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Help with buying a new Prius


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Hi everyone,

I'm looking to upgrade my Prius to a newer model. I know a lot of Prius are used as taxis and was wondering if anyone knew of anyway I can check if any I find for sale used to be taxis?

Any help is much appreciated! Thanks.

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Hi Brandon, welcome to Toyota Owners Club, and nice to have another Prius owner on here.

The most obvious way is the mileage covered for its year. Anything above a 10,000 mile per annum and I would be questioning. You could also check it’s service record. Condition of seating, especially rear seats a giveaway too.

Some owners are honest and let you know. I bought my first Prius, a 59 plate, and the owner said in the advert he had used it over the last two years as Private Hire and covered 50,000 in that two years. Service records showed this to be true. I only did 5,000 miles in that Gen3, loved it so much I bought a 20 month old Gen4 with just over 20,000 miles. Beautiful car. I loved the Gen3 but the Gen4 is much better, and does at least 10mpg more. I hear some of the early Gen3 can be Oil burners, most I would think have been sorted by Toyota.

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One difficulty is the under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), dealers won't disclose or let you see details on previous owners, otherwise they can be sued under data protection.

As regards the general condition of the car, you could check the MOT history (Check the MOT history of a vehicle - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) which may provide an indication whether the mileage is correct and see what advisories there may be on the car.

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I think the real give away to buying a second hand Prius that has been used as a taxi is the mileage as Joe & Frosty have mentioned. The general condition of the vehicle could be a bit shabby for its year because of its constant use as a taxi. I was chatting to one taxi driver who was telling me he’d done 155,00 miles in his Gen3 Prius & it was still going strong. I’ve done just over 37,000 miles in my Gen4 Prius & it’s in its 5th year. I’ve got no intention to change just yet & will be extending the warranty soon which if you buy a Prius that’s under 12 years old you might find you can do also. Frosty, do you know if the two year for one on the extended warranty is still available from Toyota?

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26 minutes ago, BhxTrev said:

Frosty, do you know if the two year for one on the extended warranty is still available from Toyota?

Still current on their website - Extended Warranty | Owners | Toyota UK

Should be able to take out the extension before the new car warranty expires and have the extension begin on the expiry of the new car warranty.

Don't forget that the extended warranty comes with two years Roadside Assistance - you should be also able to defer this until the extended warranty starts.

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Second hand Prius especially if it’s gen 4 and above latest models almost for sure will be an ex taxi or private hire. I remember there was an information back in 2016-2017 from a dealer in London that said that they are selling Priuses like crazy and not even one been sold to a private owner, only phv even they were obtaining a pco license so the cars are ready to roll on London’s streets as Uber rides. There are plenty of grey imports too, these might be tricky with insurance afterwards. If the car is in good shape , maintained per the manual and not trashed I don’t see really big issues been an ex cabbie, although not to my likes many different people been in. Higher specs Priuses tend to be owned by private owners or been bought privately by taxi driver, these in general should be in better condition, the worst will be the lower specs ex lease and rental ones. You can look for business plus or excel trims. , they also comes much better equipped. 
Good luck  

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One thing to be wary of as regards Toyota hybrids used professionally as taxis, is that the hybrid Battery extended warranty provided by having a hybrid electric service at a Toyota dealer, is restricted to being extended five times.

On cars which have been not used as taxis or previously owned by a car retailer/repairer, a service garage or a commercial vehicle company, the hybrid Battery extended warranty can be extended up to the car's 15th birthday.

Toyota Hybrid Battery Extended Cover Terms_tcm-3060-1563365.pdf

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4 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Still current on their website - Extended Warranty | Owners | Toyota UK

Should be able to take out the extension before the new car warranty expires and have the extension begin on the expiry of the new car warranty.

Don't forget that the extended warranty comes with two years Roadside Assistance - you should be also able to defer this until the extended warranty starts.

