Prius in Australia

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by PriusLover60, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. PriusLover60

    PriusLover60 New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am looking at buying my first car in Australia. I had a 2000 VW New Beetle in Chicago, which I loved. I think it would help my budget a lot to own a Prius. I have a couple of friends in Chicago with older Priuses and they loved them.

    I am interested in a Prius but I don't see many around. Does anyone have an idea of why this is so? Do Melbournians prefer tiny cars or small SUVs for longer commutes/bigger families ?

    Don't have any friends here with a Prius and I find Melbourne a lot more green than Chicago. Been reading and researching and learning a lot.

    Thanks!

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  2. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Welcome!

    We have some Aussies here to help. @alanclarkeau should be along shortly.
     
  3. KennyGS

    KennyGS Active Member

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    I thought this was the typical choice for transportation in Australia.

    [​IMG]

    or this

    [​IMG]

    :eek:
     
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  4. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Yeah we in the US do not know a lot about Australia.
    I worked with an Aussie for a couple of years. He and his wife then returned to their home country.
     
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  5. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Hi - I'm relatively new to PRIUS too - 6 months ago I bought a 2016. Not that I didn't look before - but, as you say, they're not common here. Part if it is the Federal Government's attitude to anything which could bring the price down - no encouragement for Electric or Hybrid vehicles like in so many other countries.

    However, doing the sums, it was still economically viable to buy one for me. But almost the entire TAXI fleet in Brisbane are PRIUS (or Camry) Hybrids,

    I'm not sure about Melbourne - I haven't been there for nearly 40 years. I did hear that they were the only place in Australia where SMART cars were selling in any quantity, but that was a few years ago.

    Australia had a love of large sedans and wagons - homegrown Holdens and Falcons + Camry. But over the past few years the interest has moved to SUVs and horrible Twin-Cab trucks being used as family cars - go figure, crazy. While intelligent cars like PRIUS are barely selling at all.

    TOYOTA hasn't helped - the latest PRIUS was released early March, I kept nagging my local dealer to let me know when some arrived & they kept saying that they simply can't get stock out of TOYOTA - finally their first one arrived more than 3 months after release. I bought it 2 days later in June - and I notice they've never had another turn up. The salesman in June, when I asked if another colour was available, said that it would be at least 3 months before they expected their next stock and he didn't know what colour it would be.
     
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  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Thanks. Alan.
    You might want to tag some of your Aussie mates so they know about this thread. Do you know of any Melbourne PC users?
     
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    @AussieOwner if he's still around. I think he runs a Gen 3 taxi in Sydney?

    @hkmb is/was in Australia too.

    @patsparks if he's still around. Adelaide
     
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  8. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    I am indeed. Morning! And Happy New Year.

    First, welcome to Australia. Is this a welcome or a welcome back? Either way, I hope you have a lovely time here.

    It's hard to tell what kind of car Melburnians prefer, as it is difficult to engage them in conversation about any subject other than coffee, which they witter on about all the time.

    I'm in Sydney, but I travel to Melbourne quite often.

    In South-East Australia as a whole, Priuses were reasonably popular until about 2011, when the Hybrid Camry came onto the market. But most were - and still are - bought by government departments. The HyCam very much took over from the Prius, not because it was bigger and cheaper, but because it was built in Adelaide, which meant that governments could look green and patriotic by buying them. The City of Sydney still buys quite a lot of Priuses, because they're more obviously, visibly green than a HyCam. And because we never had a car industry.

    There are still good Priuses out there, though. And it sounds like you're looking for a second-hand one. I do wish you'd posted this a couple of months ago, before I sold mine. But never mind.

    There are only two types of Prius here. There's the basic one (equivalent to about a Prius 2 in America) and the i-Tech (which has everything on it - equivalent to about a Prius 5 in America).

    I don't know what age you're looking at. But when I bought mine, it was two years old (a 2008 in 2010). If you're looking at something two to five years old, an ex-government car is generally your best bet: they'll be fairly low mileage, and they'll have been very well maintained, and they'll be sold at auction.

    Getting one from an auction house is a good move. You will have to check over the car carefully, because they're sold as is, with no warranty. But it is worth bearing in mind that if you buy from a car dealer here, the warranty isn't worth the paper it's written on. My mother-in-law bought a six-year-old Honda CRV from a dealer, and had trouble with the steering. It was then that we discovered that its front shock absorbers were twelve years old. The dealer disappeared.

    So you get no protection from an auction house, whereas you get the pretence of protection at a dealer. But the price differential is huge. When I bought my car, its price at a dealer would have been around A$24,000, but I paid A$16,000 at auction. (Similarly, when I bought our nanny a Holden Astra wagon - also ex-government, from an auction house - I paid A$6,800 rather than the dealer price of A$10,000.)

    So that's your best bet. Auction houses are also where Priuses tend to be, because they're being sold by government.

    Before you go to auction, you'll need to work out what your target type of car is worth. For this, look on the car sales websites:

    http://carsales.com.au/,

    CarsGuide: Cars for Sale - New & Used Car Sales
    , and

    Car News, Reviews & Guide - Buy, Sell New & Used Cars | Drive
    .

    Oh, and ebay.com.au.

