened to me and it can happen to anyone.  At least the OP is shopping in a price range where you can get something pretty new and which should be statistically reliable.

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2015, 02:03:25 PM »
Don't feel married to a Prius just yet. Find a great deal on something that gets great mileage - it does not have to be a hybrid and it does not have to be a Toyota.

And I agree with the previous poster that at 30K miles a year, you'd be crazy to forgo a switch. I personally drive a '69 firebird and a '91 chevrolet 4x4 but hell, they get so few miles it barely matters.

Thanks for the reminder! For some reason I was stuck inside the box of fuel efficient = Prius.   But there seems to be so many other options out there today. 

For example after doing some quick searching I found used Chevy Volts going for $13-14k with 60-80k miles on them.  Guessing they may be able to get double the MPG of a Prius.  Only issues it seems with them that I have found so far is cramped rear seats and small cargo area.

After reading some more of the replies on here I thought about it a bit more. 

Technically it is roughly costing me 200 hours of working hours each year to pay for the extra gas I use to drive my truck.  While I enjoy nice cars.  I no longer require them for the ego boost, or identity.   

When I put it in the context with your guys' help it really makes sense to ditch the truck.

Thanks again!  And if anyone has any other recommendations on different vehicles please share!  As of right now I am buzzing on the Volt.

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2015, 02:08:14 PM »
Found an interesting quote:

The Volt continues to attract new buyers to Chevrolet with 69 percent of Volt buyers new to GM. The Toyota Prius is the most frequently traded-in vehicle for a Volt.

Jack

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2015, 02:40:05 PM »
Found an interesting quote:

The Volt continues to attract new buyers to Chevrolet with 69 percent of Volt buyers new to GM. The Toyota Prius is the most frequently traded-in vehicle for a Volt.

I bet it's also the most frequently traded-in vehicle for Nissan Leafs, too, just because it's the "gateway drug" to EVs.

Ricky

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2015, 05:05:35 PM »
Your truck is "driven lightly." The OP's truck is driven thirty thousand miles per year. That makes ALL the difference!

My truck could be driven a ton more. The lower mileage is not an accident.

The OP needs do an analysis of his FIRE plan and the determination of what impact switching vehicles will have.

Figure out that impact in extra months you have to work and also consider other cost mitigation options [car pooling with others, asking for a mileage allowance, etc...] and soft factors like simply enjoying the vehicle he's paid a bunch into.

-- Vik

If gas is $2.5/gallon, and the Ridgeline get's 21 mpg (generous) and the Prius gets 50 mpg (average):

Cost for Ridgeline Gas Per Year: (30k/21)*$2.5 = $3,571
Cost for Prius Gas Pear Year: (30k/50)*$2.5 = $1,500

Price savings per year for driving the Prius: $2071

...and that's just gas. Tires, insurance, and general maintenance should all be cheaper. The big question is batteries...but I don't think they're that expensive and they're supposed to last a long time anyway.

$2.5k is a big difference, FI or not. One would REALLY have to value driving a truck to justify an extra ~$200/mo in operating costs.

Megma

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2015, 10:27:00 PM »
I love my Prius. I have a 2011 that I bought used last year and get ~45mpg. I have gotten up to 51 if I really try to optimize it but it takes lots of focus and not worth it to me. If you live somewhere flat you'll do better.

DarinC

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2015, 10:21:22 AM »
Thanks for the reminder! For some reason I was stuck inside the box of fuel efficient = Prius.   But there seems to be so many other options out there today. 

For example after doing some quick searching I found used Chevy Volts going for $13-14k with 60-80k miles on them.  Guessing they may be able to get double the MPG of a Prius.  Only issues it seems with them that I have found so far is cramped rear seats and small cargo area.

After reading some more of the replies on here I thought about it a bit more. 

Technically it is roughly costing me 200 hours of working hours each year to pay for the extra gas I use to drive my truck.  While I enjoy nice cars.  I no longer require them for the ego boost, or identity.   

When I put it in the context with your guys' help it really makes sense to ditch the truck.

Thanks again!  And if anyone has any other recommendations on different vehicles please share!  As of right now I am buzzing on the Volt.
There are a ton of options these days. The best gas savings really depends on what your trips are like, how much electricity is, etc...

A Volt has ~35-40 miles on EV, but once you switch to gas it gets worse mileage than a first gen Prius, so whether it costs less depends on the length of your trips. Once you go past ~90-100 miles/trip, depending on your driving habits, the Volt starts to cost more.

