• Risks and Rewards of Buying a Used Toyota Prius

    If you are buying a used Toyota Prius, there are some risks and rewards that await you. The Prius is a hybrid automobile that uses both electric and gas components. It was introduced in 2001 and is one of the most fuel efficient cars on the market. It will help you save gas compared to almost every vehicle on the road. With some benefits though, always comes risks.


    • If you buy a used Prius, you are definitely going to be increasing your fuel efficiency from your last car, unless you already have a Prius and are buying an older, used version. How much you are increasing it is another story. The EPA estimates are done under perfect conditions, and unless you are driving perfectly, then you will not see the gaudy 50 miles per gallon that it says you get. You will still get great numbers, but maybe around 40 miles per gallon, which is still respectable.
    • Buying a Prius allows you to lower the carbon footprint of your car. The footprint for the Prius is usually around 4 tons of carbon dioxide emitted per year, which is one of the lowest scores for any car.
    • In addition, your Prius will only use about 7 barrels of oil, compared to more than double for many other cars.
    • The electric battery is very expensive, and that is part of the risk. However, the braking system allows you to recharge your battery every time you brake. This also means the braking is done by this system more so than the brake pads, so your brakes should last longer.
    • Lastly, if you buy a Prius, you may be eligible to receive a tax credit from the government or from the corporation you work for. This can be a few thousand saved.


    • The battery is both a reward and a risk. The battery should last about 100,000 miles, and if you are buying it used, there are already miles on it. The battery is very expensive, and you will have to shell that out in the long run.
    • Although the fuel efficiency is so great, the price of the Prius may be cost inhibitive. It will take you years to make up the money saved in gas to the price of the Prius itself. You may be better buying a similar car, like the Toyota Yaris, paying a little more at the pump, but in the long run, saving the most money.
    • The engine is nothing to write home about in the Prius. You barely get any horsepower, so have fun watching the other cars pass you on the road. 
    • The Prius has recently been under the gun about a potential braking problem. Toyota claims they have the fix for them, but it is a big risk if you don’t get the problem looked at, even if you aren’t experiencing any problems right now.
    • Remember, the Prius is a very small car. If you plan on having a family, the Prius may not be the car for you, so plan ahead before you buy it.