    (If you're looking for an older car - more than five or six years old - it's worth trying the car sales websites listed above. Go for private sellers rather than dealers, as you'll save a lot. And because Priuses are not sporty (unless you count dominoes and darts as sports), they shouldn't have been thrashed, and they should have been well maintained. Also, if you're looking for an older car, try to get something that's done less than 20,000km a year - anything more, and it could be an ex-taxi.)

    If you do look at an auction, it's best to check these sites. They give you listings of auctions near you.

    Government Auctions

    Bidsonline: Used Car Auctions, Wine Auctions, Jewellery and Fashion Auctions


    Manheim Auctions

    Vehicle Auctions, Car Auctions, Online Auction - Pickles Auctions Australia

    There are fixed-price cars, and cars which will go to auction. The auctions will generally be on a weekday - you can bid online if you can't get a day off work - but you can inspect the cars the previous weekend. Fixed-price cars can be sold any day, but especially at weekends. You can't generally test-drive cars at auction houses (but do ask - I was somehow able to test-drive my Merc). If you haven't driven a Prius before, you should try test-driving the kind you're interested in before you buy. (A dealer is a good option for this: test-drive and walk away.)

    A lot of people will only inspect the cars on the day of auction. I took advantage of this by getting in the car I wanted, doing a massive, toxic fart, getting out, and closing the door. I'm sure this kept the price down.

    Given that you're dealing with a fairly limited range of cars, you might want to consider not limiting your search to Melbourne. If you see a car you're confident about and bid online, you should be able to get it shipped from Canberra or Sydney for around A$500. Brisbane would be much more, and Perth is just not worth it. There are a lot more Priuses in Canberra and Sydney than there are elsewhere. But then there is the hassle of re-registering it in Victoria: I don't know what this costs.

    I hope this helps. Do let me know if you have any questions.
     
    #8 hkmb, Dec 31, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
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  9. ozmatt

    ozmatt Member

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    Hello from Tassie! Happy new year Prius persons :)


    Prius really is a great little car even down south! however its got nothin' on the above illustrated 1961 Holden EK station wagon

    Buy one.

    cheers .....
     
  10. bauhaus

    bauhaus New Member

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    Does that mean it's actually difficult to find an Australian Toyota dealer with a Prius in stock? I'm in Melbourne.
     
  11. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Not sure about Melbourne - I know @Thomas Grubb in Melbourne had one a long before my local dealer received their first one. Some dealers in Brisbane had received them (all white ones), but I don't live in Brisbane, and preferred to buy in my own City, because one of the 3 dealers in my City would be closer to home (like walking distance) and they've had only one that I know of - the one I bought.

    Between when it was released and late June when I bought mine, I kept asking the salesmen who repeatedly said they were waiting for TOYOTA to supply. A couple of times a salesman said that he'd be really happy to order me one in - no, I wanted to test-drive it.
     
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  12. davids45

    davids45 Junior Member

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    G'day,
    My experience in trying to test-drive a Prius c in Sydney was much like alanclarkeau's in our 'deep north'.

    When first asked for a look over & test drive, my regular Toyota dealer didn't have one 'on the floor' (only had a regular Prius and a v - both red, strangely) and said a 'c' may arrive in about 4 weeks. Story/excuse was the about 80 NSW Toyota dealers get about 50 Prius c vehicles a month from Japan to 'share'. Mostly white or aluminium-flake paint, model base or i-tech luck-of-the-draw.

    Several weeks later after my request, when one did arrive at the dealer's, it was the colour and model I was interested in, so after a drive around the block, I bought it. Story was another Prius c was not expected until next year (two months away). I expect if I had placed an order for a different configuration, one would be found from the dealer network.

    I see quite a few Priuses around my area in Sydney (most taxis are Hybrid Camrys as well, often running on LPG) but I think the Prius distribution is greater in areas where higher educated, 'professional' people live. I'd expect the Prius-demographic for Melbourne would be similar. Not really a working class car-type, so there is a bit of local truth in KennyGS's post.

    And slightly off-topic,
    Coffee? What, after they'd bored you to death first talking about 'their football'!

    Happy hunting nonetheless.

    David S.
     
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  13. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Interesting - when I was searching Jan-Jun this year, the dealer always had a few "c"s - the number of times a salesman asked "have you looked at the PRIUS c?" - yes, yes, yes. But only one "c" today.

    Present stock at local dealer
    • PRIUS - 0;
    • Prius c - 1 (red);
    • COROLLA HYBRID - 6
    • CAMRY HYBRID - 6
     
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  14. PriusLover60

    PriusLover60 New Member

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    Hi All, I am going to check out a used Prius c 2013 with 13000km. Any advice? I am in South Melbourne area in Australia. The asking price is $15,400 and it is a private sale. The owner says he is original owner and has all service receipts. Thanks for your help.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  15. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I don't know the PRIUS C myself - I briefly drove one a few years ago. There are a lot here being driven by Blue Nurses, Pathology Laboratories etc as run-about vehicles.

    Are you able to get a RACV or similar check? Also, check that the price is reasonable - it should be a bit cheaper than a dealer would charge for a similar car.

    If you don't get an answer here, you could put a question up on the PRIUS C part of the forum.
     
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