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should i buy a used prius with over 100k?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by jv0704, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. jv0704

    jv0704 New Member

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    hi guys, i need your help.

    i been shopping for a used prius for some time now. i have a budget of around $10k-$17k.
    i'm trying to keep my monthly payment as low as possible (not even going to do any down payment, on a 72-month term). and that includes, gas/maintenance/insurance/etc...

    so far, all i've found on craigslist are (all dealers, not owners as i need to finance):

    05 110k miles $11,000 (new tires)
    07 80k miles $14,000
    08 99k miles $15,000
    05 60k miles $17,000
    07 40k miles $17,000 (do not know why this cost same as the one above?)

    my instinct says, get the one with the lowest miles.
    but my gut says, get the one with the lowest price.
    but my brain says, just buy a new jeep patriot for $17k.

    so my question to you all is, which do you think is the best deal?

    i plan on driving it around for a good 7-10 years.

    also, how long do prius usually last? i'm afraid that if i get the 100k prius, in 5-6 years, my prius will be dead before i even get to pay off my loan. i plan to drive about 25k/year.

    what would be my to-do list of future maintennance fees? any of them over $500?

    btw, none are salvage, although, i have been very tempted at some of them at one point.

    thanks all for your help!

    p.s.
    the reason why i'm thinking of getting a used prius over patriot is the fact that i feel i'd have less future maintenance costs and that i'd save roughtly $50+ month on gas. which in the short/long run, that i'd be saving more money. and yes, i'm trying to be a real cheapskate here. if i can save $100/month, that itself would be huge to me right now.
     
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    If you're going to drive 25k/year then over 7 to 8 years you'll be doing 175k to 200k miles.

    If you buy a car in CA that has spent its entire US life in CA/CARB states you'll have a 150k mile hybrid system and battery warranty. If it's been outside CA/CARB you'll have a 100k mile hybrid warranty.

    It seems that battery life is a matter of both time and use, so a higher mileage driver doesn't hurt the battery as much as you might think, especially if they haven't been working the battery hard (e.g. lots of highway mileage, not working the A/C hard). Note that some people have put 300k miles on their original batteries.

    If you do have to replace the battery a new one through the dealer could cost you $3.5k including installation. However, you can get salvage batteries (Priuses don't die, they get written off) that would dramatically cut the cost.

    Certain other component failures are also expensive.

    If you are ready and willing to learn and do your own maintenance there are helpful people with expertise here who can help you reduce the risks of expensive repairs. But even if you don't do your own work they can often help diagnose faults correctly (better than dealerships) and avoid unnecessary repairs.

    A used Prius isn't for the faint of heart or very tight of budget. For safe budgeting assume that you will have to replace the battery at a bit over the warranty period and then enjoy every mile that it lasts over that.

    That's the bad stuff done with. Now for the good news: one of the reasons why dealerships often aren't so skilled at Prius repair is that Priuses have a very good reliability record. Normal maintenance costs are low, which is why Prius TCO is so good. There was an electrical issue with 04 and the 2nd gen generally has had a recall for the inverter coolant pump. I don't believe any maintenance items are over $500. Brakes would eventually need to be replaced, but they last due to regen.

    The different prices could reflect different packages. As with any other car there are different trims that costs wildly different amounts.

    If I were buying I'd be targeting the $14k 80k 2007, but I'm just interested in mileage.
     
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  3. Vic Doucette

    Vic Doucette Junior Member

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    If you need to take a six-year note to buy a car and you can't make a down payment, then you can't afford the car.
     
  4. LIPriusFreak

    LIPriusFreak Can I haz JDM?

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    so you're doing 25k a year and you're worried about a prius dying?? I'd worry more about the jeep patriot you want.....talk about problems lol....

    If it helps I bought my 06 package 6 prius with 77k certified with warranty up to 125k...I have 82k on it now and it still feels like I'm breaking her in..I expect this car to last over 300k..

    there is a guy (2 fast 4 u) who has an 09 with currently over 365k still running strong with very little maintenance out of pocket on his end....
     
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  5. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    It would really depend on car condition.

    Last time we bought used we looked at 6 vans.. The one we picked wasn't the lowest miles, wasn't the best features or cheapest. 3 out of those 6 had signs of accident, one was completely trashed and another one had transmission leak and bold tires.
     
  6. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    If you are trying to be a "real cheapskate" then your brain would not consider buying a new vehicle which is subject to the greatest amount of depreciation. I would also question the specific choice of Jeep Patriot with regards to ultimate vehicle reliability and longevity.

