Is better to buy a higher mileage Gen 3 for ~12-13k or a lower mileage Gen 3 for ~16k+?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by i<3theventurafwy, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. i<3theventurafwy

    i<3theventurafwy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    22
    10
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I'm actually not in California anymore, but I don't really get the sense that car prices are appreciably cheaper where I moved (you get one guess!). It's essentially the best I can find from a dealership that I don't feel squeamish about. I don't think I can talk them down, sadly, because they are no haggle, but I'd try it if I got more serious about the car.

    So it's a defensible purchase if not a great deal? At some point, given the car I am replacing with this, it's hard to justify holding out for $1000 dollars.

    To both of you, or anyone else: one thing that is helping me feel comfortable about this is the realization that Prius' maintain their value very well. I was concerned about dropping 13k on this car when potentially ten years from now there will be an affordable EV/much more hybridy hybrids (i.e. the Prime matures)/much more widespread safety technology, but then I looked at 2004 Prius' and saw that they were still going for 4-6k depending on usage and treatment. Is it reasonable to assume that this 2013 would be valued at that in 8-10 years? Much more palatable, like I said, knowing that I'd really only be sinking 8-9k in the long run.
     
  2. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    420
    261
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
  3. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    453
    361
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    If safety technology is a high enough concern for you, every 2017 model year Toyota comes with Safety Sense (lane departure alert, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control, collision avoidance). The decision would be whether it's worth it to pay considerably more for a new or slightly used 2017 model in comparison to a model that's a few years old and would be much less expensive.

    It's very difficult to predict with any certainty what any car would be worth several years in the future. The Prius definitely has a slower depreciation curve than most, but it's hard to determine the car market in 8-10 years, because electric drivetrains and automated driving technology may have a significant effect in that time.
     
  4. i<3theventurafwy

    i<3theventurafwy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    22
    10
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The cheapest Gen IV I can find in my area is roughly 20k, and if I'm paying in that price range, I might as well get a new 2017.

    As a highly satisfied owner of a 2017 Two, I am well aware of this, but sadly, I don't think I can justify spending another 21-22k right now. If I could afford one easily, this thread would not exist. :(

    Thank you for the input on the depreciation; I did not consider the effect those technologies proliferating might have on the future resale value of older hybrid vehicles. I'll definitely keep it in mind.
     
  5. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    420
    261
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    I’ve never bought a car locally, if I did I could have any minivan or pickup I wanted.

    Last year 2016’s could be had for as little as 12k in February, wait and watch and be willing to travel and you can like do better regardless of which Prius you buy
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    22,132
    10,996
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Used car condition is a lot more than raw mileage: test drive, and thorough check-over is mandatory, and a talk with the current owner (if possible). You can have a trashed low-mileage car, flood damage, neglected oil changes, unreported and/or poorly repaired collsions.

    One car might be garage stored, regularly washed and waxed, babied. Another, with similar or lower miles, spent it's life sitting in the street, baking/freezing.

    Then there's owners that "know better" what the car needs, maybe threw in alternate transaxle fluid for example.
     
  7. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    344
    97
    23
    Location:
    MI
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I have never had a problem with a high mileage vehicle.

    Last year sold my 2008 Prius with 190K on it (bought at 145K).
    Then over summer sold my 2007 Prius with 210K on it (bought at 201K).

    Then just recently bought a 2012 Plug In with 221K miles on it!

    Based on my experience it is safe to assume you probably won't have any mechanical issues for a long time with either of your options. So I would figure out what you want to spend. $12,000 or $16K+ and go from there.
     
  8. i<3theventurafwy

    i<3theventurafwy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    22
    10
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    How far beyond your "local" area do you look, in terms of driving hours?

    This is a good point, and it's frustrating that it's hard to ascertain that sort of information. In this case, the car I am looking at is at a dealer, so I don't know if it is possible to contact the owner that traded it in. I'd like to (for another reason as well), but I don't think I can count on it.

    Is there anything I should be looking for in particular on the test drive? I was already planning on taking any candidate to a mechanic if I was serious about it.

    This is nice to know. Thank you.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    22,132
    10,996
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Lots of things, not the least of which: your "spidey sense". I recall looking over a car with my son when he was shopping, and noticing there was a lot of rust on the seat hold-down bolts. Just little things sometimes, you have to play detective. A few ideas, just exterior inspection, before the test drive:

    1. Check the tires, condition: do they match, how does the tread look, the wheel well condition. How are the rims, particularly the edges, particularly on the curb side. A bit of road rash is inevitable, but has it been touched up, or left to oxidize?
    2. Look underneath, anything hanging, the front is particularly vulnerable. A bit of scraping is ok.
    3. Pop the hood, and just for giggles check the oil dipstick, what's it showing: near the top, low, clean, filthy?
    4. What's the condition of the engine bay? Are there a lot of leafs around the wiper cowl (possible neglect). Spills, spray? OTOH, does it look like someone recently steam cleaned it within an inch of it's life? Trust your instincts here.
    5. Examine the headlights: are the resin shells starting to frost over, sign of a car that's sat in the sun a lot of it's life. Go around all the corners, check all the lights, signals, license plate and so on.
    6. Pop the hatch, take out the floor, check the spare, the tool tray, condition appearance. Look the 12 volt battery over. If you've got a tester, something like a Solar BA5, or at the least a multi-meter, see what the battery reads.
    7. Look the paint over carefully, check in the corners/trim for overspray. A car that's been in an accident and been carefully/professionally repaired is NOT a deal breaker. As long as the seller has disclosed it.
    8. Check for unaddressed chips/dings in the paint. If there are some, even when someone's trying to show the car in it's best light, not a good sign.
     
    #29 Mendel Leisk, Nov 15, 2017 at 2:02 PM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 2:07 PM
    i<3theventurafwy and Raytheeagle like this.
  10. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    5,002
    4,447
    0
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    You can enter the VIN into the Toyota Owners site to see all dealer maintenance performed. Some people use CarFax too.
     
  11. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    10,845
    3,200
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I'm a big fan of higher mileage cars with many replaced mechanical parts. Price is cheaper and most repairs done
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    22,132
    10,996
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    If you do that with ours, you'll come to the conclusion it's a piece of clanking junk...
     
    Prodigyplace and Raytheeagle like this.
  13. i<3theventurafwy

    i<3theventurafwy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    22
    10
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I'm going to check out the car today and see how it is. Thanks for the guidance about what to look for.

    This requires a login?
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  14. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    5,002
    4,447
    0
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Free to get an account.
     
Loading...