cy (cychan) wrote,

Prius depreciation revisted

Almost two years ago, I posted about how our Prius had been holding its value exceedingly well. Based on the resale value at 16 months old, I projected the expected depreciation over three years to be no greater than 13.6% as compared to 45% for the average vehicle in the US.

With gas prices so high, demand for the Prius is astronomical -- much higher than Toyota can meet. This in turn has led to very high resale values of used Priuses. After a little over three years, our car has depreciated only 7.7% 7.2%. This value reflects a below average number of miles, so correcting for that (assuming the average person drives 15k miles/yr), it would have depreciated 11.4% instead.

A lot of folks like to say that it takes years to make up the hybrid premium in gas savings. It's not hard to see that Prius owners made out like bandits (whether out of "foresight" or just plain blind luck) in terms of reduced depreciation alone. Whether this astoundingly low rate of depreciation will hold up for the next several years remains to be seen, but either way I'm sure the price of gas will be a large determining factor.

EDIT: Jess points out that we only have around 17k miles on our car versus the 24k figure I used in my original post, so I updated the pricing chart below. Our depreciation is currently about 7.2% (or 2.4% annually!) instead of 7.7% from original price.

2004 Toyota Prius 4dr Hatchback Shown2005 Toyota Prius 4 Dr Hatchback True Market Value Pricing
Trade-In Private Party Dealer Retail
National Base Price $17,618 $19,684 $21,242
Optional Equipment $1,054 $1,181 $1,415
Front Side Airbags $160 $179 $215
Stability Control $149 $167 $200
Front and Rear Head Airbags $149 $167 $200
Power Door Locks $149 $167 $200
Keyless Ignition System $149 $167 $200
Xenon High Intensity Discharge Headlights $149 $167 $200
Fog Lights $149 $167 $200
Color Adjustment
$55 $61 $66
Regional Adjustment
for Zip Code 02141
$-89 $-99 $-107
Mileage Adjustment
17,500 miles
$985 $985 $985
Condition Adjustment
$0 $0 $0
Total $19,623 $21,812 $23,601

Certified Used Vehicle $25,605

Price Another Vehicle

Print Window Stickers: Trade-In | Private Party | Dealer Retail


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