Help me decide to keep or trade? 2013 PIP

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by jdotPT, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. jdotPT

    jdotPT Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    44
    18
    0
    Location:
    Charleston, WV
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Hey all! I feel partially like I'm looking for a problem that does not exist, but my circumstances have changed. Here is my question:

    I have a 2013 plug in prius with 87,000 miles.

    I am super happy with her. I purchased her used a few years ago with only 37,000 miles for around.... $15k I think? Now, I think she's worth only around $5k.

    I live in Seattle and do only 8 to 10k miles a year now.

    I have absolutely no issue with her and she's given me no problems. I am starting to wonder about what would happen if the lithium battery went out though. If it were a normal hybrid that I could get a new/refurbished battery for $3-4k then I wouldn't mind. But I seem to recall seeing that to replace one of these lithium batteries would cost very BIG $$$ Like over $10k?

    Maybe too much information, but 6 months ago I would have been more likely to risk it. But unfortunately, today I find myself going through a divorce and so I feel a lot less secure about my financial future. I don't want to take a big chance on being hit by a big battery replacement. I'd be tempted to just trade her in now. :(

    Thoughts?

    To summarize, 2013 PIP with 87,000 miles... Do I trade her to avoid a potential huge battery replacement cost?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    95,366
    43,238
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i have a 2012 with 76,000, bought new. i have no worries about the battery since we have seen them go hundreds of thousands of miles with near zero issues.
    you have a great car there.

    if you dodecide to sell, i think you are way undervaluing her. used car market is red hot!

    $10,000. or more wouldn't surprise me, but first, what will you buy if you need a car?

    it will cost you dearly these days.
     
  3. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    2,020
    731
    0
    Location:
    NY
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Test a Prime and see if you like it.
    The 2017's are listing at about 15 and up.
     
  4. jdotPT

    jdotPT Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    44
    18
    0
    Location:
    Charleston, WV
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Thanks for your response! I'm generally not concerned with the amount of miles. Rather, the age of the battery/car. She'll be 10 years old soon. My understanding is that age of battery has a lot more to with the life than the miles. That's a generalization I read and noticed. Not sure if this changes the equation any.
     
  5. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    1,120
    712
    0
    Location:
    Lancaster Co PA
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I second on the value...that baby of yours could be worth $10-12k or more perhaps in this current market.
    (unless you have damage and/or accidents)

    And second also, what would be your replacement vehicle?
    Do not want to trade vehicle for something less reliable!

    Is all repair/maintenance done by dealers/shops or you DIY anything? just curious
    DIY on HV battery is roughly $2000 vrs the $3-4k you mentioned.
    Have no fn clue on PiP battery cost, but highly doubt $10k (unless you pick a toyo dealer that knows you bleed money easy)
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    95,366
    43,238
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i haveread that salvage pip batteries are available, but that's a can of worms too i suppose.

    time generalization on prius batteries is for nimh, not lion. that being said, we don't have anything older than 10 years in n/a, and i haven't seen any data from other parts of the world where toyota was using lion earlier.
    i think you can get a health check with dr. prius iirc, which would give some idea of remaining life.
     
    jdotPT likes this.
  7. jdotPT

    jdotPT Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    44
    18
    0
    Location:
    Charleston, WV
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Great point about not using the time generalization data from nimh to assume the same would happen for lion. Maybe I'll consider the dr.prius app. I had never heard of it untiili your post. Thanks!
     
    bisco likes this.
  8. CardiffChris

    CardiffChris Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    93
    60
    0
    Location:
    Cardiff by the Sea, California, USA
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    II
    I drive my 2014 Plug In Prius from San Diego to Los Angeles several times a week, for the last 5 years
    I just turned over 250,000 miles
    No New Batteries needed - Car Totally Original

    Don't Sell Yet
     
    bisco and john1701a like this.
  9. priusexy

    priusexy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2021
    1
    1
    0
    Location:
    Washington
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    tl;dr:
    The market is hot and will be hot for a long time, perhaps through 2022. You have time to decide. However, here's what I would do, assuming your lifestyle or mileage requirements don't change:
    • Trade the car for an EV,
    • Sell the car & live without a car,
    • Keep the car & re-evaluate selling when:
    • a) the market begins to cool down, or
    • b) the batteries actually die, or
    • c) you want to drive an EV, or
    • d) you want to live without a car
    Here's the longer version:

    Your post inspired me to create an account, so I could respond! Thank you! I also have a 2013 plug-in, purchased July 2020 with 107k miles, for $10,000, in Portland, Oregon. I drive for Uber, and this car is awesome. I was skeptical of extra battery at first, and considered other options, but I'm glad we bought the Plug-in, instead of regular Prius. Average 60 MPG when regularly charging, or 50 MPG when not charging the battery. 20% better fuel economy from the extra battery. Very good for Uber. We're now up to 153k miles, so about 46k in the last year.

