2018/2019 Prius or Prius Prime. Hardcore decisions!

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by LilyHere, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. LilyHere

    LilyHere Junior Member

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    I am looking into buying a 2018 or 2019 Prius or Prius Prime.

    I was going to go for a regular Prius, bit then read about the federal tax credit, which might make Prius Prime not more expensive than a regular Prius.

    I love technology and think electric cars are cool, so even though 25 miles on electric is a very low number, I am intrigued. Looking up electric charging stations around here, looks like at non-peak hours, they might be around 20 cents per kWh and I am hoping they don't charge any other fees on top of that. Looks like Prius Prime might take 8.8 kWh from what I am seeing.

    I also hope that there might be free charging stations at some point, which would be cool.

    Another selling point of the Prius Prime for me is to the best of my understanding, if anything ever happened to the electric battery, the Prime would just drive like a regular Prius as far as mpg and everything goes.

    The drawback of the Prime seems to be the smaller cargo space in the trunk area, as well as in the back seat area.

    I am guessing overall Prime is as reliable and long lasting as the regular Prius, with the bonus of being able to drive a bit on electric power, but with less room inside the car for stuff.

    Regarding holding on to value, I would imagine Prime holds it's value at least as well as the Prius?

    Also, what do you guys think regarding 2018 vs 2019 versions of the above 2 models? I would imagine 2019 versions of both are just around the corner, so if the price of getting a 2018 vs a 2019 is pretty close, I'd rather get the 2019.

    How much cheaper than a 2019 would a 2018 deal need to be for it to make sense?

    Considered getting a used Prius initially, but figured it might be better to know I have it from the start, how it's treated, what's going on with it, etc.

    Plus I figured from brand new a Prius would serve me for many years to come without needing much work, if any, besides of course, oil changes, etc.

    Any and all thoughts and advice appreciated!

    Thank you!
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    would it be worth it for you to fly east to save 5-6k and drive home, or ship the car?
     
  3. LilyHere

    LilyHere Junior Member

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    Been seeing the deal they are running on the East Coast. I wish we would get those deals here too.
     
  4. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    No it would not. You would still have to pay California taxes on the car unless you left it out of state more than 6 months before you brought it to California.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    wouldn't you pay cali taxes if you purchase in state?
     
  6. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    That’s true only in the sense that the gradual loss of EV range with use won’t immediately prevent a Prius Prime from operating as a hybrid vehicle. If the hybrid battery fails altogether, the car won’t work, whether it’s a Prius or a Prius Prime, since energy from the battery is needed to start the engine and operate the transaxle.

    The Prius Prime, at least in California and some other states, does have longer warranty coverage for the hybrid system and battery, however. Compare the “Warranty Coverage at a Glance” pages in the Warranty & Maintenance Guide books for the 2019 Prius Prime (PDF) and 2019 Prius (PDF).
    The 2019 Prius has some changes from the 2018 model, discussed in other threads, but there aren’t any major differences between the 2018 and 2019 models of the Prius Prime.

    Of the two models, only the Prius Prime is eligible for a Clean Air Vehicle decal, but if that benefit is important to you, be sure to understand how long it would last, and that free travel in toll lanes has ended.
     
  7. LilyHere

    LilyHere Junior Member

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    I think the warranty in California applies based on where the car is registered rather than bought? Any info on that?
     
  8. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    My subjective opinion is that the Prime looks miles better than the regular Prius - partially because I like the P1-ish rear glass and I have a thing for carbon fiber. I'm also a big fan of the quad-LED headlights (I like them better than Audi Matrix Lighting).

    As for keeping its value: one thing to remember is that due to the tax credit, there's quite a large initial drop in valuation (because used prices largely take into account the tax credit).

    In a few weeks, it'll be decent enough weather to take a little road trip. Unfortunately, you're in LA so it's quite a lot longer trip for you. Also consider the Honda Clarity, which has a longer battery range, and a used Volt (the newer ones also have 40-ish mile battery range).
     
