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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cars: This is what I'm trying to Avoid

Buying a car based on emotion of gas prices

But, as a side note and an update. I was really excited about the Yaris. And I hate to admit this because it sounds stupid... the car I saw on the road that I liked was, in fact, the Matrix. Not the Yaris. Dumb. So, the cost of a Toyota Matrix is approaching that of the Prius, which gets better gas mileage. So, I'm back to the Prius.

As much as I love the Element, I just can't do it on the gas mileage, and Honda is being tight-lipped about what the plans are for the Element in 2009. Some people seem to think it's getting discontinued, replaced with the Crossroad (which I don't like).

I really really really wish that the Honda CR-Z would be coming out as more than a concept. I'd snatch that puppy up in a heartbeat. Is that not the most fabulous looking hybrid you've ever seen?? THAT is what I'm talking about - good gas mileage in something fun to drive!! It would knock the Prius off its feet. However, it's not expected to hit production until 2009 or 2010, and even then only in Europe. Suck.

UPDATE: I did some math. If I were to buy a used Prius (and there are like 6 within 100 miles of my house for sale... not many people sell them), I would have a car payment of $275/month. This is based on the used car loan I could get from AAA and assumes that I could get about $8800 for my car (very high mileage on my car, sadly). Based on the miles I drive and current gas prices, I would save $130.33 in gas a month. So, I'd be spending $275 to save $130 each month. Hm.

So, back to keeping the CR-V. :) With my math, gas prices could reach $5 per gallon and I still wouldn't save money buying the Prius, since my car is paid off. Gas prices would need to be $7.81 for me to save money by buying a Prius.


Wacky Neighbor said...

To really figure out the economics, though, you would also have to factor in (i) maintenance costs, which may be more on the CRV as it would likely be a bit older than the used Prius (although no one really knows what the long-term Prius reliability will be) and (ii) the future resale value and resale timing of each car - more than likely the CRV will be worth less in 3 years than the Prius, so you really should think about the net present value of the decision. So suppose in 3 years the CRV was only worth $4000 while the Prius was worth (for sake of argument) $10,000 - that should count for something in your calculation.

Kim said...

That is true. That's a tough calculation to make.

There is the question, also, of insurance. If I have a more expensive car, insurance prices go up.

The other thing that is annoying is there is a new body style of the Prius coming out in 2009, which I prefer over the current model. This leads to 2 issues - buy a current model, maybe be disappointed that the new body style is nicer (and apparently will get even better gas mileage) - or wait until the new body style comes out? And even if I wait for the new body style, do I follow my own rule about waiting until used ones are available, or do I buy new?

Buying a car sucks.

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