TTAC Commentator gman37 writes:
Steve and Sajeev: I was hoping to pick your brain for a second regarding the used Prius market right now. Help a Hammer Time follower out! I own a 2010 base Prius (Model II), and I have been seeing listings at local dealerships for base model Prius’s (????) selling for 3-4K above new MSRP prices. For instance there is one with 15K on the clock selling for 27K, when new the MSRP was around 24K.
Is this actually occurring right now or are these people out of their minds? My wife and I were debating on selling it and buying a cheaper car with a smaller payment if we could actually make a decent profit on it. On the other hand, 50 MPG in the era of $5 a gallon gas is pretty great. Its a gas! Thanks for your time.
And Sajeev, I always wanted a Mercury Marauder!
So get a Marauder! Life’s too short to compromise, even if said Panther wished Ford took that very same advice. And your wife is totally cool with it, I already asked.
Of course the Marauder isn’t exactly cheap in terms of fuel economy, and clean examples might actually be at the bottom of their depreciation curve, like the (LT-1 powered) Impala SS it was supposed to surpass. If said Panther Love puts your marriage on the rocks, buy any (reasonably dapper) used compact sedan (Civic, Corolla, Sentra, Focus, etc) and enjoy a better driving experience than your Prius with minimal impact to your monthly fuel bill. Remember, motoring fun is important!
Sajeev, I don’t think he wants a Panther. But who knows? Keep it. What the hell are you going to replace it with?
The $27k price is for the unfortunate soul who ruined his credit and can’t be financed through Toyota Financial Services. The dealership will have a partnership with a secondary finance company that is willing to take the risk. What that buyer will be looking for is not the price… but the monthly payment. The dealer makes thousands. The finance company hopefully has a customer that makes the note, and the buyer probably ends up screwing themselves twice.
Once by buying the overpriced car with hysterically bad finance terms. Then they probably end up selling it after the ‘big’ 60k service because they’re bored, bad at math (surprise?), and/or totally ignorant about the future maintenance costs. Usually a combination of all three.
Keep the car. The next time you should go to the dealer (if ever) is when electric cars are the norm and the Prius is no longer an economical proposition. This should be some time between 2025 and Armageddon. By the way, the Toyota dealer couldn’t give a flip about you once you walked out their door with one less check in your pocket. Sorry but it’s the truth.
Need help with a car buying conundrum? Email your particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org , and let TTAC’s collective wisdom make the decision easier… or possibly much, much harder.