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Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond

Thinking Of Buying A Hybrid Car

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I've got a new job for which I'll need to travel once a week, so although I've been putting it off for a while I'm going to need to buy a car.

I'm thinking of getting one of those Toyota hybrid cars for the following reasons:

  1. Low road tax (about 20 quid I think)
  2. Low insurance (?)
  3. No congestion charge (I live in London)
  4. Low fuel consumption (decent mpg)
  5. Decent resale value (?)

Does anyone have one of these (which one?) or can anyone confirm any of benefits?

Ta

Sir Sidders (I know Sr'Alan personally I should add).

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Don't have one myself, but the near-as-damnit brother in law has a Prius for work.

In short, they make a reasonable work vehicle around London for various tax reasons, but as a normal, privately owned car, they make no sense whatsoever unless you only ever do very short journeys. Yes, it seems to return 70+ mpg figures around town, but if it's used over longer distances it's no better than any other mid sized, mid engine sized car.

Personally, I don't fully understand the economics of them, as in their ideal operating role (short city trips) they never actually burn enough fuel to make fuel costs a significant enough part of the equation to justify the additional extra expense. I suppose if you enter the congestion charge zone a lot then they'll make a lot more sense, and if your vehicle buying prejudices are towards new or newer cars then that'll go in their favour, but overall I'm still at a bit of a loss.

In short, go do some maths on your useage and see how it works out. Okay, that's a bit of a pointless exercise as car buying tends to involve a fair chunk of "I just want one, okay?", but at least it'll give you some pointers.

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I've got a new job for which I'll need to travel once a week, so although I've been putting it off for a while I'm going to need to buy a car.

I'm thinking of getting one of those Toyota hybrid cars for the following reasons:

  1. Low road tax (about 20 quid I think)

  2. Low insurance (?)

  3. No congestion charge (I live in London)

  4. Low fuel consumption (decent mpg)

  5. Decent resale value (?)

Does anyone have one of these (which one?) or can anyone confirm any of benefits?

Ta

Sir Sidders (I know Sr'Alan personally I should add).

Personally, I can't see the point. It may be cheap to run (and I have my doubts about that actually) and have cheap tax and no CG but you're still talking about buying a new car (or nearly new) which means you will inevitably do shed-loads in depreciation.

Buy a 10 year old diesel for a couple of grand, rather than paying 10 and losing most of it in depreciation. The 8 grand you will drop on the new car buys an awful lot of fuel, C-Gharge and road tax.

Alternatively, if you're determined to spend more. Get a classic of some description. You'll still have the benefit of free road tax, if it's pre-1973, cheap insurance and are far less likely to lose big on depreciation. You also get to drive something interesting and different than a boring modern box.

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Personally, I can't see the point. It may be cheap to run (and I have my doubts about that actually) and have cheap tax and no CG but you're still talking about buying a new car (or nearly new) which means you will inevitably do shed-loads in depreciation.

Buy a 10 year old diesel for a couple of grand, rather than paying 10 and losing most of it in depreciation. The 8 grand you will drop on the new car buys an awful lot of fuel, C-Gharge and road tax.

Alternatively, if you're determined to spend more. Get a classic of some description. You'll still have the benefit of free road tax, if it's pre-1973, cheap insurance and are far less likely to lose big on depreciation. You also get to drive something interesting and different than a boring modern box.

Thanks for your answer. Yes, I know and understand that logic. The only car I have ever owned was given to me by my folks - an old Peugot 405 Diesel. It didn't accelerate like it used to when I was younger but by god it was a workhorse - over 200k miles and very little ever wrong with it.

I wouldn't buy a classic car because to be blunt, I'm not that much 'into' cars. I'd prefer to cycle to be honest. Yes, I know. Sorry - I'm just not a car person.

To be honest, I'm not thinking o buying new, but buying a recently new hybrid. I want a degree of comfort too. When I used to drive for long periods in that peugot I used to feel it in my back and neck because of the driving position and lack of seat adjustment. So I'm perfectly prepared to spend a bit more rather than a bit less.

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Don't have one myself, but the near-as-damnit brother in law has a Prius for work.

In short, they make a reasonable work vehicle around London for various tax reasons, but as a normal, privately owned car, they make no sense whatsoever unless you only ever do very short journeys. Yes, it seems to return 70+ mpg figures around town, but if it's used over longer distances it's no better than any other mid sized, mid engine sized car.

Personally, I don't fully understand the economics of them, as in their ideal operating role (short city trips) they never actually burn enough fuel to make fuel costs a significant enough part of the equation to justify the additional extra expense. I suppose if you enter the congestion charge zone a lot then they'll make a lot more sense, and if your vehicle buying prejudices are towards new or newer cars then that'll go in their favour, but overall I'm still at a bit of a loss.

In short, go do some maths on your useage and see how it works out. Okay, that's a bit of a pointless exercise as car buying tends to involve a fair chunk of "I just want one, okay?", but at least it'll give you some pointers.

Thanks for that moo. My logic is that living in London, outside work I'll use it locally and the fuel efficiency and no CG should justify the extra cost.

