Advice for buying used 4th Gen?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Robert N Lute, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Robert N Lute

    Robert N Lute New Member

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    I'm looking at buying a 2017 Toyota Prius 3 with the Advanced Technology Package with 15,000 miles on it from a guy on CraigsList. It has hail damage on the hood and roof and he's asking $19,000 for the car. I plan on taking the car to a mechanic first and I won't buy it unless the mechanic says it looks good to him. The mechanic I know if the area is not familiar with hybrids. I am thinking that at only 15k miles there really shouldn't be anything wrong with it and the cost of the hail is what's making him sell it. Personally I am very practical and don't care how it looks at all.

    My question for you guys is this.
    1) Are there any particular things that I should keep an eye out for?
    2) Thinking of taking it to the dealer for an inspection. Do you think taking the car to Toyota for an inspection would be worth it?
    3) Does $19k for a 2017 Prius 3 with ATP sound like a good deal to you guys?
    4) How many of you guys would rather just pay the money for a new equivalent prius instead?
    5) Other Toyota car recommendations instead?
     
  2. davecook89t

    davecook89t Active Member

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    1) Do you know what the build date is on this car? Sometime during the 2017 model year, Toyota recalled all Gen 4 Prii to add a clip to the emergency brake cable to reduce the chance of it slipping. Cars that were produced after that date were fixed before they left the factory. Also, there was a recall for many 2016 and 2017 Prii to add insulating material to an electrical harness that could possibly short out and catch fire if exposed to an abnormal amount of heat. With the VIN, you can check the Toyota.com/owners website to see if either of those recalls applied to your car and were already addressed.

    2) With an investment of the magnitude you are talking about, the dealer's inspection fee seems like a fair price to reduce your risk, although of course it is not completely fool-proof.

    3) You are getting the Heads Up display and Moonroof with that package, correct? Whether or not those options add value is an individual preference. I chose to get the Touring Package instead when I bought my car, because I preferred what came with that. To me, $19k seems a little high of a price to pay for a car that has some cosmetic damage, even if you don't particularly care how it looks.

    4) My Gen 4 was my first new car, what will probably be a once in a lifetime experience for me. (I am now 64 years old). Was it worth buying new? Hard to say. If I hadn't bought a new car, I would probably always wonder what it would be like.

    5) I went for the non-plugin Prius, because I expect to do a lot of cross-country driving, value the extra luggage space, and as a retired person could not make use of the tax rebate. If you are not going to be a lot of driving, you would probably be better off with a fully electric car, a plug-in or even a regular gas powered car.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  3. robsnyder20

    robsnyder20 Active Member

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    I would look at going with the prime, depending on your area and your tax situation, it might be worth it to you to go brand new and get the 4K back on your taxes, assuming you paid in at least that much. I got the 3 ATP with moonroof brand new for 27500 OTD in July 2016, and I know right now they have a quite a few tax incentives to clear out prius's lately so you might be able to get a better deal than what I got on a brand new one when they first came out. I think for a hail damaged car, you should be looking a bit less than the 19k but its up to you. This was my first brand new car as well and even though I don't know that I will always buy new going forward, it was neat to have that experience at least once.

    Edit: Ok, I just noticed you have a Prime already. I guess as far as other recommendations go, maybe take a look at the Scion IM used (corolla platform old Matrix) or the new corolla wagon. The Scion IM is pretty decently featured (2016 only till they moved it into the toyota lineup) if you dont need radar cruise but want all the regular bells and whistles. Of course it depends on how much youre going to be driving the car. Over 25k a year, then gas mileage really means alot.
     
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  4. davecook89t

    davecook89t Active Member

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    I did not notice he had a Prime in his profile, either. I'm not sure that means he has already bought one, but at least he has been looking at that option. I guess some of my advice would not be particularly applicable, then.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    put your vin into the toyota owners site and get a car fax

    the deal should be based on the body work cost. when you go to sell it, the same will apply.
    i would be concerned about eventual corrosion from the paint damage.
     
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  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    The safety options available changed in mid-2017. I have an early 2017 without BSM.. :(
    There was also a recall to inspect & tape the engine wiring harness to avoid wear-through.
     
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  7. Robert N Lute

    Robert N Lute New Member

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    My apologies, I forgot that was selected in my profile. Originally we were planning on buying a new Prius Prime Advanced but then we decided to only allocate $20k in the written budget for buying a new car. Partly because the job is still not guaranteed yet in the city we're moving to and partly because we decided to shift the more money to the down payment for our future house purchase in 6 months. Originally we thought about moving there an waiting about 1.5 years instead of the 6 months which meant we'd have enough time to get the tax money back. I have gone into my profile and changed it.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    don't you get 5k in colorado on a prime, on top of the 5k discounts and 4.5k fed tax credit?
     
  9. Robert N Lute

    Robert N Lute New Member

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    kinda. Yes in Colorado we get an extra 5k at the point of sale. But to get the 4.5k Federal you need enough tax liability to qualify. In my case I don't have nearly enough investments for that much tax liability. Most people think that you just get a check when you file your taxes but you have to make enough money to have investments that up your tax liability on those investments up to 4.5k.

    Plus in my case we decided it would be best to spend the money in about 6 months for a bigger down payment for buying our next house. And there wouldn't be enough time to buy the car, and file next years taxes, and get the money back in time.

    But yes, I was totally thinking about that sweet sweet $9,500 in tax credit before I researched all this. The version of the prius prime I want is about 34k, and that would knock it down to 24.5k.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think you're mistaken about investments. you just need tax liability on income.
     
  11. Robert N Lute

    Robert N Lute New Member

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    First I will admit that i could be wrong and that i am not a tax professional.

    The first thing i do every year is pre-calculate out how much to adjust how much to take our of my paycheck so that its close to zero come tax time. At first thats what i thought tax liability is. So i figured that i could just take out less taxes on each check. But went on several tax advice forums and was told that adjusting dependencies doesnt affect tax liability. they said my income was too low to have enough tax liability in the US. Only things like investments or 401ks or stocks do.

    But again i might be wrong. Originally i thought they give you the tax credit no matter what.
     
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  12. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    I'd be asking why the seller didn't get it repaired on his insurance ?
    I would have the damage assessed, the cost to repair, the book value of a similar car without damage and if the difference is less than $19,000 then either offer him that or walk away.
    If the hood and roof are damaged then it's likely the front and rear screens were and have been replaced. Replacing the front screen requires re-calibration of the front camera and if the correct Toyota screen is not used you could have problems with double vision on the HUD.
     
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  13. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Yes, replacing the front windshield in any Gen 4 requires re-calibration of the DRCC camera, & possibly the HUD. The DRCC is a safety issue and I think a Toyota dealer needs to perform it.
     
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  14. Usle

    Usle Member

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    Run the vin on Toyotas site and run the vin through carfax, and take it to a toyota dealer to have them plug into the obd2 looking for codes, as well as checking the car over.

    Run the car through kelly blue book for values, including the cash offer, chances are the cash offer is what you will pay, so you need to know what it is.
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    there are several threads here on tax liability. it's not complicated, but difficult to understand. if prime is out of the question, i won't bother you with details.:)
     
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