What to check when buying a used PiP?

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Mayank Jain, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Mayank Jain

    Mayank Jain Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm in the market to buy a used PiP with about 100k miles, any of 2012-15 models. Prices I'm getting are $11.5k - $14k range. I'm in CA.

    Could you help me list things i should
    1. Ask info from dealer
    2. Check myself at the dealer (visual, test driving, etc)
    3. Ask a mechanic to check for me
    Ps : I'm a first time car buyer
     
  2. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Here's my policy. Everyone has their own, I guess.
    1. I don't buy privately. Only from a dealer. I know that adds to the cost, but this way I can research the dealer.
    2. Research the dealer's reputation. (This is no guarantee, but it will reduce the chances of dealing with a liar.)
    3. Find out what you can about the car's service history. Unless the PO had it serviced at Toyota, there's no really sure way to know much, if anything, so that's why I choose the dealer so carefully. But if they did, you can enter the VIN at Toyota's owners website and get the history of everything done by Toyota.
    4. Look for rust, smell for water damage, check for cleanliness and good tires. (My dealer puts new tires on practically everything he sells.)
    5. Take it for a test drive and make it long enough to get a feel for how the battery behaves. If possible, have it plugged in and charged before driving it. Pay no attention to the predicted battery range, because previous test drivers have probably flogged it. See what you get.

    Others will suggest things like Carfax, taking it to another shop to have it checked out, and so on. Nothing wrong with that at all.

    First time buying can be scary. Remember that, no matter how careful you are, there is always a certain amount of risk, but also remember that you've taken steps to minimize the risk.

    Also, I suggest getting the newest PiP you can afford. As they age, the lithium batteries lose capacity.
     
    #2 jerrymildred, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    make sure you get two fobs and an evse that all work.

    not much you can do to check the hybrid battery except what jerry says above.
    lear how to keep it in ev so you can check the range. heat off, no front defrost, easy on the accelerator.
    hopefully you can get 10 miles or so on back roads before the engine starts.
    there's no spare tire.
     
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  4. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Welcome!
    Be sure you check the mechanical keys in both fobs too. If a fob battery fails the mechanical key can help you get in the car to start it.

    I believe @jerrymildred 's definition of dealer includes trusted hybrid professionals who sell cars. Used car dealers can be almost as bad as private sales.

    For your #3, perhaps Hybrid Pit is close enough to you to check the car out. @sfv41901 and hos crew are very highly regarded professionals.
     
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  5. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Cupertino is up north (just outside of San Jose;).

    If next weekend is your time to buy and you want to take the prospect for a short drive (depending on where you find the right candidate), there is a meet up next weekend in Lafayette:

    Possible Monthly install meets. Bay Area-Fremont

    While we are not mechanics by trade, we know our way around the Prius ;).

    One option:).

    Another option is to take it to Arts Automotive in Berkeley or Luscious Garage in San Francisco. You’ll pay a bit, but they work on hybrids a lot.

    If this is your first car purchase (or first car ever), you’re probably a bit stressed out. Just remember the salesman will try to hard sell you into buying on the spot. Be ready to walk away. There are plenty of great PIPs out here, just remember to avoid the salvage titles;).

    Good luck with your decision (y).
     
  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Thanks Ray.
    Sorry I am too far away from California to keep tabs on locations. I depend on you guys for that.
     
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  7. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    No worries;).
     
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  8. HPrimeAdvanced

    HPrimeAdvanced Senior Member

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    I sold my 2012 with 103,000 miles for $10,000. It was ALWAYS serviced by a dealer, so all service was documented. It was as near to new as possible with good tires, excellent brakes, one small scratch on rear bumper. Having said all that, I tell you to AVOID used cars, if at all possible!! Who you buy it from is not as important as the car itself and knowing ALL it's history. CarFax can be fooled; I've seen it. My PIP only got 9 miles of EV range, so don't expect miracles here. My fuel economy averaged 60+ miles to the gallon overall driving in Socal. This was the MOST reliable and CHEAPEST car to own that I've ever had!! Another caveat, I didn't bother changing coolant, plugs, engine air filter, or brake fluid on this car before selling it. The next guy, if he did all those recommended things, would spend several hundred dollars. Therefore, check to see what sevicing the car will need. The brake pads were original, and perfect; the mechanics all said it could go up to 300,000 miles with the type of driving I was doing! DEFINITELY have a SUPERIOR TRUSTWORTHY hybrid specialist mechanic look over a car before purchasing it. Two most important things: Mechanic to carefully review car, and trustworthy person selling car. Ideally, the transaction will occur at a dealership or if private party, go to your bank/credit union where they can inspect car (most here will), and verify the title. NEVER, NEVER buy a salvaged car!! Drive the car, borrow it for at least an hour; bring a CRITICAL friend/mechanic to listen to and study the car with you. Most used car warranties aren't worth the paper they're printed on, but if it's free, it's better than nothing. My boss told me about the Tennessee 50/50 warranty: If the car breaks in half, you get to own both halves!! That's pretty much my opinion of warranties! With one used car I bought, my favorite all-time car, a 1969 Alfa Romeo GTV, I was lucky enough to meet the original owner! That was great, and hopefully you'll have that opportunity. If the owner is an enthusiast, who knows cars, all the better! This is probably been worn out but, GOOD LUCK!!
    P.S. I think Bisco's got a PIP, maybe he'll sell you his, and buy himself a new Prime!!