    However, you don't drive as much (about 3-4 times less mileage than me), so we have different priorities / needs from our vehicles. Because I make money with the car, the battery costs are not a concern. I would be more concerned if the car wasn't a business expense, and I had a ticking time-bomb with the battery replacement.

    I don't know your lifestyle & mileage requirements for a car, and I'm not suggesting that you should go car-free, but it's something to explore, with such low annual miles.

    If you compare the Prius Plug-in to a regular gas car, like a Honda Civic, then over the life of your hypothetical new battery, you'd probably save enough gas to justify the replacement. As an Uber driver, I can 100% tell you that it makes financial sense to replace the battery, due to my high mileage requirements. Do I spend $4,000 on a new battery, or $40,000 on a used Tesla? Obviously, the Tesla would be nice, but it's not realistic for my budget.

    But nowadays, we shouldn't compare the plug-in to something like a Civic, or any other gas car. If you're going to replace the batteries, then you should compare it to an EV. I owned a 2017 Nissan Leaf, for only about 8 months, and I had to sell it, because it didn't have enough battery range for Uber. I actually ran out of juice in Beaverton with a passenger in the car.

    8 years ago, in 2013, the Prius plug-in offered a lot of value when EVs were either a) very expensive, or b) had very limited range. Now, EVs are much cheaper with much more range. Probably not worth upgrading the batteries, and sinking more cost into a hybrid car. Do you want to drive a hybrid another 5-10 years to justify the new batteries? Any money invested into the batteries will be lost when you go to sell it in 5-10 years anyway, due to even cheaper EVs, and the flood of used Prius Primes devaluing the first gen Plug-ins.

    Make the switch to an EV now! At 8-10k miles per year, you probably don't need the gas backup of a hybrid. And to commit to owning a hybrid for another 5-10 years seems even more ridiculous, unless you really need the gas for extra distances. Like you, I have concerns about replacing the lithium battery. I think it's something we'd all like to ignore.

    IF you need a car for your lifestyle, I'd keep the Prius a little longer, and evaluate your options. Try living without a car, to see if it's realistic. The car shortage is expected to last possibly through much of 2022. The market will be hot for used cars for a long time, so you can wait to make a decision. No pressure to decide now.

    IF you don't need a car, then the savings will be worth selling now. Cash in on the hot market, and adjust your lifestyle, paying for Uber or renting a car as needed, taking transit, and biking. Have you heard of the ELF trike, or the PEBL trike? Enclosed electric trikes are a great option, with no insurance requirements, and they're pretty functional. I have a 2014 ELF, which is really cool, and a much better second "car" than the Nissan Leaf, for exercise & grocery requirements around town.

    If you can live without a car, how much will you save per month? As long as I'm doing Uber, I can justify the expense of owning my car, and even the hefty cost of paying for the battery replacement. But if I didn't do Uber, I would be looking for the cheapest EV with the most mileage I could afford. You can get 200+ miles EV for about $17-20k. And you can probably get 100 mile range for $8-13k, about the current value of your Prius, if you trade it.

    As alluded to earlier, if you need to continue owning a car, then you have to trade into something else. Will it be an EV, or a less reliable hybrid? Switch to an EV if you trade. The market is inflated, but if you switch to an EV, then you'll offset the eventual depreciation when you save on gas & maintenance. It's hard to imagine driving a gas car in 5-10 years, and for many people, it's hard to imagine driving a hybrid in 5-10 years.

    It sounds like you're concerned with risks and future problems of owning the Prius. Don't trade into something more risky, like a Ford, Honda, or whatever other hybrids are out there. Unless you got a bigger hybrid SUV, the Prius is the best.

    The way I see it, you have two choices: EV or no car. The third option is to wait to make that decision.

    :)
     
    bisco likes this.
Loading...