I can't do exact numbers on my usage yet, because I haven't started my new job yet, so I don't know exactly how much travelling I'll be doing.

The other reason I'm thinking of buying one is because the Avensis and other Toyota cars are made in Derby, but all Prius cars are manufactured and assembled in Japan and shipped over, so the build quality should be a lot better. Does your brother in law have an grumbles about the car? Anything he thinks should be better?

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Thanks for your answer. Yes, I know and understand that logic. The only car I have ever owned was given to me by my folks - an old Peugot 405 Diesel. It didn't accelerate like it used to when I was younger but by god it was a workhorse - over 200k miles and very little ever wrong with it.

I wouldn't buy a classic car because to be blunt, I'm not that much 'into' cars. I'd prefer to cycle to be honest. Yes, I know. Sorry - I'm just not a car person.

To be honest, I'm not thinking o buying new, but buying a recently new hybrid. I want a degree of comfort too. When I used to drive for long periods in that peugot I used to feel it in my back and neck because of the driving position and lack of seat adjustment. So I'm perfectly prepared to spend a bit more rather than a bit less.

An old Merc diesel should fit the bill. Even a petrol if you aren't doing many miles. Have a browse through autotrader, there'll be loads in there you can pick up for washers. Citroens, the ones with the hydro-pneumatic suspensions, give excellent ride quality too are are also dead cheap.

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Does your brother in law have an grumbles about the car? Anything he thinks should be better?

No problems with the car at all, and given that he doesn't exactly treat it with love and care (tradesman, so it spends much of it's time carrying tools about) that's doing pretty well. Having been in it a few times myself it feels like most Japanese cars - well put together, comfortable, sensible... albeit with a touch of Starship Enterprise thrown in. It's also pretty bloody nippy in traffic.

The only grumbles I've ever from him are to do with out of town performance, not so much from a "how well does it go?" perspective, but from an economy one as it's no better than anything else once it's forced to operate as a normal petrol car (sustained running above about 20mph as far as I remember). They really do only make sense in town (London especially) thanks to the stop-start driving and the congestion charge issue, especially once you take the inevitable "bloody forgot it again" fines he used to rack up into account.

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No problems with the car at all, and given that he doesn't exactly treat it with love and care (tradesman, so it spends much of it's time carrying tools about) that's doing pretty well. Having been in it a few times myself it feels like most Japanese cars - well put together, comfortable, sensible... albeit with a touch of Starship Enterprise thrown in. It's also pretty bloody nippy in traffic.

The only grumbles I've ever from him are to do with out of town performance, not so much from a "how well does it go?" perspective, but from an economy one as it's no better than anything else once it's forced to operate as a normal petrol car (sustained running above about 20mph as far as I remember). They really do only make sense in town (London especially) thanks to the stop-start driving and the congestion charge issue, especially once you take the inevitable "bloody forgot it again" fines he used to rack up into account.

The trade view is that these cars are disasters waiting to happen.The technoogy is in it's infancy and the buyers are being used as guinea pigs.When anything major goes wrong the costs are going to be stratospheric.

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The trade view is that these cars are disasters waiting to happen.The technoogy is in it's infancy and the buyers are being used as guinea pigs.When anything major goes wrong the costs are going to be stratospheric.

Not saying I'd buy one (a 10 year old 4.6 Range Rover would be cheaper for me overall than a new Prius), but they have been around for over a decade now and don't seem to be turning out to be a disaster.

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Not saying I'd buy one (a 10 year old 4.6 Range Rover would be cheaper for me overall than a new Prius), but they have been around for over a decade now and don't seem to be turning out to be a disaster.

Yep, 10 year old Range Rover was the maths I did too.

I reckon you can buy one, run it for 3 years and throw it away for the same overall money as a buying/reselling a new Prius.

Of course, if you're an eco-nutcase then you'd go for the Prius. For normal people it's a no-brainer.

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I've got a new job for which I'll need to travel once a week, so although I've been putting it off for a while I'm going to need to buy a car.

I'm thinking of getting one of those Toyota hybrid cars for the following reasons:

  1. Low road tax (about 20 quid I think)

  2. Low insurance (?)

  3. No congestion charge (I live in London)

  4. Low fuel consumption (decent mpg)

  5. Decent resale value (?)

At least none of your reasons were enviornmental, (as there aren't any) so fair one.

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I've got a new job for which I'll need to travel once a week, so although I've been putting it off for a while I'm going to need to buy a car.

I'm thinking of getting one of those Toyota hybrid cars for the following reasons:

  1. Low road tax (about 20 quid I think)

  2. Low insurance (?)

  3. No congestion charge (I live in London)

  4. Low fuel consumption (decent mpg)

  5. Decent resale value (?)

Does anyone have one of these (which one?) or can anyone confirm any of benefits?

Ta

Sir Sidders (I know Sr'Alan personally I should add).

Thank God you didn't say it was for environmental reasons.

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Guest Skinty

Are you making long journies? Do you need to carry much stuff? If not then why not try a VW blue-motion Polo? or as another thread elsewhere on HPC, peugeot's equivalent.