There are also off-lease EVs popping up for not too much, so it's possible to get a used EV plus a used hybrid for not much more than a used Volt. For shorter distances, the EV will cost less in electricity than a Volt would, and for longer distances, the hybrid would cost less in gas than the Volt would.

On the flip side, the Volt isn't that much more if your trips are usually less than ~80 miles.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2015, 12:11:06 PM »

If gas is $2.5/gallon, and the Ridgeline get's 21 mpg (generous) and the Prius gets 50 mpg (average):

Cost for Ridgeline Gas Per Year: (30k/21)*$2.5 = $3,571
Cost for Prius Gas Pear Year: (30k/50)*$2.5 = $1,500

Price savings per year for driving the Prius: $2071

...and that's just gas. Tires, insurance, and general maintenance should all be cheaper. The big question is batteries...but I don't think they're that expensive and they're supposed to last a long time anyway.

$2.5k is a big difference, FI or not. One would REALLY have to value driving a truck to justify an extra ~$200/mo in operating costs.

As I noted in my first response to the OP that pure Vulcan Logic based on a limited worldview says get the Prius. Sof if we lived life in a little box with a 2 choices and a 2 inputs I'd agree with you.

However, I'd say there is a lot more to this question that grade school math.

The reason I'd bothering to present an alternate viewpoint instead of simply getting on the Prius bandwagon is because I think there is value in getting past the Prius bias on these forums and consider a wider viewpoint.

Why I think this matters to the OP? If Pure Vulcan Logic was his only concern I'm going to say he can do grade school math and determine the Prius is cheaper so he would not have posted this question. Instead he'd be asking which fuel efficient car he should buy or simply posting how badass he was driving his Prius.

Back to your assumption that $200/month is enough to make it a clear choice FI or not. I can save $200/month off my vehicles easily [sell the motorcycle] and I could save another $200 elsewhere. I'm not FI yet I don't do either.

Am I crazy or lack basic math?

Nope I just value other things than simply the calculation of costs. I understand the impact of my choices on my FIRE plan and I am okay with  them.

Specifically when it comes to vehicle costs I'd say why are we hung up on truck vs. Prius when other more powerful possibilities are available? Why not drive less than 30K miles/yr to work? Ask for mileage costs if you have to drive? Carpool with a co-worker? Etc...

I've done all of the above to reduce my transport costs significantly. I have not bought a Prius.

-- Vik

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2015, 02:14:57 PM »
My trips range from 20 miles round trip to 120. 

I work in three different counties and never really know for sure where I will be.  The only way that would happen is if I got hired on as an in-house electrician somewhere.  At that point a EV and a home close to work sounds like the way to go.

You bring up some great points and with me not knowing where I will be working or having a home where I can setup a fast charger (currently renting a townhouse).  I think my best bet is to go with a non-EV.

So I'm back to looking at Prius' or other high MPG cars.

@Vic - Thanks for being a pioneer and stepping out and taking some arrows.  I appreciate the different viewpoint and thats one main reason I posted on here. 

I do enjoy the truck, and have some emotional sunk costs in it. Along with my original goal of getting 300k miles on it. 

But if I am paying $200-250 more a month to drive it.. I may have to just let it go.  With my job there is no possibility to car pool or get a vehicle allowance unless they gave me a company van.  I am about maybe 5 years out from that on the totem pole.

I had an interesting thought.  Not sure what exactly to make of this.  But what do you guys think of this logic.

Say I have 12k in the bank with a interest rate of 1% (saving to build a small efficient house Rob Roy style)

Which only brings me $10 in interest income a month. 

The way I am seeing this is if I were to take that same 12k and invest it in a Prius.  I would save on the low end $200 a month.

So I see that as getting a 20% interest rate on my money versus 1 %. At year 5.. factoring in no major maintenance costs it would pay for itself.  If I purchased a Prius with say 60k miles on it I would be left with a Prius with 210k miles on it at year 5 all things being equal.  I have heard of Prius' getting 300-400k miles.. so.. although it would probably need a battery swap at some point it still should have 2-3 years left on it.  Which at that point would kind of be earning money on that investment.  Hopefully being able to get $5k using this logic of saving $200 a month.

Which savings could increase if gas creeps up to 4 dollars a gallon again.

Maybe I just keep the truck since I can store it at my parents house for free and its paid off.  Get the cheapest insurance as a pleasure vehicle possible.. and only drive it when needed.

