Today, the national average gasoline price is $4.32 a gallon, which is down from its high earlier this year, but still higher than it has been. High gas prices combined with covid caused supply chain issues make hybrid vehicles, with high gas milage much sought after, but harder to find. We experienced this situation ourselves back in 2011. Then too gas prices were also high, and the Fukushima disaster played havoc with Toyota’s supply chain. We were looking to buy a Prius at the time, but every dealer that we went to, gave us the same story, “No, we don’t have any now, but we are expecting to get some more in a few weeks.” That was the story we kept hearing until one day, after hearing the same line again, we literally bought one off the truck. We were just leaving the dealership, when the car carrier passed us and then the salesman whom we had been speaking with came running over to us. The Prius that was to become ours, had been sold, but that buyer’s financing had fallen through. Naturally, we paid full price for that car. I estimated that the hybrid feature of the Prius costed about five grand and even at fifty miles to the gallon, it would take quite a bit of driving to recoup that surcharge. Plus, within a year of buying the car, the bottom dropped out of the price of gasoline. Still, it was an excellent car, and I never did regret buying that car.
Fast forward to 2020. We still had the Prius, which was still running fine, but we had promised it to our son, which meant that we needed to get a new car to replace it. We ended up buying a 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited at a slight discount. It only gets 40 MPG, but unlike with the Prius, its hybrid system only costed $800. Now that gas prices are sky high again, this car seems like a good investment. Yesterday, on NPR I heard an article that led me to believe that it might have been an even better investment than I had thought. Today, I went on Edmunds and entered in the car’s data, and they calculated that our RAV4 is now worth more than 15% more than what we paid for it. I’m feeling pretty savvy.