Should I get this Prius?

I drove a 2005 Prius with 37,000 miles on it. The owner said that he owned it for 3 weeks and was selling it because he got a 2002 Prius for cheap.

The front fender, the hood cover and the bumper have been replaced according to him. He said “Don’t know” all other question I asked him.

Carfax says that the was involved in two accidents in 2006 and 2007. The warranty is voided. Quote “Accident reported. Front impact. It hit another vehicle. Vehicle towed. Airbag Deployed. Front Airbag deployed” (3/21/2007).

The car drove well - there was a slight humming noise when the car was not moving (my 2001 Prius does not make this noise). Cosmetically this 2005 Prius look great - like a new car. His asking price was 13000$. Is it worth getting? What should I check for other than the obvious step of taking it to the Toyota dealer to check it out.

Thanks for your suggestions.


This vehicle spells nothing but trouble and the owner is also not truthful about its past. Any person who has 2 accidents with a relatively new car must be a bad driver, so who knows what else he did to the car.

It looks like he did not have the accidents. I did some more research and found that he bought it at an auction.
the accidents were by the previous owner.

Whatever I said, applies to the previous owner as well; if yoy want to buy this car as an expensive hobby car, go ahead. Otherwise you have no idea what you are in for.

It sounds like the seller is a “curber” who trades in cars and tries to make a profit.

Since there is no warranty, I can’t fathom why you are even thinking of buying this car!

Stay away. Keep your 2001 Prius.

We have seen posts from other Prius owners who traded their Prius for a new one and are not as happy with the new one as they were with the old one. Even if there was nothing wrong with this 2005 Prius, you haven’t given us any reason to give up your 2001 Prius.

True. I like the old Prius. I keep hearing about the increased efficiency with the 2004 onwards model. I read somewhere it was about 10% more efficient. Other considerations were about aesthetics. It was tempting to get a like new car in what seems to be excellent cosmetic condition.

Stay away from vehicle vultures, you never get good value. He wants you to give him $4,000 of pure profit or more. Use the money to go on a cruise. He told the prospective sucker before you that he wants to buy a minivan now.

You are acting like this car is some kind of rare relic that you must buy now, lest it be lost. On the contrary, a vehicle that has a history of:

*Two accidents within two years
*A voided warranty
*Being sold at auction
*An owner who is allegedly unloading it after only three weeks

should be avoided!

Buying a car with this type of history and thinking that it is in good condition would be similar to someone going to a “house of ill repute” in the expectation of finding a virgin bride. Yeah, it could happen, but the chances are very remote.

Used cars are like commuter buses. If you don’t take this one, there will be another one along shortly.

Incidentally, thank you for reminding me why I don’t buy used cars!

If it was a worthwhile car, why was he out buying another, older, one “for cheap?” This story stinks to high Heaven. 2 accidents that you know of, and he wants $13,000!?!? Wow. For half the price, maybe, but the risk would be too much for me at 13K.

“It was tempting to get a like new car in what seems to be excellent cosmetic condition.”

Cosmetics can be used to cover a multitude of problems, as any woman can tell you. Looking deeper than just surface appearances is vital, whether one is looking for a car or a mate.

If the 2004 Prius is more efficient than the 2001, it doesn’t matter. It can’t be efficient enough to make switching make financial sense. Let us say, for example, the 2001 gets 38 MPG and the 2005 gets 40 MPG. It would take about 100 years for you to recouperate the cost of upgrading in fuel savings, even if fuel costs rise to $6 per gallon.

This is a good price for a 2005 Prius. Edmunds says that a stripped one in clean condition would sell for about $16,600. You’re getting quite a discount.

I find it hard to believe that the current owner would sell the car at a bargain price - over 20% off - if it ran well. If he is that hot to sell, you should borrow it and drive it for a few hours, get your mechanic to check it thoroughly, then drive it for a few hours after you get it back from the mechanic if you are still interested. Fill up the tank as a way to thank the current owner for your test drives. And tell the mechanic about the accidents so that he as something to look for.