If the price of gas at the pump is stretching your wallet, as it is for many people who are learning to deal with high gas prices, you may be looking to ditch your gas guzzler of an SUV and get a hybrid. And the hybrid everyone's going for is the most fuel efficient one, the Toyota Prius (TM), which gets 48 miles-per-gallon in the city and 45-miles-per-gallon in the country. This is about double the miles-per-gallon for comparable non-hybrids, says Bill Kwong, spokesman for Toyota.
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The gas savings on the Prius, approximately $1,200 per year at 40-miles-per-gallon under normal driving conditions, might seem tempting, says Matt Hardigree, associate editor of the blog devoted to car culture, Jalopnik.com. But, the Prius is as pricey as a year of undergraduate education at a private college. The list price for a $21,500 for a base model and $23,770, says Wade Hoyt, another spokesman for Toyota. Tacking on extras like leather seats, or a GPS navigation system, will raise the price to the mid-$20,000 range.That's if you can even get one. If you're trying to save money on gas get in line. Toyota allocated only 180,000 Priuses for both 2007 and 2008, so there are a limited number of vehicles, he says. Contributing to the limited production is the difficulty of the company to make enough batteries for it. (This is a green car, remember.)
No problem, buy used and save some cash! Whoops, gotcha there, too!
While the supply is there, somewhat, resale prices on the Prius are not exactly a deal right now. The New York Post (NWS) reports this week that used Priuses are selling for a higher price than new ones. The Post interviewed a former SUV owner who paid $23,995 for a resale or, $2,500 over the list price.