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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm looking at buying a Toyota Prius (boo, hiss, I know...) b/c I have a new job where I'll be driving approx 90 miles a day round trip and the Element just won't do it for me mpg-wise...

Well anyways, I took my E to the dealer today to get a trade-in value and to my surprise the dealer tries to tell me that my car has been in an accident since the VIN under the hood has been painted over at some point. At which point I almost jumped out of my pants. I told him that it has never been in an accident and that I have the CARFAX to prove it. He then back peddled and said that regardless, its had body work, good body work, but body work nonetheless. So after some back and forth with another guy goes "We'll give you 6k for it." Now I've done my research, and that almost knocked me down. I know trade-in values are low, but here I'm expecting at least 6500. When I tried to haggle he's like, "look, the price of the prius is rock bottom so we don't have any room to haggle. I can jack the price up on the prius so that I can jack the price up on the E, but I'm not going to do that." I politely told him that this was going to be the deal breaker and he basically told me that it was my decision.

I would just like to know what your opinion is regarding the "body work" lessening the price by at least 500 buck?! Most of you have seen my E, it is almost spotless for an 2003. I did just cross the 100k barrier, but still, am I being unreasonable?
 

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So I'm looking at buying a Toyota Prius (boo, hiss, I know...) b/c I have a new job where I'll be driving approx 90 miles a day round trip and the Element just won't do it for me mpg-wise...

Well anyways, I took my E to the dealer today to get a trade-in value and to my surprise the dealer tries to tell me that my car has been in an accident since the VIN under the hood has been painted over at some point. At which point I almost jumped out of my pants. I told him that it has never been in an accident and that I have the CARFAX to prove it. He then back peddled and said that regardless, its had body work, good body work, but body work nonetheless. So after some back and forth with another guy goes "We'll give you 6k for it." Now I've done my research, and that almost knocked me down. I know trade-in values are low, but here I'm expecting at least 6500. When I tried to haggle he's like, "look, the price of the prius is rock bottom so we don't have any room to haggle. I can jack the price up on the prius so that I can jack the price up on the E, but I'm not going to do that." I politely told him that this was going to be the deal breaker and he basically told me that it was my decision.

I would just like to know what your opinion is regarding the "body work" lessening the price by at least 500 buck?! Most of you have seen my E, it is almost spotless for an 2003. I did just cross the 100k barrier, but still, am I being unreasonable?
No matter what they get for it, they're going to list it for twice what they give you. I'd say don't settle for anything less than 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No matter what they get for it, they're going to list it for twice what they give you. I'd say don't settle for anything less than 7.
Well that's the line they tried to feed me... he goes "well we're not going to jack up the price on the honda when we try to sell it b/c that's not what we do" I just don't get it... their still going to ask at least 8k for it and not going to have to do anything to it to get it up to par.
 

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I roll my E to and from work every day and its 96 miles round trip. the E doesn't do that bad. I am averaging 24 mpg and your prius is going cost you a pretty penny and its going to take a lot of fill ups to make up that difference. Maybe a cheaper gas car like a civic or corolla or matrix. My wife was looking at the prius a while back and we bought her the toyota matrix because at the time gas was at 2.50 and it would take 180000 miles before the prius started justifying the cost offset over the matrix. She has had it for 5 years and 60000 miles, so we are still ahead. And we don't have to worry about a battery pack going in the next few years. Or the controller issue that seems to go at about 100k miles. I have had a few friends have to dish out 4k for a new control unit when it burned out at 100k.

Oh and sell yours privately. they won't give you anything on trade. better to have cash in hand to negotiate with first.
 

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So sad to hear this but not at all surprised.
When purchasing a new car with a trade-in involved expect the worse.
Dealer standards on a used car trade in value in California (ideally speaking) are $5,000 below (or a percentage there of)
the retail price of the vehicle.
They will do and say, lie and cheat anyway they can to achieve it.