Then I would have an additional vehicle to use when.. towing, dogs, new construction jobs sites, bringing people mountain biking, camping, hauling tools/material to build a house, first dates ;) etc.  My parents would also get a truck to use whenever they wanted.

Then, have two non-income producing assets worth maybe $6k each for a total of $12k in assets versus just one at $6k.  The truck would still probably have under 200k miles on it after 5 years and have a good amount of life left as well.

Am I thinking about this correctly?  Or is this a gluttony plan and should I only be focusing on having one vehicle?

If I could do it over again I would just buy the Prius and make it work.  But that's not the case and just trying to make the best out of my current situation.

Thanks again for all the help everyone!  I feel like we're making some good progress here and you're helping me save a lot of money and getting closer to FI! :)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 02:50:41 PM by IamDavin »

DarinC

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2015, 04:50:25 PM »
You don't even need to have insurance on the truck IME, although your state could be different.

I keep my truck registered, and get insurance on it when I need to use it. When I'm done, I call up the insurance company and they cancel the insurance and cut me a check a couple months later.

StartingEarly

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2015, 06:38:42 PM »
If you're worried about the image of a Prius how about getting a Chevy Cruze Eco and debadging it?  They're pretty attractive cars, faster than a prius, and with a manual the highway mpg is almost the same as a Prius.

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2015, 08:19:05 AM »
I was digging through the archives of MMM and found this post:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/04/its-never-too-late-to-ditch-your-gas-guzzler/

Sounds like he would say to either sell my truck, or keep it as a second vehicle as he did with the minivan for an extra $7 a month in insurance.  Using a smaller more efficient car for daily driving.

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2015, 08:33:03 AM »
I just wanted to throw out there that an early 2000's Honda Insight will get between 50 and 70 mpg with no modifications and typically run about $4-6k. They only have 2 seats, so if you have a family a Prius might be a better choice -- but old Insights are UNBELIEVABLY reliable and will get excellent mileage. I consider it very bad gas mileage when I get 45 mpg in my Insight (usually it is because I am running the AC and driving like an asshole).

Ricky

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2015, 09:04:23 AM »

If gas is $2.5/gallon, and the Ridgeline get's 21 mpg (generous) and the Prius gets 50 mpg (average):

Cost for Ridgeline Gas Per Year: (30k/21)*$2.5 = $3,571
Cost for Prius Gas Pear Year: (30k/50)*$2.5 = $1,500

Price savings per year for driving the Prius: $2071

...and that's just gas. Tires, insurance, and general maintenance should all be cheaper. The big question is batteries...but I don't think they're that expensive and they're supposed to last a long time anyway.

$2.5k is a big difference, FI or not. One would REALLY have to value driving a truck to justify an extra ~$200/mo in operating costs.
Specifically when it comes to vehicle costs I'd say why are we hung up on truck vs. Prius when other more powerful possibilities are available?
Because OP is asking a specific question, and the answers are based on information he's already given us. Beyond basic math, I can read ;) Also, simple questions sometimes yield simple answers.

Quote from: Vikb
Why not drive less than 30K miles/yr to work
He states that he drives ~30k miles/yr for work. So, I'll just use common sense and assume he's not quitting his job anytime soon, otherwise he wouldn't even be asking this question.

Quote from: Vikb
Ask for mileage costs if you have to drive?

He already deducts his mileage I'm sure. Even if he did ask for mileage costs, he'd still realize a gain for trading vehicles, so this is a moot point as well.

Quote from: Vikb
Carpool with a co-worker?
Why would he be asking this question if he could do that?

Quote from: Vikb
Why I think this matters to the OP? If Pure Vulcan Logic was his only concern I'm going to say he can do grade school math and determine the Prius is cheaper so he would not have posted this question. Instead he'd be asking which fuel efficient car he should buy or simply posting how badass he was driving his Prius.

His question was should he trade for a Prius. So yes, It's obviously all he was concerned with. Another thing he seemed to be confused on was sunk costs. He is worried about the money he has already put into the truck, which is irrelevant to this decision.

If he drove less, there'd be less reason to own such a great vehicle to begin with. Why have an extra $10k tied up in a vehicle you hardly ever use when it could be invested and instead have a $3k car sitting around? I get what you're saying, $10k isn't going to make or break, but its still freaking $10k.