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
    AChoiredTaste.com
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    14k takes it!(y)

    never dealer serviced, which makes it more valuable.:p
     
  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I bet you’d argue the rear bumper incident makes it priceless;).

    At least we got to see your handy work through a pic(y).
     
    #10 Raytheeagle, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  11. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    (1) You probably want to check Toyota's CARB warranty status definition of the vehicle
    (make sure the vehicle is Ca. or equivalent CARB state original ownership)

    (2) You may want to check Ca. HOV sticker status.
    (My understanding, as of 2019, if it already has an HOV sticker, then it will become HOV-ineligible in 2019, on the other hand, if it never had an HOV sticker, it would be allowed on HOV for the new program) So that may impact car cost.
     
  12. potatoesLOL

    potatoesLOL Active Member

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    I bought my 2012 PiP Advanced used in 2015 (3-year lease return). I did a tremendous amount of research and negotiated this deal:

    2012 Prius Plug-In Advanced, Winter Grey
    - Toyota Cerified Pre-Owned (CPO)
    - Carfax 1-Owner / No Accidents
    - Leather, Navigation, HUD, LED Headlights, Fog Lights, Illuminated Door Sills, new all-weather mats + cargo
    - Full tank of gas, synthetic oil change
    - New tires
    40k miles
    17990

    Comparable PiP’s at the time were selling for 20-22k. They factor in the battery degradation and decrease in miles. However when I fully charged it before buying, it showed 13mi which seemed to be quite high. I reckon the PO rarely charged at all.

    A lot of the negotiating room comes in add-ons to your vehicle like the complete all weather mats, windshield wipers, door sills, etc. Dealers practically give those things away to close a deal. I researched for about 9 months until I found it. Also solid advice from the other posters! Good luck :)

    - Lee
     
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  13. Mayank Jain

    Mayank Jain Member

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    How should I research a dealer's reputation - especially when the only interaction I am expecting to have with them is the 1 time transaction? For example, I checked tons of reviews for BMWofMountainView before meeting them (all negative reviews on yelp), but the lady I met was very straight forward & tremendously helpful. How should I assess this? Is this important for a used car?

    Thanks for the nugget, I will check it out!

    Actually, the next PiP i am going to check out is in SF. Hence, this is wonderful info, I might book them. If you want, I can say you referred :) Lemme know!

    Questions
    - Should the first owner be in a CARB state? (A car purchased in CA, then bought in TX, then bought by me in CA)
    - Should all of the owners be in CARB states? (A car purchased in CA, then bought in NJ, then bought by me in CA)
    - Should only the last owner be in the CARB state? (A car purchased in TX, then bought by me in CA)
    CARB states are CA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI)

    Good info, thanks!
     
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  14. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    “Actually, the next PiP i am going to check out is in SF. Hence, this is wonderful info, I might book them. If you want, I can say you referred :)Lemme know!“

    Never been there, so if you say I referred you, they’d not recognize the name;).

    Good luck with your purchase and let us know if you have questions (y).
     
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  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    You have to ask Toyota as they told me they handle out-of-state exception cases on a case-by-case basis.
    But a while back, Toyota Team told me that middle states do not matter, it only matters if the first state of purchase/registration was CARB state, and the current state is CARB.

    Presumably in Ca., you are getting a Ca. used PiP, but it's worth a check on it. Having said that we have very few PiP failure cases to date, so it's mainly a nice-to-have comfort. My 2006 Prius is 170k miles with no probs, so I did not need a 150k miles warranty.

    "CARB states are CA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI"
    well you missed, let me guess, CT, VT as extended CARB 8-states
    Also regular CARB is PA, DE, WA.
    ToyotaTeam would not tell me if say a PA to CA vehicle would qualify, so something like that you have to ask Toyota for a ruling..
     
    #15 wjtracy, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  16. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    #16 jerrymildred, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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  17. Mayank Jain

    Mayank Jain Member

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    I spoke to Toyota customer care today (even they did not know the answer and went back to their support managers to check)
    Turns out : warranty is 10yr/150k if the vehicle was originally purchased in a CARB state and sold back in a CARB state (no matter which state it was sold in between). Also, the warranty is transferred down to any subsequent owner, as long as it is valid.
     
  18. Mayank Jain

    Mayank Jain Member

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  19. Mayank Jain

    Mayank Jain Member

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    I'm getting $12.7k out of door price for a 2012 PiP with 96k miles. Carfax looks clean, 2 owners, both in CA, regularly serviced.

    If it passes Luscious Garage's inspection - I will buy it.

    Thank you everyone for all the help!
     
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  20. Mayank Jain

    Mayank Jain Member

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    In addition to the base cost, they are adding the following (total = $12,700). Does it look ok?
    1. Base cost of $11,473
    2. Tax of $1,044 (9.09%)
    3. DMV additional fee of $28.25
    4. Official fees of $182.85

    Also : what documents need to be in place before I walk out the dealer with the car? (registration, smog, etc?) I'm not sure about this...
     
    #20 Mayank Jain, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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