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.