Quote from: IamDavin
Then I would have an additional vehicle to use when.. towing, dogs, new construction jobs sites, bringing people mountain biking, camping, hauling tools/material to build a house, first dates ;) etc.  My parents would also get a truck to use whenever they wanted.

Am I thinking about this correctly?  Or is this a gluttony plan and should I only be focusing on having one vehicle?

If I could do it over again I would just buy the Prius and make it work.  But that's not the case and just trying to make the best out of my current situation.
If your goal is FIRE and efficiency, owning a vehicle you don't use that's worth $13k is equivalent to having $13k stored under your mattress, except it's losing money to depreciation and inflation everyday. Huge waste of money.

Given the reasons you mentioned for owning a truck, I don't think you're fully committed to the idea of owning a smaller car. And that's fine, maybe a truck is best for you at this point in life. But if you can get by without the truck, I think you should do it from a purely financial standpoint.

Buying the Prius with the $12k in the bank wouldn't be as solid of an investment since, again, depreciation and inflation will erode the value of the (present day value) $13k truck. You're right, the return WOULD be greater than 1%, so it's definitely a great idea, I would just dig deep and find out if you really need the truck at all. Because obviously, getting rid of the truck and getting the Prius is going to yield the greatest return on paper. Again, the fact that it's paid off is irrelevant to keeping it. All that means is you fully own the truck and will receive 100% of whatever you sell it for.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 09:47:33 AM by Ricky »

OneCoolCat

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2015, 09:55:55 AM »
Im in a similar situation.

I have a 2010 Dodge Challenger SE which gets about 18/22 mpg.  I just moved further away from my office so my commute went from 5 miles round trip to 35.  I like my car but its bulky and I'm not big into the whole image thing of having a sexy car.  I'm into the environment and saving money so converting to a Prius seems like common sense.  I figured I could trade my Challenger in for a 2010 Prius straight-up since my challenger has 65k miles and is in excellent shape.  What's the best way of going about this sort of trade though?  Buy a Prius from Craigslist then sell my Challenger on the same or go to a CarMax type of dealership?

DarinC

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2015, 03:11:11 PM »
If he drove less, there'd be less reason to own such a great vehicle to begin with. Why have an extra $10k tied up in a vehicle you hardly ever use when it could be invested and instead have a $3k car sitting around? I get what you're saying, $10k isn't going to make or break, but its still freaking $10k.
Because in the OP's case, 30k miles/year is a lot of driving. Going by a quick search of craiglist, lets say he got a 2003 5-speed Honda Civic for $3k+ instead of a 2010 Prius for $10k+. Fueleconomy.gov rates the Civic at 31 combined and the Prius at 50mpg. Lets say real world mileage for them is 27mpg and 45mpg respectively. At ~30k mile/year, even with gas at a relatively low ~$2.50/gallon, that's a ~$1k+/year difference in fuel costs and a ~7 year payback.

It's actually less since I'm assuming the Prius will depreciate to $3k and the Honda will stay at $3k, which won't happen IRL, but it's a good example. In any event, it's an easy ~15% ROI. Technically, it's likely more than that since there are plenty of Gen II Prii going for ~$6k+. Like everyone else said, it doesn't have to be a Prius, it can be some other car that gets really good mileage on their drives, but at ~30k mile/year, plunking down more money on a really fuel efficient vehicle will almost certainly yield better returns than investing that money.

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2015, 06:30:50 PM »
"There is almost no possible case for driving around in a sub-35MPG car.

If you have a side business or a very large family that requires major cargo capacity occasionally, it is usually much more cost effective to own an efficient car for most of your driving, and a second behemoth vehicle (an early-2000s minivan for example) for the rare hauling events. Adding my own hauler minivan to the fleet increased my insurance costs by only $7 per month. Even after adding registration and depreciation costs, owning the extra machine is much cheaper than doing all the driving at the higher rate of fuel consumption."


That really stuck with me.  And I do have a handful of reasons to need a truck aside from just work. 

After I read the post I did look into Honda Insights.  They seem to get amazing gas mileage, and pretty well built.  The only issue is that they're a two seater with not much cargo room. 

When on compared the fuel costs on fuel economy.gov with the Prius at 48 mpg average and Insights at 63 mpg average its only a difference of $1500 a year for Prius, and $1400 a year for an Insight.

With the Prius I would get additional seats/cargo room, newer, able to put  a hitch on if I wanted, etc.  Which is worth an additional $100 a year to me.