    I agree 100% with that, with regards to selection of a used vehicle that you wish to own for another seven years. Buy the used vehicle that is in the best condition that you can afford. A good condition at minimum implies a low odometer reading, good cosmetics (which implies but does not guarantee the previous owner actually cared about the car), no accident history, a service record that complies with the maintenance schedule, and no vehicle driveability issues.

    I also question the concept of taking a six-year auto loan on a used car which already is 3-6 years old. There is a reasonable likelihood that the car (whether Prius or any other model) will be dead before the loan is paid if you log 25K miles per year. A more conservative approach would be to take no more than a three-year auto loan on a used car of that age. If you can't make the higher monthly payments on a loan of that duration then look for a less costly vehicle.

    Pay for an hour or two of labor time to have your prospective purchase inspected by a Prius tech at your local Toyota dealership. Good luck.
     
  7. dinger_greg

    dinger_greg New Member

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    Personally I would choose the 05 with 110k miles. Reliable vehicle that will last many more miles
     
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  8. pghsebring

    pghsebring Junior Member

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    We just got a prius and spent quite a bit of time going over the different ones to get a good deal. We ended up driving 350 miles to pick one up - 87k, 07, $11k. None of those seem to be good prices. I'd keep looking for a better price. Figure out what you want to pay for a prius, send a lot of offers over email for under your target price, and eventually you'll get a decent price. Hell, i think we still overpaid considering the prices a year ago. Oh, and gas prices are receding a little bit right now, so that should help. It took us about 2 months to get a good enough deal to pull the trigger. Don't just check craigslist, check autotrader.com and cars.com too...and toyotacertifiedhybrids.com also.

    For those cars i'd pay:

    05 110k miles $9-10k
    07 80k miles $11k (may have 150k battery warranty)
    08 99k miles $10-11k (may have 150k battery warranty)
    05 60k miles $10-11k
    07 40k miles $12-13k (may have 150k battery warranty)

    Good luck.

    PS. What state do you live in? Maybe we could give more specific advice.

    EDIT: I see you're in LA...in that case, those 3 cars should all have 150k battery/hybrid warranty. Also, sometimes you get a better rate with the 60 months financing instead of the 72 months. We got 3% instead of 5% - if we had financed for a year longer, we'd save $24 each month for the first 5 years, but have to pay $200 extra for an entire year longer. And a lot of places won't finance a car with 100k+ for 6 years.
     
  9. Vic Doucette

    Vic Doucette Junior Member

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    If you can''t pay for a car in three to three-and-a-half years, you can't afford the car, period. This isn't the same as being able to afford the PAYMENT, which is what the finance companies want you to think about.

    Suppose you buy a used car for $15,000 and take out a six-year loan to pay it off. In two years you will likely still owe about $13,000 or so on the car, since you be mainly paying interest costs up-front. But the car will likely be only worth about $10,000, meaning you will be upside-down on the loan to the tune of $3,000.

    If something happens and you total the car, the insurance company is only obligated to pay off what you OWE, not what the car is WORTH. This will leave you with two problems: (1) You will need another car. (2) you will still owe $3,000 on a car that is now essentially worthless.

    A six-year car loan is a great deal for the finance company and a really, really bad deal for the consumer. If you need six years to pay for a car, then you can't afford the car. Period.
     
  10. jv0704

    jv0704 New Member

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    i am now leaning on not buying the prius.
    buying a used car with close to 100k miles seems too much of a risk.
    i'm gonna go with my brain on this one.
     
  11. jv0704

    jv0704 New Member

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    @vic, well then, as i see on your tag "Support The Miracle League of Michigan -- because EVERY child deserves the chance to play baseball!"

    it'd be nice if it were "Support The Miracle League of Michigan -- because EVERY one deserves the chance to ride a Prius!

    but, good stuff you are doing over there with the charity. i'd support it, if i just had some, money.
     
  12. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    Of the three (brain, gut, instinct), I think your brain is the weakest point.

    I'd go with one of the '07s myself, probably the one for $14K. But if you're being a cheapskate and looking at this from a strictly monetary point of view, the Jeep will lose 35% of its value just driving it off the lot. So right there is $6000 lost. The used Prius might lose 20% at worst, that's $2800 for the $14K Prius.
    The Jeep gets half the mileage of the Prius, at 25K miles/year at $4/gallon (don't expect prices to drop down very much or for very long, $4 is optimistic average for 7 years). Jeep uses 1000 gallons, Prius uses 500 gallons.

