2007 Red Toyota Prius with 250,000 miles
Peter Neilson's picture

I Drive A Toyota Prius Because It Is Practical; Not To Save The Planet

I have a secret. I have a couple of reasons that I drive a Prius and I will tell you saving the earth is not one of them.
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If what I just stated about not saving the earth made you cringe, move on; this article is not for you. I also want to point out that I do care about the planet and thoroughly enjoy it. I love camping in the woods, going for long walks on the beach, and breathing the fresh mountain air.

I own gas guzzlers. I have a 2006 Toyota Tundra that gets a whopping 15 mpg and a custom-built 1994 Toyota 4Runner with a 2JZ-GTE swap on 35-inch tires. Last I calculated on that, it was 10mpg, but it is also an offroad demon. It is not environmentally friendly, and I do not care.

I also make it a point to pick up my trash, I try to recycle where and when I can, and I make it a point to drive the speed limit. I do this because I am a responsible human being. So, why do I drive a Toyota Prius? It is because I want to, and here is why.

I Was Mocked For Driving A Prius
When I decided to start fixing hybrids and learning about them, I wanted one. The first hybrid I bought was not a Prius but rather a second-generation Honda Civic Hybrid. It had a broken flywheel, and after $100 replacement and a few other associated costs, I was in business.

2007 Toyota Prius Touring Edition

I was not too fond of the car because no matter what, the best fuel econ I could squeeze out of it was 40mpg. So I dumped it and began looking for a more favorable platform, Toyota Prius.

I was ultra hesitant to buy one. My father-in-law, brother, all my car friends, my students, and even past coworkers all gave me a hard time when I did, which is why I did not want to.

I quickly found the stigma around owning a Prius and wondered if I had made a good decision. I decided that I needed to own up to buy one and rock it, so I did. While I was mocked and laughed at, I began to think about why I had purchased the car. I remembered I bought it to learn on and not to worry about what other people think. After that, I realized just to enjoy the car.

Owning a Prius was not about being part of a clan or acting like a "Prius driver." I bought the car to learn about the technology. To learn, you must experience.

I Drive A Prius Because I Want To
After I sold my first Prius, I found that I had a knack for repairing them. I had a thirst for learning all the problems that happen with them and why. I bought another Prius and got to work. I sold that one and moved on to the next and the next.

14 Prius cars later, I now am driving a well taken care of 2008 Trim 4. I found that after driving the car, I enjoyed the way it moved. Sure it is small, and it does not have V8 power, but I realized I do not always need that.

The more I learned about the efficiency of Prius, the more it intrigued me to try and get a better fuel economy. It became a game to me, and after a while, I made the realization that owning a Prius has a place in my life.

2008 Toyota Prius Blue

I found that Prius is reliable and trustworthy like all the previous Toyota vehicles I have owned. It began to make sense to me why others chose to drive these cars. People drive them because they enjoyed what the car gave them in return.

Having a Prius to offset the cost of driving helps me live a life I want to live and afford driving my other "Toys."

Conclusion
I drive a Toyota Prius because I want to drive one. I drive it because operating it dirt cheap. I drive it because it has nothing owed to it. I drive it because it is reliable.

At the end of the day, I try to keep my money in my pocket, and driving a Prius has been a smart financial move. The Prius I own now is paid for time and time again because I learned how to work on them.

Every Prius I have bought I have repaired professionally and sold for more. After owning 14 of them, the one I drive now has cost me nothing but a few hours of time.

So if you think driving a Prius is lame or you want to bash me for being "eco-minded," remember a couple of things. I have no car debt; I do not have to keep up with my neighbor, I am secure in my skin, and I do not care what other people think.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope that you enjoy your Prius as much as I do. Would you drive your Prius across the country? I would.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


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