Although I am working on a Honda Insight that if I can pickup for $5k I might just do it. It would pay for itself after a little under two years. Im surprised that for being such small cars they're still selling for so much.  Some are listed at $8-9k!?

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2015, 06:34:18 PM »
Does anyone have a Carfax account that could run a VIN# for me? This is the Honda Insight.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251855184148?_trksid=p2055359.m1431.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Hoping no one on here will snipe it from me. 
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 06:49:52 PM by IamDavin »

MattC

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2015, 12:39:30 PM »
I'd be careful of an Insight; although if you are going to get one, that one does look pretty good.  They do get a bit better mpg than the Prius, and maybe you're OK with the interior space, but they do have some significant repair and maintenance costs (battery failure; transmission rebuilds; expensive/rare tires; struts are weird/expensive).  Read the insight owners forum and you'll see what I mean.  If you're strictly looking for cheap; go with a $5k 2004-06 Prius with 150k miles on it.  It will be cheaper to maintain than the Insight.  However, the Insight is a decidedly cool car, and it might even appreciate in value (although maybe not with how much you drive) so if you factor in the "cool" maybe the Insight is worth a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars a year more in operating costs. 

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2015, 03:19:35 PM »
Matt - Yeah you're right as costs can be a bit expensive for some Insight parts.  But most things can be fixed at a pretty decent cost finding alternatives.

I'm not too concerned with the "cool" aspect of the car.  As I will have my truck, and this will be mainly a vehicle just to save money. 

Decided not to get the insight on eBay. So if anyone else wants it feel free to fire a bid in.  After researching more it doesnt have enough power and room.

I want to be able to go mountain biking with a buddy in the car and take advantage of the better MPG.  I don't see the insight working out too well in those situations.

A guy in the insight forum said he bought it for the same reasons and found it to be underpowered and from the sounds of it somewhat tough to carry bike/cargo. 

So I'm back to looking at Prius' and other options.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 03:57:44 PM by IamDavin »

DarinC

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2015, 05:34:44 PM »
I'd be careful of an Insight; although if you are going to get one, that one does look pretty good.  They do get a bit better mpg than the Prius, and maybe you're OK with the interior space, but they do have some significant repair and maintenance costs (battery failure; transmission rebuilds; expensive/rare tires; struts are weird/expensive).  Read the insight owners forum and you'll see what I mean.  If you're strictly looking for cheap; go with a $5k 2004-06 Prius with 150k miles on it.  It will be cheaper to maintain than the Insight.  However, the Insight is a decidedly cool car, and it might even appreciate in value (although maybe not with how much you drive) so if you factor in the "cool" maybe the Insight is worth a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars a year more in operating costs.
Really? From what I've seen on the Insight Central forums none of those are huge issues. With the exception of the automatic transmission, the car's pretty reliable and the cost of replacement parts are on par with the cost of replacement parts for the Prius more or less. Tires are slightly less expensive, motor mounts about the same, suspension slightly more, battery sticks about the same, etc...

skunkfunk

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2015, 01:35:27 PM »
If you're worried about the image of a Prius how about getting a Chevy Cruze Eco and debadging it?  They're pretty attractive cars, faster than a prius, and with a manual the highway mpg is almost the same as a Prius.

My wife drives a manual Eco, average over the life of the car has been 38.7 MPG. Good, not awesome. A bit expensive for my tastes, but whatever, happy wife happy life.

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2015, 08:09:51 PM »
UPDATE:

Well the eBay seller didn't cancel my bid so I ended up winning the auction for the Honda Insight for $4995.  I'm just going to purchase it and do the best with the room available.  For times I need the additional cargo space I will just take the truck.

Figure that aside from it needing any major work it should pay for itself after around two years of driving.  Using the MPG savings of $3000 a year over my truck with current gas prices.  Fuel economy.gov estimated $4400 for the truck and $1400 for the insight.

I might end up playing around with some mods for the car to boost MPG. I found this site.

http://99mpg.com/ProjectCars/mikesinsight/

He is getting somewhere around 120 MPG with his insight. 

If anyone knows any good auto shippers please let me know. Trying to figure out the best way to get it from FL to IL.  Was thinking of just using the Ridgeline to go down and pick it up, but it might be almost the same cost to have it shipped.

skunkfunk

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2015, 08:12:41 PM »
UPDATE:

Well the eBay seller didn't cancel my bid so I ended up winning the auction for the Honda Insight for $4995.  I'm just going to purchase it and do the best with the room available.  For times I need the additional cargo space I will just take the truck.

