Hybrid Cars…so what do you think

Hybrid cars…

I have been in this business now for almost 16 years and been through the $4.50 a gallon gas episode.  We have probably owned and sold close to 300 Prius, and I am a huge fan, several years ago, when the gas went to $4.50 folks who owned big SUV’s were dumping them for 8 and 10,000 below the value they were months before.  Hybrids that were selling at invoice 2 months earlier were selling for $1.000 over MSRP….so what do you think.

Hybrids are a different kind of vehicle

….and many folks simply do not like the ride or the way they handle….but bring on 4 to 5 dollar a gallon gas and all of a sudden, they can put up with the little idiosyncrasies….and here we go again. My wife is a perfect example, a while back I brought a 2008 used Prius home and let her play with it, for a couple of weeks, her first reaction was, I don’t really like the looks, now she was coming from a 22 to 23 MPG SUV, after driving the Prius for about a month, she wouldn’t give it back, and made the comment, that filling up with gas ever few weeks for $20.00 sort of made the car more attractive…she has been a Prius girl now for about year…still has her SUV but rarely drives it, only when going to Coastal for critter food…

Now the prices have not gone crazy yet, but I have already heard from the new car dealers, that internet Prius’ are moving quickly toward MSRP..two days ago I was able to still buy them at invoice….and the used Prius’ have jumped about 6 to 700 dollars in the last 3 weeks.

Gas prices going crazy…will your hybrid help

My experiences with these cars…(Toyota Prius, my favorite) has been great for used.  I am currently driving one with 197,000 miles, and getting 43 to 47 MPG…and love it…and for me the hybrid is fun to drive and really helps with my yearly fuel costs, I put 25K a year on…my old car got 26 MPG which at $4.50 a gallon = $4,326 per year for fuel.  My Prius is getting 43 to 46 so lets say 44 for the same 25K miles will only use at $4.50 a gallon $2,556 saving me $1,769 for the year…even at a cost of $2.50 a gallon, I figure I save over $1,000 a year in fuel costs.

The 2004 and newer Prius have great overall reliability and updated battery technology, with outstanding life time expectations.  A NY taxi test ran them upwards of 300,000 miles with no battery problems, a Australia cab driver hit 600,000….unfortunately hybrid prices are gas hormonal, when gas goes up, they go up, when it goes down, they do too…a little..

One other thing to think about, when you hear the war stories about hybrid battery costs, that is partially a myth as well. Hybrid batteries, like any other auto part can be obtained used, and not the 3 to 4,000 dollars Toyota will suggest. It can easily be done for around $700 to $800…

So what do I think… I think if gas goes to 4.50 or 5.00 per gallon these Hybrids and going to be silly expensive again..

If you don’t buy soon, you might as well just wait for the cycle…to come around again.

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