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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Price of that Prius - Cool Calculator

Ok, so in my further car shopping thoughts and thanks to The Consumerist, I found this cool calculator. The discovery? The calculator says that at the current $4.00 per gallon, it would take me over 11 years to break even on the Prius.

This is good news. I want to wait until spring to buy a car because I want to see the 2009 Prius Model (expected to be a big redesign) and I want to see the new hybrids that Honda is offering. I feel better and better about keeping the CR-V for now.


Wacky Neighbor said...

I checked it out and wasn't that big of a fan of the calculator:

1) It doesn't give you a real net present value number - for example, your used car is likely to depreciate less over the next 5 years than a brand new car, which ought to factor into the decision. (This would be in favor of the used car.)

2) It assumes that the only way to make up the value of the exchange is through improved gas mileage. Of course a new car should also have less maintenance costs and have a substantially lower risk of mechanical problems that would lead to scrapping the car, which should favor a new car. It also doesn't include improvements in safety (which probably favor a new car) or insurance costs (which probably favor the old car).

It's a nifty little tool, but I don't think it's really very useful when making a decision (since the answer is basically that you should never buy a new car, which is another conversation entirely).

Kim said...

True, and I see what you mean. I think I'm looking for reasons to not buy a new car right now... Likely, I'll be waiting longer just out of laziness.

foxdeath said...

WN - I completely agree that it is not fiscally resposible to buy new, but sometimes life isn't about being fiscally resposible.

Carpe diem!

Wacky Neighbor said...

Well, my point isn't so much that you shouldn't buy new - I think buying new isn't a bad idea and the whole "it loses 30% of its value when you drive it off the lot" thing is silly, since you're not about to sell it right after you bought it. It was more that the calculator on that website was going to tell you that you shouldn't buy a new car unless you were selling a Hummer and buying a Prius. I think that it's not really that useful

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