Figure that aside from it needing any major work it should pay for itself after around two years of driving.  Using the MPG savings of $3000 a year over my truck with current gas prices.  Fuel economy.gov estimated $4400 for the truck and $1400 for the insight.

I might end up playing around with some mods for the car to boost MPG. I found this site.

http://99mpg.com/ProjectCars/mikesinsight/

He is getting somewhere around 120 MPG with his insight. 

If anyone knows any good auto shippers please let me know. Trying to figure out the best way to get it from FL to IL.  Was thinking of just using the Ridgeline to go down and pick it up, but it might be almost the same cost to have it shipped.

The further you get from stock, the more shit breaks. Ask me how I know!

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2015, 09:48:23 PM »
UPDATE:

Well the eBay seller didn't cancel my bid so I ended up winning the auction for the Honda Insight for $4995.  I'm just going to purchase it and do the best with the room available.  For times I need the additional cargo space I will just take the truck.

Bids on ebay motors are not legally binding.  That link is straight from Ebay's own page.  Just ask for a carfax, point to anything on the report as objectionable and then walk away, citing that as the reason.  I know it's not super classy, but it sounds like you don't really want the car and that it's too small for you.  You're not legally required to buy the car, so if you don't want it, don't buy it.  Ebay won't ding you for it and you can't be sent to collections or anything over it.

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2015, 10:10:02 PM »
UPDATE:

Well the eBay seller didn't cancel my bid so I ended up winning the auction for the Honda Insight for $4995.  I'm just going to purchase it and do the best with the room available.  For times I need the additional cargo space I will just take the truck.

Bids on ebay motors are not legally binding.  That link is straight from Ebay's own page.  Just ask for a carfax, point to anything on the report as objectionable and then walk away, citing that as the reason.  I know it's not super classy, but it sounds like you don't really want the car and that it's too small for you.  You're not legally required to buy the car, so if you don't want it, don't buy it.  Ebay won't ding you for it and you can't be sent to collections or anything over it.

Thanks for the tip.  Man I think I may have made a mistake here and should have ran the car fax before sending a deposit.  After doing so it looks like it has a mileage issue.  Owner stated 71k miles and car fax is saying it was last serviced at 101k miles. 

Anyone ever run into this? "The mileage reported here conflicts with this vehicle's odometer history. Ask a mechanic or the seller to confirm the actual mileage - this entry may just be a clerical error."

The pictures in the eBay ad show 71k miles?

Was going to get out from buying the car once I saw that and you mentioned I could walk if needed.. but I have already sent him a $300 deposit.  :( ugghhh   He did state no refunds on the deposit in the ad.  I am assuming there is no way to get that back if I walked huh?

I guess now its eat the $300 or buy it anyway.  Which if I do buy it I will be driving down to test drive it first before I give him any more money.

The car had one owner until 43k miles then the second owner until 101k.  Then this guy bought it and is selling it with 71k miles.  I am also going to just assume its going to need some more work such as a battery, etc. 

What would you do if you were me?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 10:33:16 PM by IamDavin »

OneCoolCat

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2015, 10:59:25 PM »
UPDATE:

Well the eBay seller didn't cancel my bid so I ended up winning the auction for the Honda Insight for $4995.  I'm just going to purchase it and do the best with the room available.  For times I need the additional cargo space I will just take the truck.

Bids on ebay motors are not legally binding.  That link is straight from Ebay's own page.  Just ask for a carfax, point to anything on the report as objectionable and then walk away, citing that as the reason.  I know it's not super classy, but it sounds like you don't really want the car and that it's too small for you.  You're not legally required to buy the car, so if you don't want it, don't buy it.  Ebay won't ding you for it and you can't be sent to collections or anything over it.

Thanks for the tip.  Man I think I may have made a mistake here and should have ran the car fax before sending a deposit.  After doing so it looks like it has a mileage issue.  Owner stated 71k miles and car fax is saying it was last serviced at 101k miles. 

Anyone ever run into this? "The mileage reported here conflicts with this vehicle's odometer history. Ask a mechanic or the seller to confirm the actual mileage - this entry may just be a clerical error."

The pictures in the eBay ad show 71k miles?

Was going to get out from buying the car once I saw that and you mentioned I could walk if needed.. but I have already sent him a $300 deposit.  :( ugghhh   He did state no refunds on the deposit in the ad.  I am assuming there is no way to get that back if I walked huh?

