Goodbye, Prius: Prius Total Cost of Ownership Comparison

Goodbye, Prius!

It's been a good run! As you may have remembered, my 2006 Prius recently crossed the 1/3rd millionth kilometre. I decided that I will let another lucky guy enjoy its great fuel economy and awesome reliability.  The real reason for selling it was that I felt the car was about to require some major repair. For example, the engine has been burning oil and the ride has become very harsh. If anything broke, I wasn't going to sink anymore money into it. If it were to break down, it'd probably go directly to the junkyard, and I'd get maybe $500 if not less for it. So, I thought I'd try my luck selling it and see if I can get a decent sum for it, especially since it has a newish (2.5 year) hybrid battery.

So, last month, I finally cleaned the car after something like 5 years!  See the pics below. I thought I did a fairly decent job! Finally, after some hours of negotiation with a potential buyer, I was able to strike a deal for $1900. Initially, I was hoping for $2000,but after the deal was done, I reflected on it and realized that I got a pretty darn good deal.... $1900 for a 12-year old car with 345K km on it!

I know there are some who are still skeptical about the economics of hybrids, nevermind EVs. So, here, I will compare the total cost of ownership between my 2006 Prius and a hypothetical 2006 Matrix, bought in 2010 and sold in 2018.

The calculations as as below and are fairly straightforward.  Let me explain a few things.

  1. When I bought the car back in 2010, Ontario had a PST rebate for hybrid cars and at that time, when you bought a used car through a private sale, you only had to pay the PST, and not the GST.  With my purchase, I got the 8% PST back in the form of a rebate.
  2. Maintenance, repair, and parts costs racked up to $9780, with almost half of it being a rebuild of the hybrid battery at $1130 and then a replacement of the battery at $3400.  In hindsight, I should have just replaced the battery the first time it failed...could have saved $1130.
  3. I assumed the maintenance and repair costs of the Matrix to be the same as my Prius minus the hybrid battery repairs.
  4. As you can see, gas savings for my kind of driving came in at around $7900 over the 8 years I had the car.  This is no small feat!  I saved the environment 15130 kg of carbon dioxide in the process.  Fuel savings, $7900...clear conscience, priceless! :)

In the end, the total savings weren't astronomical.  I saved around $2323.  If I had not had the battery rebuilt, the savings would have been $3453.  That would have been a 7% savings in the total cost of ownership.  Not great, but still better than $0 savings!  And again, helping the environment is a definite benefit, that has not been factored into this purely monetary analysis.

I'm sure if the comparison was done against a Yaris, the Prius would probably have been more expensive to own/operate, but that would not be an apples-to-oranges comparison.

TCO Comparison
Compare Total Cost of Ownership Between Prius and Matrix
Distance driven (km)253000
Years owned8
Average gas price per L$1.20
2006 Prius2006 Matrix
Purchase Price$14,650.00$12,000.00
Taxes (PST)0$960.00
Insurance cost per year12001200
Fuel economy (L/100 km)5.58.1
Selling Price$1,900$1,250
Total Maintenance/Repair/Parts$9,780.00$5,250.00
Car Cost$12,750.00$11,710.00
Insurance Cost$9,600.00$9,600.00
Gas Cost$16,698.00$24,591.60
Maintenance/Repair/Parts Cost$9,780.00$5,250.00
Total Cost of Ownership$48,828.00$51,151.60

Goodbye, Prius...Welcome CT!

You might be wondering what I'm driving she is!  2012 Lexus CT200h.  It's pretty much a Prius with a Lexus flavour.  Bought it for $11700 +'s definitely not a new car with 145K km on it, but it's in decent condition.  After owning it for a few weeks, it's really growing on me.  The interior is 5 times better than the Prius, and it's just a cooler car.  Only down side is it's a smaller car, but since it's my commuter, I'm usually not subjecting anyone to the smaller interior.  It's still a very comfortable car, just not as roomy and practical as the Prius.

The previous owner was a it still has some smoke smell.  Airing it under the sun for a few hours has definitely helped, but the smell still lingers.  Any suggestions?

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