    Jeep: $17000 purchase price + $4K gas/year
    trade-in value after 7 years, maybe $4K at best (I'm not kidding, I used a 7-year old Jeep Wrangler with 160K miles on Kelly Blue Book to get an idea, $3k is probably more likely, but I'll be generous)
    => (17K-4K) + (4Kx7) = $41K total (not including finance charges/interest - another $9k??)

    Prius:
    $14000 purchase price + $2K gas/year
    trade-in value after 7 years, maybe 3K (harder to estimate as it will be 11 years old, and no equivalent 11 year old hybrids currently on the market, but if gas prices go up, Prius resale value also goes up)
    => (14K-3K) + (2Kx7) = $25K total (not including finance charges/interest - another $8k??)


    I would expect the reliability of a new Jeep to be equal to that of a used Prius. Keep in mind the Prius won't need a brake job probably for it's whole life, oil changes are every 5K miles (or more). I wouldn't expect any problems with the battery, that should be perfectly fine.

    Jeep Patriot is listed as #20 by U.S. News in affordable compact SUVs, so you immediately know there's 19 better choices. Best Affordable Compact SUVs - Best Cars & Trucks - U.S. News Rankings and Reviews

    I think you have your brain confused with your eyes or some other body part.
     
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  13. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    That's the real answer. At this point in your life, you need to do the responsible thing and get a $5K fuel-efficient car with $1K down, and drive that until you can afford something better.

    I've been in your shoes, and that's what I did (well, actually I bought a $3K car with $2K down), so I'm not just talking down to you. I drove that car for 4 years and it had a few minor problems but mostly because I still had to learn that maintenance was actually important). Then I bought a little better car, again 5 years old, and only after that in my 30's did I buy a brand-new car.
     
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  14. prioki

    prioki Member

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    Those prices seem pretty high to me. I bought my '01 Prius with 85,000 miles on it for $8,000. And that was with carpool stickers. This was three years ago, and I realize it is an '01, but still.
     
  15. LIPriusFreak

    LIPriusFreak Can I haz JDM?

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    lol...you can't compare a gen 1 to a gen II and u can't compare a gen II to a gen III.... silly wabbit :D:p
     
  16. prioki

    prioki Member

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    I know, I know. But still, it's a fantastic car and the best $8000 I ever spent. And I've never had to make car payments! :)
     
  17. wirelessjava

    wirelessjava Member

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    I got a prius II 2015 for 17,500 with 27,500 miles on it. Well worth it 7-8K

    --wire
     
  18. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Check the date of the original post.
    I'm pretty sure the issue is settled by now.
     
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  19. rposton

    rposton Member

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    I can't resist.
    Q: Will a Prius do, lets say as fast as 50 mph?
    A: It will go fast enough to put you in jail. I almost found that out the hard way on a highway where one is limited to a ho-hum 70 mph. I will leave it at that. Traffic court, safety class, I have slowed down. So, yes.

    Q: "That battery has to be replaced every 7 years, then the car will not be worth much."
    A: My first HV battery lasted 390,000 miles in my 2006. How long will your car last before a major repair?

    Q: "HV battery replacement is more than the price of the car."
    A: Hmm. I bought another new one with installation from the Toyota dealer. It cost me $3600.00. I hear that the new diesel truck, yeah the one down the road with the "Prius Eliminator' sticker on it, has to run DEF, and his exhaust system, when he changes it, may run him closer to $10K. I don't know, but that is what I hear.

    Lets see, while were on the subject of service, here are some other pricey items.
    * I have those optional HID headlamps. Dealer charged me $530 to replace the bulbs.
    * My catalytic converter went out. Dealer wants $2K. I found the cheaper one off of Amazon which seems to work fine.

    Q: "Gas is cheap these days. It doesn't justify the extra price of the Hybrid"
    A: Yes, maybe, I fell in love with the smoothness and quietness of it. I have found I have to be careful around pedestrians for without some noise to alert them, they can step out in front of me. I am also very careful in parking garages. Pretty neat to be in when you are around wildlife that you do not want to disturb.

    Oh, by the way, did I tell you that I have 498k on the car now, and it is still my favorite of the 3 vehicles I have, to drive.
     
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  20. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    The Prius is very reliable as the accountants have not cheapened it by a dime while reducing reliability by 5 years, like so many cars.
    While it is very reliable, most mechanics can't repair parts, only replace them. So you can save a great deal in maintenance of be one of the very few unlucky ones who need a new transaxle* ($5000) or inverter# ($4000) I can't recommend a Prius to someone who can't afford to have it break.

    * to avoid trouble, change the ATF WS regularly. When you buy it and then every 90,000 miles is fine.
    # to avoid trouble, never jump start another vehicle and if you need a jump start, replace your 12 volt battery immediately.