I guess now its eat the $300 or buy it anyway.  Which if I do buy it I will be driving down to test drive it first before I give him any more money.

The car had one owner until 43k miles then the second owner until 101k.  Then this guy bought it and is selling it with 71k miles.  I am also going to just assume its going to need some more work such as a battery, etc. 

What would you do if you were me?

If you sent the deposit via paypal then I believe they offer some kind of buyer protections for when the seller makes a misrepresentation.  If he advertised it as 71k miles and it has over 100k miles than that is a huge misrepresentation and he was not selling the good you bargained for.  You can always bring a legal action on the same grounds.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2015, 07:12:27 AM »
If you sent the deposit via paypal then I believe they offer some kind of buyer protections for when the seller makes a misrepresentation.  If he advertised it as 71k miles and it has over 100k miles than that is a huge misrepresentation and he was not selling the good you bargained for.  You can always bring a legal action on the same grounds.

Paypal or credit card.  Either way you have a way to contest that the charge was made in good faith and now has questionable history.  I'd seek to get the $300 back unless you sent it as a check, in which case that money is gone.  I'd call it a day and walk away from this deal.  Even if you're out $300, that's a small price to pay if the car was going to be too small for your lifestyle (such as fitting 2 mountain bikes in the back) and might genuinely have issues that you can't see.

Other possible choices I've thought of since scanning craigslist are the Hyundai Elantra GT, which is a hatchback version of the Elantra made in the mid 2000's as well as the Kia Spectra5, which is a Kia version of almost the same car, but with a more upright rear hatch, so you get more cargo room.  I had an Elantra of that generation and added a Class I tow hitch to it.  It was super easy to install, maybe 60-90 minutes with basic hand tools and you can put a bike or cargo rack on that if you want.  That then means you could have a car full of tools or supplies and muddy mountain bikes hanging off the back, no problem.  I see those cars going for $3-5k all the time in pretty good condition and either one is easily a 30mpg highway car, upwards of 35mpg from what I've seen with the manual transmission.

The Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix are similar good options if you're having trouble finding a good Prius in your region.  The Ford Focus wagon could be a good deal if well maintained, although I guess in fairness maintenance is probably the #1 thing to look for in any car in this price range.  Generally a Class I hitch can be added to just about any regular compact car to beef up its utility value while still having a compact that gets over 30mpg highway.  I've also done a tow hitch on the Gen III Prius.  I recall it was a little harder than the Civic and Elantra ones, but I think it took me maybe 3 hours with hand tools, no help and a lot of angry words.  I'm not good at working on cars, so anything I can get done in 3 hours is still really good for a normal person.

Ecky

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2015, 07:18:58 AM »
Just like to toss in my 2 cents on the 1st-gen Insight:

Mine has 174k miles, and in total, it has required:

1 rear engine mount, $94


Otherwise, just oil changes, tires, and a 12v battery. That's it.

I would get the 5MT over an automatic, as I've heard their CVT's aren't generally as reliable, but you can probably expect 3-500,000 miles of low- to no-maintenance operation from a 5MT Insight.

In the south batteries degrade more quickly, but luckily these cars will continue working even with a weak or dead hybrid battery. Assist will reduce and eventually stop as a battery gradually goes bad, but other hybrid functions will remain, and you won't be left on the side of the road, as it's not essential to the operation of the car, unlike in a Prius. You can expect a minimum of 10 years out of a battery ($500 to replace it yourself), 20 years if you don't live in a terribly hot climate. Honda warrantied them from the factory for 10 years, transferrable, so it's possible to pick up a 2005 or 2006 and take it in for a brand new battery, for nothing.

As for tires, I ordered a set of factory tires from Tire Rack for $65 each. Most people opt for Michelin Energy Savers due to better ride and longer tread life at the expense of a little bit of gas mileage. The size (165/65/14) is not hard to find.

Also, a hitch is not a problem:




~

A Prius is a wonderful option too, of course. More cargo room, great economy, and a similarly great reliability track record.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 07:46:26 AM by Ecky »

IamDavin

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2015, 02:38:31 PM »
Just like to toss in my 2 cents on the 1st-gen Insight:

Mine has 174k miles, and in total, it has required:

1 rear engine mount, $94


Otherwise, just oil changes, tires, and a 12v battery. That's it.

I would get the 5MT over an automatic, as I've heard their CVT's aren't generally as reliable, but you can probably expect 3-500,000 miles of low- to no-maintenance operation from a 5MT Insight.

