Prius Insurance vs Gas Savings?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by ShinyToys, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. ShinyToys

    ShinyToys New Member

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    I was checking to see what my insurance rates would be with a new Prius vs a new Mazda 3. It's about an extra $27 per month for the Prius over the Mazda, or around an extra $160 every 6 months. When you were choosing a car, did you check your insurance rates to take them into account to see if the amount you save in gas is offset by insurance or anything else? The reliability of the Prius would seem to be something to factor in too, though, if you spend less on maintenance and fixing.
     
    #1 ShinyToys, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    buying a prius to save money is a fools errand.
     
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  3. ShinyToys

    ShinyToys New Member

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    It seems a lot of people do buy one for savings, though. Personally, I like the Prius in general, which is why I am strongly considering one. And there is something psychologically attractive about high MPG. But I wouldn't be buying one for real world savings, necessarily, because so far it doesn't look like it really translates to that with the higher cost of the car + insurance and whatever else.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed. a lot of people think they are saving money, but it's all relative to what you want to compare it to, and a million different ways to compare. there are many reasons to buy a high mpg vehicle, and to try to reduce power usage in other ways as well. cost savings is one part of a larger picture. it doesn't stand on it's own very well though.
     
  5. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    That's pretty surprising. I showed a drop in insurance from my older 2006 Honda Civic to my 2012 Prius for the same coverage. This was something I hadn't considered when I purchased the Prius, I automatically thought a newer car would be more expensive to insure. I attributed it the demographics of Prius drivers being less likely to be in accidents than Civic drivers.
     
  6. WolfpackBill

    WolfpackBill Active Member

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    That's true but my insurance is cheaper (by $40 a month) than the 2006 Honda Accord with 210k miles I replaced and uses a third less gas. Overall I saved quite a bit. The insurance for my car is cheaper than my wife's 2007 Jeep Liberty too. I guess it really depends on where you live.
     
  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    A good place to look for that kind of info is the Consumer Reports total cost of ownership report, which does account for different insurance, maintenance, etc. costs. It's got some interesting graphics showing how the different cost components stack up. The article only lists the ten highest and ten lowest TCO models in each category; subscribers can query and compare any models in the database.

    That article is also dated 2012. A later one from early 2014 is here, but shorter, listing only the single highest and lowest TCO model in each category.

    In each article, Toyota's hybrids fare better than you might think.

    CR of course uses aggregate numbers from lots of subscribers across the country, and nothing stops interested individuals from applying the same calculations using local numbers specific to their personal situations, credit and insurance scores, etc.

    -Chap
     
  8. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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    Then you'll need to compare the cost difference of the cars as well. As other's noted, I bet you can save just as much money going other routes than just buying a Prius. In general this car should use 1/3 to 1/2 less gas or more than a "regular" car. For me, that's come out to around $660 to $1000 a year. The Prius also costs more than a non hybrid. So how must is saved will depend on what you compared it to? Overall though, aside from the mpg, does if offer want you need AND want?
     
  9. Blizzard_Persona

    Blizzard_Persona Senior Member

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    I was surprised when I traded in my 2014 charger rt plus for my 2015 Prius Persona that my insurance only went down a little bit. I would have thought going from a 400 hp muscle car to a hybrid it would have been a bigger savings. Oh well..... Am saving about $100+\- a month in fuel now...

    I'm guessing that insurance is somewhat high due to cost to repair the hybrid system in event of a serious crash..?
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Just to make sure it's clear, the Consumer Reports total cost of ownership reports linked in #7 do include purchase price, financing, depreciation, etc. I recommend reading, especially the first one, before making assumptions about what they've overlooked. :) Naturally, the numbers they use come from a wide swath of the US and might not match anyone's precise situation.

    -Chap
     
  11. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    I bought my 2015 Prius Four last month. For several months, I was also considering a Ford C-Max. At one point, I called my auto insurance agent and asked for a comparison. I was surprised to learn that the insurance on the C-Max would be less. However, the difference was not large enough to make a major difference in my buying decision.
     
  12. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Making new car payments for your entire life isn't going to save you much money.

    With a little life-planning and some old fashioned delayed gratification, you'll eventually get to the point where you can write a check to the dealer to pay for a car.

    Paid-for cars just ride differently than bank-owned ones do.
    Paid-for houses are pretty neat too, and you don't have to shop at GoodWill and dumpster-dive until you're fifty to get there either.

    End of financial lecture.


    The Mazda-3 is a great car. MUCH more fun to drive than a Prius, and Mazda and Toyota are pretty close in the reliability department.
    The M3 has a lower buy-in but the Prius gets about 15MPG more in real world driving (source: fuelly)
    The Prius is more expensive to insure, but the Mazda will have more expensive parts and BOTH dealerships are unabashed crooks with respect to gouging their customers for unneeded repairs and maintenance.
    Both vehicles have about the same maintenance schedule out to 100,000 miles and most people just don't keep cars longer than that.

