Used Prius Prices Soar on Surging Demand

Used cars selling even higher than new
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2008 2:10 AM CDT
Visitors look at a Prius displayed at the Toyota in Tokyo.    (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
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(Newser) – Demand for Toyota's fuel-efficient hybrid Prius is so high that used models are fetching more on the open market than dealerships charge for a new one, reports Advertising Age. Buyers are in a frenzy to get their hands on a Prius immediately, but new cars are often on back order because Toyota can't keep pace with demand. Some dealers are offering to buy used cars back at their original prices to resell them at a profit.

Toyota sold nearly 107,000 Prius hybrids in the US in 2006 and 181,221 in 2007. Despite an industry-wide slump in new car sales, Toyota is on track to top that, with 110,565 vehicles sold so far this year. Demand is so strong that Toyota plans minimal advertising. Buyers want to save on gas but image is also a factor. "They want to be identified immediately as driving a hybrid vehicle," said an industry analyst.