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Thank God you didn't say it was for environmental reasons.

Anyone who does anything for purely environmental reasons is a sanctimonious git. I cycle because I like cycling not because want to save the world.

Thanks for your opinions everyone, and thanks for that link, contractor - that's useful.

Range Rovers and Land Rovers are notoriously inefficient on fuel consumption, aren't they?

The VW Blue Motion? Maybe but I'd prefer something bigger I could put a bicycle in'back of if needed.

I don't necessarily accept the view that the hybrid drive system is bleeding edge technology either, 10 years after the first models came about. Honda's hybrid engines are also made by Toyota, aren't they?

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I've got a new job for which I'll need to travel once a week, so although I've been putting it off for a while I'm going to need to buy a car.

I'm thinking of getting one of those Toyota hybrid cars for the following reasons:

  1. Low road tax (about 20 quid I think)

  2. Low insurance (?)

  3. No congestion charge (I live in London)

  4. Low fuel consumption (decent mpg)

  5. Decent resale value (?)

Does anyone have one of these (which one?) or can anyone confirm any of benefits?

Ta

Sir Sidders (I know Sr'Alan personally I should add).

Other than the Congestion Charge issue, you are better off getting a Diesel.

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Thanks for that moo. My logic is that living in London, outside work I'll use it locally and the fuel efficiency and no CG should justify the extra cost.

I can't do exact numbers on my usage yet, because I haven't started my new job yet, so I don't know exactly how much travelling I'll be doing.

The other reason I'm thinking of buying one is because the Avensis and other Toyota cars are made in Derby, but all Prius cars are manufactured and assembled in Japan and shipped over, so the build quality should be a lot better. Does your brother in law have an grumbles about the car? Anything he thinks should be better?

With the Prius you will gaim when you are stuck in traffic as you will not be burning fuel to keep the engine ticking over. But people do not realise that that is the on;y time that you gain. As soon as you start to move your are useing energy which, while it may come from the battery in the first place, utlimatly has to come from the petrol engine.

You mention that you live in London which means that you would be entitled to the 90% reduction for the CC bringing down to £4 per week, £208 per year, not a lot in the scheme of things.

You mention that you would be considering buying a used Prius. A couple of things come to mind on that. Fairly recently used ones were in such demands that they were in fact quite expensive. The other thing is exactly how long does the battery last and what does it cost to replace?

Quite frankly for an economical small car I think that it is hard to beat my wifes Ka. She bought it for £4000 six years ago and I reckon she would get £2000 for it now so depreciation £333 per year. Cheap to insure and service but not the lowest road tax. Good on fuel although I would imagine that a modern super mini would be a fair bit better. The thing is taht you either love them or hate them. She just wanted one so that was that. I would not buy one unless I was going to modify it a lot but that obviously is not your cup of tea.

The nicest small car that I have driven recently was a VW Fox, by nicest I mean nicest to drive. It just felt pleasent.

The most horrible one that I have driven recently was a Yaris that I hired in Dublin. I would suspect though that it had a 1 litre engine or something because of the way the Irish road tax worked.

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With the Prius you will gaim when you are stuck in traffic as you will not be burning fuel to keep the engine ticking over. But people do not realise that that is the on;y time that you gain. As soon as you start to move your are useing energy which, while it may come from the battery in the first place, utlimatly has to come from the petrol engine.

You mention that you live in London which means that you would be entitled to the 90% reduction for the CC bringing down to £4 per week, £208 per year, not a lot in the scheme of things.

That assumes I'd be travelling into London regularly during the week. I probably wouldn't be - it'll be once a fortnight or month.

You mention that you would be considering buying a used Prius. A couple of things come to mind on that. Fairly recently used ones were in such demands that they were in fact quite expensive. The other thing is exactly how long does the battery last and what does it cost to replace?

The battery is not cheap but is long-lasting.

Quite frankly for an economical small car I think that it is hard to beat my wifes Ka ... The thing is taht you either love them or hate them.

Don't like them. I don't like BMWs either though, only because of the type of people I see driving them.

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And When/If enough people decide to buy these Hybrid vehicles to avoid the Congestion Charge and Extortionate Road Tax, (amongst other reasons) The Government will all of a sudden decide that there are too many Hybrid Vehicles on the roads of London and elsewhere and make them all susceptible to the Congestion Charge "Tax" anyway.

All "Green Taxes" are B0110X to extract money from the masses under the guise of Fear.

mspL4

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There are various LPG cars available.

I had an LPG car for a few years, it was the best car I ever had IMO.

Paid 5K for a car that was 30K+ new and the conversion had been done. Drove in luxury, equivalent 45mpg in cost terms, a vague (and false!) feeling of doing something for the environment, had the car 5 years and did about 65k miles.

Careful though, I'm told some engines don't take to LPG. Big old V6 Audis are OK, that much I do know.

I don't think the tax and congestion charge benefits are available on converted cars, only on factory-fitted LPG models I believe, you'd have to check.

Wait a bit and the Elantra LPG Hybrid might come to the UK, now that will be very cheap to run.

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