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The Economic Un-feasability of a Prius For Me

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by NDTransplant, Mar 23, 2012.

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  1. NDTransplant

    NDTransplant Junior Member

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    Here's my situation-

    2008 Honda Civic- paid for
    1999 Honda Accord- paid for

    I can buy a whole bunch of gasoline for what I would 'save' with the increased MPG's from a Prius and a car payment.

    Your job is to convince I should get a Prius anyways..:D

    I guess realistically, though, from a purely economic stand point, it probably doesn't make much sense for me...
  2. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Definitely not the time. Wait 7 years. You love hearing that, right?

    catch 4th gen on it's mid-cycle refresh or 2nd gen PiP.
  3. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Did the Civic or Accord make economic sense ?
    2 people like this.
  4. ksstathead

    ksstathead Active Member

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    Unless you are driving a very high number of miles, you cannot justify a big extra investment in a new car by gas savings.

    When it is time to buy new Civic or Accord, then compare to Prius.

    Or buy Prius because you can and want to.
  5. NDTransplant

    NDTransplant Junior Member

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    I see your point, SageBrush. Well, sort of kind of they did. They Civic replaced an aging '92 Accord that was needing lots of work due to neglect from the previous owner. But the Civic was purchased new, when we could have bought used.

    The 99 Accord was bought used, and whether that one made economic sense or not is also probably debatable. 100% reliable, but probably the most boring car I've ever driven.
  6. lovemypriustoo

    lovemypriustoo Junior Member

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  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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  8. ghosteh

    ghosteh Member

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    Honestly, you're right. It would make no sense economically to buy a new Prius now. Hopefully you won't have any major mechanical issues on your current cars... but you'll probably be ok. Honda is a solid brand.

    However, if you DO decide to go for a new Pri, you have to consider your driving style.

    A PiP makes no sense if you're going to be using it for longer trips or a heavy portion of highway use, or live in an apartment complex with no plug-in available. It just wouldn't pay off. Same thing applies to the Volt. I checked into one of those... very nice, but it just didn't make sense for the way I drive my car. For me, driving the car 2-3 times a month on trips of 200-250 miles (mostly highway but some city), the standard Prius was the best suited, as far as I could tell. If I used my car for a daily commute of 30 miles or less, I'd have been severely tempted by the Volt or might have waited for the PiP.

    I think your mind is actually made up, isn't it? There's nothing wrong with getting a new car if you can afford it. It's one of life's little rewards, and the Prius is not an extravagent car. Most people buy WAY too much car, and buy new ones too often, but if you can afford it, I'd hardly call buying a new Prius every 4-5 years a foolish waste of money.
  9. ny_rob

    ny_rob Senior Member

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    Sometimes you need to look ahead in time for the numbers to work out...

    Do you have any teenagers who will be driving age in the next 1-1.5 years?

    If so, put the 1999 car in retirement for the teenager, give the wife the 2008 Civic and get the new Prius for you!

    Win... win....win- the whole family's covered.

    No kids?... hmmmmm we'll have to work on that one....
  10. M8s

    M8s Retired and Lovin' It

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    This question reminds me of a scene in the movie Other People's Money.

    Danny DeVito: "Would you care for a donut?"

    Beautiful woman: "No, I'm not hungry."

    Danny DeVito: "Since when do you have to be hungry to eat a donut?"

    My advice: A good deal on something you don't want (or need) is not a good deal. All a new car will do is get you from point A to point B. If your present cars do that reliably and (relatively) economically, then you don't need any new cars.
    2 people like this.
  11. skruse

    skruse Senior Member

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    When the true plug-in Prii arrive, then you can recharge from photovoltaic panels - then it will be cost effective. Until then, make use of what you have.
  12. NDTransplant

    NDTransplant Junior Member

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    All good points here, for sure. There is something very psychologically satisfying to me about figuring out your MPG on a tank of gas and seeing a number that is 45 MPG+. I always enjoyed doing that with my street motorcycles.

    From my limited experience in a Prius rental a few years back, it was my opinion that Toyota did a really nice job with the hybrid system. It 'makes sense' to me, I guess. (This was a Gen II)

    But at this point, it's purely a want, not a need.