In the south batteries degrade more quickly, but luckily these cars will continue working even with a weak or dead hybrid battery. Assist will reduce and eventually stop as a battery gradually goes bad, but other hybrid functions will remain, and you won't be left on the side of the road, as it's not essential to the operation of the car, unlike in a Prius. You can expect a minimum of 10 years out of a battery ($500 to replace it yourself), 20 years if you don't live in a terribly hot climate. Honda warrantied them from the factory for 10 years, transferrable, so it's possible to pick up a 2005 or 2006 and take it in for a brand new battery, for nothing.

As for tires, I ordered a set of factory tires from Tire Rack for $65 each. Most people opt for Michelin Energy Savers due to better ride and longer tread life at the expense of a little bit of gas mileage. The size (165/65/14) is not hard to find.

Also, a hitch is not a problem:




~

A Prius is a wonderful option too, of course. More cargo room, great economy, and a similarly great reliability track record.

Thanks for sharing!  The more I dig around and read more about these cars the more impressed I am.  I was assuming at 100k miles it would need quite a bit of work.  But, have found info online saying the same as you that many of these cars just need some minor work done, fluids, and maybe a battery between 75k-175k miles. 

Ecky - What hitch do you have on there?  I saw one online but it looked like the guy custom welded it in?

Also where are you getting a battery from for $500?  I have seen them going for $1500-2000. 

The seller thinks that the display was in kilometers when the work was done and recorded.  Which the math actually does come out about right. 

Worst case it does have 105k miles on it or so... like you and many others have said it should still have another 200-300k miles of life left. 

Seems a little more encouraging than I originally thought

Ecky

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2015, 03:01:35 PM »
This hitch is somewhat of a custom job. I ordered this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001QUP9A4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

One of the Amazon merchants had it for $18 with free shipping. I drilled holes in the aluminum bumper bar in the back and bolted it in place, but to give it additional support I welded a bar onto the bottom of the receiver and attached it further up under the car. For smaller and lighter trailers, the support bar probably isn't necessary, but given that it's aluminum I felt it would be better to be safe. There might be other hitches that would work better without modification but at $18 I couldn't pass it up.

See my thread here:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/do-it-yourself-forum!/building-a-hitch-for-my-tiny-aluminum-car/

With regards to the $500 replacement battery, I was perhaps hasty. It's possible to have a battery refurbished to near its factory capacity for around that price, and I've read about it on InsightCentral, but couldn't tell you offhand a shop that does that kind of work. Most batteries only have a few cells that wear out much more quickly than the rest, and replacement of those cells and a rebalance are all that is needed, as the overall capacity is limited to the capacity of the weakest cell.

For a DIY solution on the cheap, it's possible to stretch a weak battery for years or even restore it with a grid charger. I built one for my car with <$30 in parts from eBay to help maintain mine, and it was quite nearly plug and play. Most times weak batteries don't actually have many, or any bad cells, they're just badly out of balance because the car is not capable of balancing them on its own. A grid charger is able to rebalance the cells and restore much of its capacity.

I'm leery about buying cars on eBay, as I've read stories of people who've bought "running" cars and received something on blocks from a flatbed, but the pictures show it to be clean and well taken care of (cleaner than mine!), and even with 100k miles that's still a young engine.

EDIT: I should warn you, the one weakness is the factory radio. It sucks! You'll probably want to replace the speakers in the doors and install rear speakers (there are holes and mounts for them under the carpet right behind the seats) and possible the factory head unit too, if you like to listen to anything but AM talkshows and weather.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 03:54:45 PM by Ecky »

ysette9

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Re: Trade Truck for Prius.. Or Just Keep Truck?
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2015, 02:14:33 PM »
I haven't seen this car thrown into the suggestion pile yet so I will: Golf TDI. We have a 2012 Golf TDI manual and it gets only slightly lower gas/diesel mileage than my mother's 2011 Prius but is a HECK of a lot more fun to drive. (I average around 42 mi/gal with lots of surface street driving while my mother averages 45.) It is a 6-speed which I enjoy and the diesel engine has a lot of torque at low RPMs which means it feels like it has kick in the engine even though it is actually pretty low powered. Being a hatchback (like the Prius) it is super convenient for everything. We love loading ours up with a tent, picnic, baby gear, our baby, surf gear, and a surf board on the roof for a day at the beach. All that and still room to carry two more passengers! :)