You might want to consider shopping your trade-in.
Just call as many dealerships as you can Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chevy etc (it doesn't matter which and the more of them the better) and ask to speak to the "Used Car Manager".
Let the used car manager know that you are a "seller not a buyer" and that you are interested in selling your Honda and would like to know if they'de be interested in offering you a price on it.
Of course they will say yes.
There isn't a used car lot on the planet that doesn't want a Honda vehicle in thier inventory.


Take the best offer you can get from any of the used car managers.
Sell it to them (they will write you a check on the spot) and then go buy the Prius with out a trade-in involved.
 

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Do yourself a favor, look at something that costs much less than the Prius ...

The high cost of the hybrid is going to make payback times incomprehensible.

Don't forget that you will be paying insurance and taxes on a newer car also. That will make payback times longer.

Dom
 

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Couldn't agree more. Take it to a Honda dealer and get a Civic, the Prius is all hype. Thank Ed Begley and his buddies... BTW the doors are really heavy and leave big scratches and dents on other cars.... Trust me!!
 

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Get yourself a Civic or for something fun and even more thrifty a Fit.Guaranteed you will enjoy driving either one much more than the Prius.
Honda dealer should see the value in your Element as a trade better than a Toyota store.

Personal experience--When I bought my Subaru Forester, I was going to buy from a Subaru only dealer I do business with-however- the owner said "how on earth am I ever going to sell a manual transmission Element" and offered just $7900. Went to a Subaru dealer with a Honda franchise too and got $9600 while beating the other dealers bottom line price by $200 to boot. They had to fix a few things to certify my E-but sold it in under ten days.
 

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I agree, the Prius is all hype - no savings. In an Edmunds study, for someone driving 15K miles a year, comparing someone buying a new Prius "to save money" vs. someone buying a new Corolla, you'd have to own and drive the Prius for over 16 years before you broke even with the Corolla owner, and actually started to see any savings.
 

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Besides, the Prius will accelerate suddently and the brakes won't work and you'll go flying off a cliff or something. The Element won't do that to you. :grin:
 

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Like others have said Hang on to the E or find something like the Fit or Yaris. It will pay off better in the long run and if you ever have to replace that damn battery pack after the battery warranty it will cost almost 5 grand. The fun of owning a hybrid will wear off after a couple months.
 

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anyways, if you are going to be on the highway all the time you should be thinking big car, bmw, cadillac, chrysler 300. something that will let you cruise in comfort. its a long time to be cramped up in a little puddle jumper. been there myself....you can develop a fear of small spaces really quick, especially when the big trucks start messing with ya.
 

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Well, I do a min of 120 miles a day for my commute in the E and am plumb happy. My mpg has jumped to over 26 recently which is more than decent.

Granted, this commuter duty is not the ideal setup for the E but I needed the versatility vs just another 4 banger sedan and it has paid in spades for that.

Agree with others you will be hard pressed to get the money value back on the Prius by looking just at gas investment. Also, keep in mind the Prius gets its best mpg in stop and go city driving vs open road stuff. Lastly, also agree you need to private sell your E. Especially if it already looks as good as you say.

Look hard at the small gas engine options out there. Lots of good mid 30's mpg or better choices for much less than the Prius. If you just have to get a hybrid, why not something more fun like the upcoming CR-Z as an option? (I'm not a big Prius fan as you can tell. There's just so much more for choices out there.)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well folks, I have officially been talked out of the Prius, not only by you fine folks, but my family as well. I'm honestly very leery of giving up the E, SO MANY DECISIONS!
 

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Well folks, I have officially been talked out of the Prius, not only by you fine folks, but my family as well. I'm honestly very leery of giving up the E, SO MANY DECISIONS!
Wise decision. The current Prius technology is like a 64MB SD card. Wait a couple more years. You will be surprised and very glad you waited.;-)
 

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I wasn't preparing to ditch my Element, but I did have this inherited Astro van back in 2008 and no buyers. Went to a multi brand dealer that would take it in trade and bought a Civic LX sedan- (not a hybrid).

The Civic was discounted and with the trade, I spent $10K. It would have taken another $8K+ to get in to a hybrid (Civic or Prius).

I get close to 40 mpg highway and have far less invested in the LX than a hybrid. Another plus- I will have no problem selling the Civic LX when the day comes.
 
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