Cost of ownership

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Velo781, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Velo781

    Velo781 Junior Member

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    Over a period of say 8 years, is buying a $3500 Prius going to save me money vs spending something like $5500? Let's assume averages. If I can spend 5500 now, should I, knowing that the more expensive car will last longer with likely less issues?

    I know it's a very generic question with so many variables. I just need input on how the costs might play out over time.
     
  2. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    I assume you are referring to buying a used Prius. Especially in that price range, the major factor is how well it has been maintained and driven. Also, the condition of major systems such as the traction battery affect costs too.
     
  3. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I agree with Prodigyplace.

    I might add: There's always an element of risk in buying a vehicle that's out of warranty or nearly so. The newer one might develop an expensive problem and the older one not. You just can't really know. Just like people, some cars die young and some live to a ripe old age.

    But everything else being equal, I would prefer to go with the newer one just because age takes its toll on rubber parts and other stuff more than miles. Whether or not it will cost less, is hard to say, but there is also the aggravation factor of having to replace tires, hoses, window seals, and so on. We all put a different value on that. I'd suggest looking each one over carefully and then going with your gut instinct and enjoying your "new to you" vehicle. :D
     
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  4. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    You just went through this process after replacing an older Prius with a newer, used one.

    I think the OP is looking at something similar to the 2005 Prius you just retired due to repair costs.

    See Took the plunge! | PriusChat
     
  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    ^^^ Agreed. But I was also thinking in terms of maybe an '05 with 100k miles vs. an '09 with 150k or something like that. Those a re gist "grab from air" numbers. I would use the same reasoning. I'd be inclined to pick the newer, higher mileage one. What I did was get one that was both newer AND lower mileage.
     
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  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    I was thinking the OP wanted to spend $3500 - $5000 and I think that is in the price range of the car you just retired due to repair costs.

    I thought you could give some insight in the longevity & maintenance cost concerns expressed in the first post. I know you had some postings in another thread, but I cannot locate them right now.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    all things being equal, the less you spend, the lower the cost of ownership.

    however, your statement, 'with so many variables' is key. on cars that old with high mileage, it's the unpredictable breakdowns that come back to haunt you.
     
  8. Eastside

    Eastside Member

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    If the poster is in Austin "Hotter than the Sun" Texas, then I'd go with the newer vehicle. Heat takes a toll on the HV and 12v batteries.
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    One of the cornerstones of the church of "lapsed cargo cult". Amen!

    I'm coming around to: the more obvious and ubiquitous something is, the harder it is to see.

    One further thought: besides buying a means of transportation, you're also to some extent buying piece of mind. If you're averse to adversity, you want to spend more and buy newer, improve your odds.
     
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  10. Eastside

    Eastside Member

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    re: " . . . If you're averse to adversity, you want to spend more and buy newer, improve your odds. "

    That's a timely bit of advice. A friend totaled their car a few days ago and initially theywere planning on replacing it with one of the same generation. Instead, they got a 2017 with the latest pre-collision technology, reducing their risk of being in another rear-ender.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Still, all it takes is one joker on their cell phone. Pre-collision tech can't fend them off. No, not quite true: if they have it, maybe it's all good.
     
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  12. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    You mean like this? My wife's '05 after we got nailed by one of those jokers doing 60 mph while we were waiting at a red light just over one year ago. IMG_3221 copy.jpg
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    wow, thank God you're alright.
     
  14. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

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    At the price range you're talking about, maintenance records, a test drive, and a mechanical inspection will tell you what you need to know. In general, you want a vehicle that has had all the required maintenance done according to schedule and not much else. Especially look for any body damage or repeated repairs as red flags.
     
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  15. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Any expected recall repairs should have been done too.
     
  16. TinyTim

    TinyTim Active Member

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    I wouldn't advise buying a Prius prior to Gen 3. There are too many variables to consider. Unless you have cash to burn, you would be better off buying an older Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. If you look at it as a total loss on investment, you can't lose. If you want a good return on your investment, don't buy a car. The main benefit to owning a Prius. Great gas mileage which you cannot put a price on. 5 star crash ratings. The other benefit, they are environmentally friendly.
     
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  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    fourth benefit: most reliable.
     
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  18. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

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    I can definitely put a price on it, in terms of fuel savings compared to my last vehicle. (of course, if your last vehicle was a hybrid or electric, that doesn't apply)
     
  19. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Amen. we are very grateful. The wife has had some neck problems. I'm fine. The 1st responders seemed pretty amazed that we were even alive, much less got out on our own.
     
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  20. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Glad to. The '05 I just traded in was needing some pretty expensive repairs, but not the kind most people are afraid of with a hybrid. The big one was the power brake pump. It was making a terrific racket, but not showing any codes. Toyota would have replaced it under a warranty extension had there been a code, but I was looking at either living with a really annoying noise until it did finally throw a code or until Dec. 31, 2017, whichever came first -- or about a $2,100 repair bill. The other issue was a leaky water pump. That was going to be $517 for a new one installed. I could have probably put in a used one, but I was still facing a big bill for the brakes (not going used there!!) or else live with the noise. Cosmetically, the clear coat paint was getting pretty bad.

    My concern was that after spending that much on the brakes and water pumps, how long before the A/C goes? Ya never know. It has just under 150,000 miles on it. Still a lot of life, I would think, but also some risk.

    Otherwise, the car was doing well. Ran great. Still didn't use any oil. Thanks to the grid charger I've been using, the traction battery was performing well. In fact, it was amazing for a car that old. I had just replaced the spark plugs, pvc valve, serpentine belt, and 12V battery. New engine and cabin air filters, too. I took it to Todd Thompson here in Tampa where I had bought it, my wife's original '05 that got demolished, and the '07 replacement. I figured he would fix it up and ask about $5-6,000 for it. Given that he would do the work himself except for paint, I guessed he would have to offer me about $3,000 in order to make a fair profit. That's EXACTLY what he offered. So, for about $11,000 difference after taxes, title, etc., I was able to move into a Plug in Prius, take almost 100,000 miles off the odometer, and have a little warranty left over from the factory. Wife didn't like spending that much, but I'm considering it to be an investment. AND I am always looking for some reason to get in it and go someplace. LOL!

    I think the old '05 car will make a good Prius entry vehicle for someone once Todd gets done with it. I think what tipped the scales in my case was the attraction of getting a PiP. Had that not been available, I might have just kept fixing the old car. I really liked it. It was still averaging about 48-49 mpg and Tampa traffic and traffic lights are murder on fuel economy.
     
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