I drive a lot -- when to get a new car

I bought a new Corolla last year. This year when I had it inspected, the clerk asked “You put on 25K miles, most people only put on 12.” Well, yeah, I drive a LOT. I had thought about buying a Prius, but I’d done the trade off calculations based on 12K a year. With only 12K a year, a Prius wasn’t a good deal. Now with 25 K a year, it looks like a Prius might be a reasonable selection.

My question is: Get rid of a year old Corolla and move to a Prius this year? Or stick with the Corolla for another year? At the rate I’m driving, it’s going to lose most value this year. But next year, it’s going to be even worse.

Any opinions?

If you’re wondering why I put on so many miles, my local ice rink closed and now I drive to two other cities to get in ice time.

imho drive the corolla until repairs = monthly payment for a new car. You will take a big hit trading it in or selling it, and while maintaining routine maintenance you could get 7 to 10 years.

I have an '11 Cruze that just rolled over to 71,000. yep. 35,000 per year. Personally, I plan on keeping it until it drops. I fully intend to get it past 300,000, then see how far I can take it after that.

I agree with Barkydog and DrRocket If you have a reliable car, keep driving it until repairs and reliability are such that they exceed monthly payment on a new car. For most that will happen around 250,000 miles!!!

If you plot a curve of total ownership cost it keeps dropping till about 10-15 years when repairs start to get serious. That’s the time to dump the vehicle.

There are countless stories of high mileage drivers getting 400,000 to 500,000 miles of their cars with good reliability. Usually they get rid of the car due to corrosion.

Agree with the others. You may think 25k miles per year is a lot, but it’s not really. You wouldn’t save enough gas money with the Prius to make up for lost depreciation on the Corolla plus the cost difference you’ll pay for the more expensive Prius.

Just take good care of the Corolla and it will treat you well for 10-15 years or more.

Those are the easiest miles that car could see. Drive it to 200k easily. Just keep up the maintenance.

If you buy a Prius now, you will loose the depreciation. The mileage gained may be worth it compared to many other cars but a Corolla gets good gas mileage as it is. We had several of them many years ago and I still have confidence that 200k to 300K miles is not unreasonable to expect from them as we did ours. Now, if you really don’t like driving the Corolla, you really won’t like driving the Prius. If it’s perfectly viable, keep it and save your money.

Depending on city/hwy mix, your annual milage means it “might” have made sense to go for the hybid when new; however, now that the car’s been bought already, it’s doubtful it makes sense to “switch horses midstream.”

Get a long, productive life out of your current ride, and consider a hybrid for the next one, provided your needs still suggest one.

Not to be cynical or anything, but you lost a lot of money just driving the car off the dealer lot.

25k/year isn’t all THAT high, I know one or two posters on here that put 50k/year on their cars. One person at work, from what I’ve heard, trades off every 2 or 3 years because they’ve gotten 100k+ miles on their car in that amount of time.

Tough question. I have a Toyota Matrix - or Corolla Matrix- and it has been super reliable and pretty good on gas. I also just bought a Prius and am putting most of the miles on the Prius because its so cheap to run. 50+ mpg versus 30+, same driving, same driver. Corolla- 5 K oil changes, but dino; Prius 10K full synthetic, seems like a wash. Either one ought to get you 10 years at 25K.

If you drive that much, either trade every two years before depreciation kills you (and adjust your payments accordingly), or drive it for several hundred thousand miles and give it away at the end. No in between for high mileage folks. I used to keep them for 3-400,000 before changing cars but now I like to have a bumper to bumper warranty. Highway miles are easy on cars but will make no difference in resale value.

My 94 Corolla has 161,000 miles and I’m hoping for at least 200,000 before we call it quits. No car payment, good basic transportation!

I agree with the rest. Just keep on driving. You’ve already lost the first year’s depreciation, so just keep on going. The Corolla is an excellent car for this purpose, straightforward, efficient, inexpensive to maintain and repair, and durable. You could easily get ten years out of it. The Prius will be a little more efficient. From experience, about ten mpg if you drive the Prius gently (but not true hypermiling) . Maybe 50 mpg vs. 40. 25K miles is 625 gallons in a Corolla and 500 in a Prius. So figure about $500 maximum difference in fuel costs, and probably less. I haven’t compared prices recently, but that means it will take a good few years to pay or the Prius. Hybrids do get better highway mileage, but not enough to pay for the car quickly.

Your resale value or trade-in will be awful and the car has a lot of life left in it. The gas money you save can’t possible begin to cover what it would cost to trade to a Prius.

Keep the Corolla. High mileage will accelerate depreciation no matter what you drive, and the Corolla holds its value better than most. Besides, you probably h ave another 200,000 good miles on it before its relaiablity becomes shakey…perhaps even more.