Cheers Frosty for this info. I’m due a 5 year service during August & as I said I’m holding on to my Prius so taking out the extended warranty is something I want to get sorted. As ever it’s been trouble free motoring for five years & I wouldn’t really want to buy any other marque after year after year reliability. I just hope & pray that Toyota produce a decent all electric car as Lexus, their luxury car brand, have already. As I have read on the internet, Toyota are working closely with Suzuki & Suburu to produce an electric vehicle. Cant wait to see what they develop. Perhaps more research into sodium batteries instead of lithium batteries might be a game changer for electric cars because of the expensive cost of lithium in the present lithium batteries.

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Toyota are also working with Panasonic on developing EV car batteries.

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4 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Toyota are also working with Panasonic on developing EV car batteries.

That’s interesting. There’s research ongoing to try to make a sodium ion Battery which functions the same as lithium ion batteries because sodium is a common & cheap metal whereas lithium is a scarce & expensive metal, which is the main reason lithium ion batteries are so expensive. I guess Panasonic are trying to produce cheaper more affordable batteries especially as by 2030 all new cars will be have to be all electric. 

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10 minutes ago, BhxTrev said:

as by 2030 all new cars will be have to be all electric. 

Not quite - in the UK legislation requires that sales of new petrols and diesels will cease in 2030, and sales of new hybrids will cease in 2035. So new hybrids still have a 14 year window within which sales can continue.

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Between now and 2030/35 Battery technology will have advanced so much you won’t recognise it. There is an Israeli company that has developed a car Battery that already takes a fraction of the time it takes to fully charge an electric car Battery, and they done a test production run.  

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On 5/18/2021 at 12:10 AM, FROSTYBALLS said:

Not quite - in the UK legislation requires that sales of new petrols and diesels will cease in 2030, and sales of new hybrids will cease in 2035. So new hybrids still have a 14 year window within which sales can continue.

UK targets are Not achievable, as to reach the predicted number of charge points they quote in their proposal for an all electric infrastructure there would have to be 150,000 new installations every day for the next 15 years

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1 hour ago, PaulDM said:

UK targets are Not achievable, as to reach the predicted number of charge points they quote in their proposal for an all electric infrastructure there would have to be 150,000 new installations every day for the next 15 years

I thought that myself. If the infrastructure for charging up your e-car isn’t in place by 2030/35, it’s going to fall squarely on the shoulders of the government. I can see them doing a u turn on this as we approach 2030 because as you say there simply won’t be enough public charging points & governments are well aware that a major bad decision like this will see them all out of their cushy jobs!

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2 hours ago, PaulDM said:

UK targets are Not achievable, as to reach the predicted number of charge points they quote in their proposal for an all electric infrastructure there would have to be 150,000 new installations every day for the next 15 years

That means there needs to be 821 million 250 thousand charging points. Seems rather a lot.

According to an internet search there are, as of end 2020, 8,350 petrol stations in the uk. Let’s say there are 10 pumps at each station, that means there are 83,500 individual pumps in the UK. Something doesn’t look right.

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Government's target for electric/hybrid cars is for new vehicle purchases, and there will still be thousands of used petrols, diesels and hybrids being used in the UK after 2030/35.

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11 minutes ago, Catlover said:

That means there needs to be 821 million 250 thousand charging points. Seems rather a lot.

According to an internet search there are, as of end 2020, 8,350 petrol stations in the uk. Let’s say there are 10 pumps at each station, that means there are 83,500 individual pumps in the UK. Something doesn’t look right.

Hi Joe, you’re quite right & yes the calculation does indicate clearly that Paul has made a mistake with his calculations.  Nevertheless there would have to be a hell of a lot more charging points than what’s being rolled out at present. As you know, it takes minutes to fill up your car with petrol or diesel, but a hell of a lot longer to charge up a e-car Battery, at present, hence the need for one hell of a lot more charging points. Mind you like you mentioned, by the time we get to 2030/35, battery technology will have advanced so much & charging times will probably be much shorter. Also what Frosty mentioned regarding that there will still be lots of petrol/diesel cars still driving around, since only new vehicles will have to be electric cars, that will also dilute the need for charging points. 

