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Simplifying and Buying a Prius

I swore I would never buy a new car and I would never finance any part of a car again so I feel, for my own benefit, that I need to write out justification for our purchase ūüôā

Last night was our 9 year anniversery, and we had plans that didn’t include spending quality time with car salesmen or spending near that much money. ¬†The problem was that our family car, the only one that holds the children, was at the point of fix or replace. Being just a few miles from 200,000 and having poor gas milage finally pushed us over the edge to replace.

I have been wanting a Prius for about 5 years. ¬†We almost bought one the last time we purchased a car 3 1/2 years ago. ¬†I would love to say that it is my tree hugging, earth saving spirit, that drove me to it, but it wasn’t, I need it to ‘show me the money’. ¬†I over think things a bunch so I wanted to share some of the reasons we chose a Prius. ¬†Even though they have been making them for about 10 years they are still unique in the car world. ¬†There was three money reasons we decided to go Prius and new.

First, they are about the only car that actually can appreciate when it is purchased.  Because many people have to wait 3 to 6 months to get them, it is possible to find a seller who is impatient and willing to pay more.  We purchased one that is coming next week that someone just cancelled their order for.  I am not sure there is any in Omaha not purchased yet.  Possibly 1 with a bunch of extra options included across town, but I am not sure if they are advertising it before it actually is delivered  as well.

Second, because of this they don’t drop in value after the ‘magic’ two years. ¬†There was 2 used Prius cars (in the whole city that we could find) that we looked at as well. ¬†We compared milage. ¬†If the rounded cost of a new car is $25,000 and, at best guess, it will run to 200,000, than each 10,000, divided evenly should count for $1250 depreciation. ¬†The first car had over 36,600 miles on it, so with the previous numbers it should be selling for $20,425 or less… but it was listed at $22,995. ¬†The second car had 86,600 miles so it should have been listed at $14,175.. but it was listed at $19,000. ¬† This meant that the new car was actually the better deal…. something that, I can’t imagine is the case with any other car.

Third, because of the amazing gas milage.  The Prius does 52 (or 51, we heard both) mpg in the city and 48 on the hwy.  We get 18 in the city on our Lincoln Towncar.  We could have gotten a better gas milage car but the Prius stood out as the best gas milage with only being a bit more expensive.

Comparing our 18 mpg with the 50 mpg (average for city and hwy) for 200,000 miles, and calculating gas at an average of $4 per gallon (a hope, but probably not a reality for the next 10-15 years) there is a difference of $28,444 savings in gas alone.  So, car depreciation aside, having a Prius instead of an 18 mpg car allows the gas to more than pay for the whole purchase price of the vehicle.  That is nuts!

Compared to a new Honda Civic or Nissan Sentra the savings would be $7188 and $11,586 putting neither as a better deal… and if gas gets higher… even less of a good deal. ¬†There are other hybrids out there but, the other comparable one I was looking at, the Civic Hybrid got only 44 mpg and cost almost as much.

So, I really wanted a Prius, and it is sure fancy to get one new and this is how I justified (and still am trying to justify it to myself)

1.  We drive tones and this has the potential of saving us $2,400 or even more a year on gas savings alone (my husband uses my car for work all he can)

2.  The car is set to depreciate less than other options I found, even for the older cheaper cars that were for sale by owner.

3. ¬†I think it is pretty and has a cool button start ūüôā

4. ¬†In simplifying, minimalizing and intentionalizing our lives I am sick of limping along with unknown car expenses and car turnover every few years (as they die). ¬†Our current car cost us at least $2000 per year in depreciation and repairs over the last 3 years. ¬†Three years ago it was a great deal and was listed as one of the best used cars in consumer report… but there are still lots of little things that go wrong and add up. ¬†(we never had anything big go wrong)

So, now we have a Prius coming next week, and, if all works out as planned, it will be paid for in a year and we can drive it till our kids get to college or longer.   Excited!  (and still feeling a bit queezy about spending so much money)


  1. Brenda Brenda

    So excited for you! Everyone I know that has them LOVE them and save a bunch of gas money. Bonus that it’s cute! Hopefully it will save you a lot on repairs, etc. What other cool things does it have?

    • Lorilee Lorilee

      I will have to post some pics when I get it. Honestly, we test drove it 3 1/2 years ago but didn’t have time to test drive it this week. What we were going for was milage, 4 doors, long life and we didn’t really get much farther. The trunk space is really small, smaller than your folks cars but we still think we can road trip in it.

  2. […] I wanted to write-up¬†the numbers of what our family does.¬† We are working on budgeting and cutting our bills back even more since we decided to simplify because we want to save up as money for the things we want as possible.¬†(and we are trying to pay of the Prius) […]

  3. Kristin Kristin

    We LOVE our Prius. I think it is a great family car. Little things we like are the iPod jack (hidden, so no one can see that you’ve left your iPod in the car) and the cup holders that fold down in the middle of the backseat. My kids can put their sippy cups in from their carseat and nothing spills. The hatchback trunk holds more than our Accord did. And we only get gas every 3 weeks. I think you’ll love it!

    • we do love it. My husband drives it most of the time now to save gas ūüôĀ

      My favorite thing is the key. I love that I can leave it in my purse all the time and the car can just tell. Unlocking and locking with the touch of a finger took us a bit to figure out, but it is way cool!

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