    Statistically, I could make a case for either one but if you're worried about saving money your best choice is neither one.
    As long as you're going to be buying new cars every 4-5 years, get the Mazda.
    It's a LOT more fun to drive.

    Good Luck!
     
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  13. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    Insurance isn't something I consider when making a vehicle purchase. Anyone buying a new car isn't concerned about saving money.

    I just renewed my policy today, and here is what I'm paying for 6 months of coverage.

    Rate
    2012 TOYOTA PRIUS Plug-In $192.00
    2006 ACURA TSX $189.00
    1998 DODGE RAM 2500 $153.00
    1998 TOYOTA CAMRY $183.00
    Total policy rate: $717.00

    As Bisco pointed out, buying a new Prius won't save you money in the long run over buying a non-hybrid.

    I'd go with a used Mazda 3 with Skyactiv engine if you don't need the extra cargo space of the Prius, especially if you can get it with a manual transmission. Those cars can get great mileage if you pay attention to how you drive it. It was on my list of cars I considered purchasing before deciding that I wanted the option to sleep 2 in the back.

    I'll be testing out the sleeping quarters next week on my 2,700 mile trip through Utah, Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.
     
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  14. littlehandegan

    littlehandegan Junior Member

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    May want to check different insurance companies.

    Also if you are going so far to do this math: Look at Prius vs Mazda 3 depreciation, and Prius vs Mazda reliability.
     
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  15. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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    My train of thought is that this depends on what each person decides as the other "comparable" car. For me it was this or a BMW wagon. This was to fit my wants and needs. If I were to use that report solely, clearly it's not a smart money wise. What's not listed there is the what the cars offers from a fulfillment standpoint. But I do agree, that the Prius overall cost to operate is low/

    I see the Prius c and v (lowercase v) on the lowest side but not the Prius?

     
  16. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    Don't limit yourself to just insurance. You should include maintenance and consumables. Price it out for what you expect the "lifetime" of the car will be for you or longer. For instance - The prius only needs oil changes every 10,000 miles. There are no belts to replace. It doesn't need a "intermediate" (15k) service nor does it need a "major" (30k) service. It doesn't need a timing belt every 60-90k. The 14" rim tires are very inexpensive. My OEM lasted 50K and my second set of Michelins have 60k miles on them and still have 7/32 or 8/32 left on them. My brake pads are the originals and I still have 75% pad left after putting 110,000 miles on the car.

    This car has been ridiculously inexpensive to own. My only "non scheduled" fixes are replacement of 3 headlight bulbs (2 at 30k and one at 60k), transaxle fluid changes every 30k, and my OEM battery didn't last a year. I do need to have my passenger seat's leather bracket fixed (came loose from the bottom of the seat) and the XM amplifier antenna isn't working.

    In about 5 years and over 110,000 miles - I've put in a total of 1860 gallons of gas at a cost of $7031. 11 oil changes, 3 transaxle fluid changes, 3 light bulbs, 1.5 sets of tires, one battery, and 3 pairs of wiper blades (estimate - $1900). Thus $8931/59 months = $151/month operating expenses). I drive a little more than 22,000 miles per year.
     
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  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I suspect as an artifact of their choice of categories. They're only showing the top ten in each category (CR Online subscribers can query any models in the database) and the two likeliest categories are "small cars" or "family sedans", only the liftback isn't really a sedan, so using those categories it probably went in with small cars and got pushed from the top ten by much smaller cars including its own c sibling.

    If you look in the other link (the one dated March 2014), in that one the c and the liftgate both top their respective categories (because this time they had separate subcompact and compact categories), but you don't see the v (because this time they haven't listed a minivan category).

    I almost wonder if each time they get their list ready to go to press, and some senior editor says "wait, can you repartition the categories somehow? If people see three Prius models leading three categories they'll think Toyota's paying us...."

    -Chap
     
  18. rtotheichard

    rtotheichard Junior Member

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    My wife and I just bought a 2012 Prius 2. We were also looking at a 2013 Prius 2.

    Oddly enough, the quote for the 2013 was higher than for the 2012. Not sure why. But we went from a 2003 Honda Accord and 2010 Honda Civic GX to just the Accord and now the Prius. Monthly insurance cost, with same coverage as before, went from $134 to $120.
     
  19. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I drive over 30,000 miles a year so gas savings was bound to overwhelm over costs, but insurance for my 2009 Prius was cheaper than for my 2001 Forester.
     
  20. Paul Schenck

    Paul Schenck Active Member

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    I use Edmonds app to compare costs. Seems nothing is cheaper than buying used I can replace my 05 with half the milage for $8,000 . Imagine 150,000 trouble free miles at 45mpg, and only liability and uninsured motorist $ 30k saved right?


    iPhone ?
     
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