    As far as driving style, I'm six miles from work with four stoplights/turns. It's about the same distance for anything else we need to do in town, such as the grocery store, etc. Then occasional trips to Phoenix for business/pleasure/shopping or whatever, which would be about 40 miles of Interstate one way. Probably 11-12K miles/year total.

    For our in-town driving it would seem like the Chevy Volt would actually work pretty well. But that is not a cheap car to buy! (For us anyways) And how do you beat Toyota/Honda reliability?
  13. jerrydelrey

    jerrydelrey Junior Member

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    Your not getting the ecouragement your looking for huh? Your Accord already gets good MPG.

    If you wanna save money, better to keep the accord, until used Gen 3 prius prices go down. If you think your accord won't last much longer (I think it would), then get a gen 2. There prices are resonable now.
  14. d2mini

    d2mini Active Member

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    Why does it have to be a fully economical decision?
    Can't you just buy a new car, regardless of the reason?
    You only live once you know.

    And if buying a new car just cause you want to buy a new car, buying a prius isn't the worst economical decision you could make.
    3 people like this.
  15. p00kienrayray

    p00kienrayray Active Member

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    It sounds like OP already knows that it's not economically sound to get a new Prius right now. I say if you still want a Prius, test drive one and see if it's something that you would be happy paying for. It wasn't economically sound for me to trade my '11 sentra with negative equity for my Prius, even considering the mpg savings, but in the end, I was happy with what I'm driving and willing to pay extra for that.
    At least buying a Prius is more economically sound than, say, buying a new Civic, Accord, etc.
    TheEnglishman likes this.
  16. ny_rob

    ny_rob Senior Member

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    +1
    I have a boat and Jetski... now there's just no way either one makes any financial sense at all. But, the family enjoys boating/fishing and being off the land on summer weekends. If you can afford the Prius and still pay your mortgage, rent, and or other bills- why not get it?

    You only live once!
  17. Dog Face

    Dog Face New Member

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    If you get the new Prius, you should save $1,022 your first year assuming your accord gets an avg. 27 mpg, the Prius gets 50 mpg, gas costs $4, and you drive 15K mi/yr (national avg).

    Assuming gas increases 10% per year, and you keep the Prius for 8 yrs, and you use a discount rate of 2%, the present value of your gas savings if you replace the Accord with the Prius is $10,600. That alone is over 40% of the cost of the Prius. Not bad in my opinion.

    Other considerations: when you buy the new toyota, you get free maintenance.servicing for the 1st 2 yrs or 35K miles instead of paying for maintenance & servicing for your old Accord. Assume over 8 yrs you save an average $400/yr on maintenance. That's a PV of $3,265,

    Also, let's assume you sell your prius after the 8 yrs is up. Let's assume, being conservative, you get a value of $9,000 for the Prius (An 8 yr old Prius currently goes for about $9K). You can't expect to get anything in 8 yrs for the 1999 Accord. The PV of your Prius trade = $9K/(1.02)^8 = $7,681

    Your NPV for buying a Prius is then -25000 + 10,600 + $3265 + $7,681 = -$3,454

    So it doesn't make economic sense to buy the Prius, but you're only losing $3,454 dollars--or rather paying that price for all the subjective benefits of a new, shiny, high tech car.
  18. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    Considering you have 2 vehicles, and you do a lot of short trips, I think going BEV for a vehicle would be a good idea assuming your situation can support it.

    However, from a standpoint of pure economics, it doesn't make sense to get a new vehicle if both your current ones are in good shape and aren't getting you like 8 MPG on Premium fuel. Even then, it's a lot of gas, maintenance, etc. that could be had for the cost of a new vehicle regardless of what it is.
  19. Dark_matter_doesn't

    Dark_matter_doesn't Prius Tinkerer

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    Your driving pattern looks like a perfect fit to a PiP. So consider getting 60 + MPG in your affordability calculations to replace the Accord.
  20. p00kienrayray

    p00kienrayray Active Member

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    A few things I can think of:
    Tech goodies (standard and optional)
    Spacious hatch
    Stress-free driving (as noted by multiple member here)
    It's fun getting 50+ mpg

    With that being said, don't rely on someone else convincing you. Just do your research, and if it's for you, then get it.
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