RACV of Australia Tells Consumers Hybrids Cost More to Own ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: RACV of Australia Tells Consumers Hybrids Cost More to Own

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

RACV of Australia Tells Consumers Hybrids Cost More to Own

A survey from RACV in Australia says it will cost you $50 more a week to own a Prius than a Toyota Corolla, and $5 more a week if you compare the Prius to the Toyota Camry (4-cylinder). And they also note the Honda Civic Hybrid costs $23 more to run a week than the 4 cylinder gas version.

But there's absolutely no explanation of why it's more expensive, which is frustrating to say the least. If you're going to tell people it's more expensive to own, you should tell them why.

According to the news release, the surveyors take into account appreciation over 5 years, fuel costs, tires (they call them tyres), servicing and insurance.

When I went to find out more, I found the RACV website. It makes me think of AAA, but not being from Australia, I can't say for sure. There's also a news release called "Do the maths when you are planning a holiday." That looks like a pretty funny sentence to me. Is "do the maths" typical Australian or just weird?

But either way, it's frustrating to see results like this without being able to see the actual survey. Was it a consumer survey? Was it based on resale value? Are hybrids less popular in Australia, making the resale value lower than you would see in the states? Did they add in a bogus 'battery replacement' cost? I have all sorts of questions, but the survey isn't on the site, yet.

Hopefully, they'll put it up soon and I can find out more.

Update: It seems they are attributing the increased cost to the higher purchase price and a higher service cost.

"This discrepancy in running costs can be attributed to the higher purchase cost of hybrid vehicles, combined with higher servicing costs," he said.
I wonder why they are paying more to service hybrid cars in Australia? That doesn't make a lot of sense. A lot of the routine maintenance costs are actually less since you don't have to change the oil as often and the brake pads last longer.

In the US, the higher purchase price is offset quite a bit by the appreciation. Used hybrids are selling at much higher prices than their gas-only counterparts. Just look at this article from Forbes. The price for a used Prius from 2007 actually went up in the past six months. The same goes for many of the hybrids shown in the article.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com


Anonymous said...

RACV is the Victorian state emergency breakdown membership club. each state has a similer ie NSW state is NRMA, Qld state is RACQ etc.
But you are correct in that they do not breakdown prperly the costs, but they are trying to say purchase cost to resale is one main reason. I have purchased and ran a fleet of 2000 vehicle with 200 being current shaped Prius. They worked out by my actual costs inclusive from go to woe, cheaper that the average Aussie six cylinder. Correct cheaper to service that a corolla or for that matter a Yaris. Tyres also lasted longer.FYI average consumption on 50% city based Prius and 50% Rural based Pruis, combined returned the average consumption 5.1 litres per 100 Klms. Sorry you will need to do the math to convert. And sorry but we Aussies use the British spelling therefore the correct way to spell Tyre is as stated :)or black dounuts! FYI
Toyota Factory in Melbourne, Victoria will start producing the Camry Hybrid at 10,000 units a year in 2010.
Of which the Government has stipulated a large percentage as Government purchases for Government use. At this point all Government agencies in Australia must commit to at least two on their fleet to attract Government discount on all their other vehicles.
A Cairns taxi company has a been reprted in media as running a large fleet of Prius and high ks have shown only one needing a replaced battery. They love them for the operating cost as do I. http://www.caradvice.com.au/14639/toyota-prius-the-taxi-champion/
Hope this helps from another corner of the world.

Mike said...

Tyres or black dounuts? I love it.

Thanks for explaining so much about what you're seeing over there.

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