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Charging times are coming down Trevor. Thing is, buy an electric vehicle with today’s technology and in 5 years you maybe stuck with it because technology cannot be applied backwards ie EV Battery fitted in todays ev cannot be super fast charged like it will be available in 5 years time. That could affect the trade in price dramatically.

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9 hours ago, Catlover said:

That means there needs to be 821 million 250 thousand charging points. Seems rather a lot.

According to an internet search there are, as of end 2020, 8,350 petrol stations in the uk. Let’s say there are 10 pumps at each station, that means there are 83,500 individual pumps in the UK. Something doesn’t look right.

Fleet services (a 10 pump station as you quite rightly say ) has just installed 136 charging points for a 2000 space car park. Taking into consideration home points and public street points at (proposed) every parking space in London the numbers soon add up. 

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As I reported there is a company in Israel developed a Battery that can be charged in the time it takes to fill a car with petrol - can’t remember if it’s a full charge or 80%. That has had a dummy production run so it probably couple years away, lot sooner then 2030/35.  EV batteries will easily be doing 500 miles by then (conservative figure). So less charging at 8 minutes a pop.

That means there is no real need for more pumps then there is now…..that is 83,500, let’s round it up to 3x that figure, say quarter million (250,000). That is still 821 million less the projected figures you quoted.

Dads Army and “don’t panic” comes to my mind

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Thanks for all the replies guys! 

I did check out the condition of the car over the weekend and was still unsure so I did some checks of my own. Found a few places online that do vehicle licensing history checks, Vehicle Ancestry, VCheck and MotorCheck so I used one of those. Got a positive hit so I'm going to look elsewhere.

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What year Prius are you looking for.?
I travelled 100 miles to see a car at a Toyota dealer. Maybe prepare yourself for a travel.

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8 hours ago, Catlover said:

As I reported there is a company in Israel developed a battery that can be charged in the time it takes to fill a car with petrol - can’t remember if it’s a full charge or 80%. That has had a dummy production run so it probably couple years away, lot sooner then 2030/35.  EV batteries will easily be doing 500 miles by then (conservative figure). So less charging at 8 minutes a pop.

That means there is no real need for more pumps then there is now…..that is 83,500, let’s round it up to 3x that figure, say quarter million (250,000). That is still 821 million less the projected figures you quoted.

Dads Army and “don’t panic” comes to my mind

Don’t shoot the messenger. This Government consultation document (see attachment) talks of a charging point in every lamp post and targets of 95% coverage in every service station and one charging point per 10 of population.  
I was saying they are being massively over ambitious and not achieving their own targets.

CBP-7480 2.pdf

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46 minutes ago, PaulDM said:

Don’t shoot the messenger. This Government consultation document (see attachment) talks of a charging point in every lamp post and targets of 95% coverage in every service station and one charging point per 10 of population.  
I was saying they are being massively over ambitious and not achieving their own targets.

CBP-7480 2.pdf 1.22 MB · 2 downloads

Hi Paul, I didn’t read all of the briefing paper but one relevant part where the Climate Change Committee advised the government that,

“Overall nearly 29,000 charging points are needed across Great Britain by 2030, of which around 85% of these are fast (22kW) or rapid (43+kW) chargers.60”

I don’t know how significant these numbers are but they seems woefully inadequate for the numbers that will be driving e-vehicles even by then. Also it seems to me from what I also read in the report that it’s up to Local Authorities regarding the installation of charging points & I presume that includes lamppost points. According to the report there has been a poor response by them!

By the way I don’t think anybody’s going to shoot the messenger on this forum. We’re only here trying to help each other & I've found advice from Toyota experts like Frosty of great help as well as reading & benefitting from other owners experience & advice.

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3 hours ago, PaulDM said:

Don’t shoot the messenger. This Government consultation document (see attachment) talks of a charging point in every lamp post and targets of 95% coverage in every service station and one charging point per 10 of population.  
I was saying they are being massively over ambitious and not achieving their own targets.

CBP-7480 2.pdf 1.22 MB · 3 downloads

Hi Paul, I understood you were working from some official documents, no problems. Thanks for putting the actual government document up, not read it yet, I will find some time tomorrow. Thanks again.

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