Selling the Prius V

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 10:50 PM | comments: 0

I have to say that (so far) the process of buying a Tesla has been one of the best buying experiences ever of anything, and that's for something that generally is miserable to buy. I'll write about that when it's all said and done. Unfortunately, selling the Prius V has been less fun.

Tesla sends a fancy appraiser out to your house (or work) if you want to trade in your car, and then they take the data and photos and put them out to wholesalers who will bid on the car. What I got back as an offer was about $5k less than the average retail asking price and $2k less than the Edmunds trade value. I went through a similar process with AutoTrader, and their offer was even less. I've learned that there are too many Prii sitting around, and that inventory does not help. Even new, their sales are a bit soft lately, presumably because people are bored with it, waiting for the 4th generation version, or not as interested in high fuel economy.

This frustrates the shit out of me. You don't negotiate the price for a Tesla, because frankly they're already six weeks back-ordered (though in real terms, it's more like two weeks from the time you order until they start building your car). Since the price is what it is, and they're not interested in being in the used car business, it's just not their scene. Private sale is a pain in the ass when you still owe on it, and I really didn't anticipate doing it so I didn't budget to pay it off first and early. (There's no way in hell we would have even considered a Tesla unless we could put major money down... I don't need a second mortgage-sized payment!) Fortunately, my best friend stepped in and offered to buy it, and everybody wins. I don't get as much as I wanted for it, but I also have the satisfaction of knowing that the owner will really like the car, and that some assholes won't turn around and make $5k off of it.

It was a really great car for us. We couldn't be happier with it. When our regular Prius was totalled on Christmas Eve 2011, the V was totally new. It was a little more expensive, had slightly lower fuel economy, and was absolutely cavernous inside. We weren't sure if it was worth the extra cost, but I'm glad we did it. The interior improved the things I didn't like about the previous one. It's fantastic for road trips. I think it's also kind of attractive.

The saddest thing is that it ends a string of six Toyotas I've owned going back to 1996. I'm really disappointed that, given their invention of the modern hybrid, they have completely blown off EV's as a part of their strategy. It's really strange that they're dicking around with hydrogen. Meanwhile, the German luxury car companies are taking electricity seriously, and GM is going a similar route. I've loved my Toyotas, but they're not going in a direction that I love.

Simon actually cried when we left the car, which was unexpected, and not totally understood. As my dear friend put it, it's an "open adoption," and he'll get to see it again. I'm bitter about not getting more for it (for which I'm partly to blame), but happy it's now in the hands of someone who will enjoy it the way we did.


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