    #8 a_gray_prius, Jan 20, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  9. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    Go with the plug, you use less gas. ;)
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I don't think that's the case; if the battery fails, it will not "revert" to regular Prius behavior. That said, the battery's pretty bullet proof.

    Meh..., I never like to be "bribed" into buying a car. I would prefer to get a car on it's merits. The Prime comes with extra "baggage":

    1. reduced hatch volume.
    2. no spare (At least some regular (US 4th gen) Prius still have a spare, and it is very awkward and/or expense to retrofit.)
    3. four seat

    If you set your sights as low as 3rd gen, I would recommend 2015 model year in particular, it has several worthwhile mechanical updates. 4th gen, some modes have spare, some do not.
     
  11. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    In the Warranty & Maintenance Guide books, Toyota writes, “Vehicles equipped with a California Certified Emission Control System that are registered and operated in California or any state that adopts California emission warranty provisions are also covered by the California Emission Control Warranty” (emphasis added).
     
  12. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Yes you would. You would also pay them if the car did not reside out of state for more than 6 months plus you would pay the tax in that state. It’s to stop people from buying out of state and paying lower taxes.
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    so, if you buy a car out of state, drive it home and register in cali, no problem
     
  14. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Except you pay taxes on the car in both states, thereby negating any money you saved as you have paid sales taxes twice. Get it now?
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, you don't pay taxes in the state you buy it from
     
  16. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Only if you bring it directly into the state without having it titled in that state you bought it in. Then you have to either drive it from that state somehow (that costs money) or have it shipped (that costs money). No money will be saved by buying one from back east. That’s my point.
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    and you're completely wrong. plenty of people here have saved plenty of money doing it. just look through the prime pricing thread, all the facts and data are available
     
  18. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    That’s not how it works, though. In general, if you buy goods in one (U.S.) state, take possession of them there, and bring them home to another state, you pay sales tax to the state where the sale is made, at its rate, and if the rate in your home state is higher, you also pay use tax to your home state, at its rate, but you get to take a credit for the sales tax already paid to the other state. Save that receipt!

    Double taxation that discriminates against interstate sales is unconstitutional under the dormant Commerce Clause; see, for example, D. H. Holmes Co. v. McNamara, 486 U.S. 24 (1988).
    That’s not always true, either. Each state can decide the conditions, if any, under which sales to out-of-state buyers are exempt from its sales and use taxes.

    In California, for example, regardless of what state, country, or planet you come from, if you buy a new or used car at a dealer and drive away in it, the dealer has to collect California sales tax. There are alternatives, many covered in section 0611.00, “Sales in Interstate and Foreign Commerce,” of Chapter 6, “Vehicle, Vessel, and Aircraft Dealers” (PDF), of the Audit Manual of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
    The savings, if any, would typically be from a dealer’s discount in regions where the Prius Prime may not be selling well, not from differences in tax rates. If the discount is large enough, it could more than make up for the cost of driving or shipping the car.

    California residents planning to buy out of state can refer to Vehicles and Vessels: Use Tax (PDF), Publication 52 of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, and to Chapter 4, “Use Tax,” and Chapter 12, “Nonresident Vehicles,” of the California DMV’s Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual. It may also be useful to review similar publications of the state where the sale would occur.

    (None of this, by the way, is legal, tax, or accounting advice. Caveat emptor.)
     
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  19. LilyHere

    LilyHere Junior Member

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    So, if the above is accurate, then the total tax I would end up paying is still the same Cali tax, just possibly in two parts (other state tax + difference to get up to 10% local tax). I doubt any of those East Coast states charge a higher tax than 10%.

    So, my issue is that a bunch of the places on the East Coast that were offering the best prices seem to have sold their Primes, the fact that I won't get the $1500 from the state of California, a higher document fee by hundreds of dollars, an the need to go to the East Coast and drive the car back here.
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sounds right. it's not for everyone. many (most?) just take the best deal they can find in cali and move on with their lives.
     
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