With so many politicians talking and so many households restructuring their budgets, you can’t help but notice the latest spike in gas prices. It’s affecting everything, even in Portland with all of our bike lanes and sidewalks. Whenever gas station attendants adjust the numbers on their signage, it has a rippling effect on the rest of the economy. Retail managers see a dip in sales; neighbors start carpooling more; and according to Kelly Blue Book, hybrids like the Prius surge in resale value. Last month alone, the 2010 Toyota Prius gained over $1,000 in value—a number that’s just going to grow.
The reason is high school economics: everyone wants to save at the pumps, so the demand for fuel-efficient cars has risen. As prices continue to rise, so will the demand for hybrids along with their resale value. Kelly Blue Book says a used Prius may be worth 20% more by the time the gas crisis is over. Since cars notoriously lose value over time, the Prius has become just as much of an investment as a vehicle.
This isn’t to say that you should purchase three Prii and sit on them as a commodity investment. What this market trend reveals is simply the value of driving a hybrid. While gas prices continue to soar, Prius drivers see only a slight effect, which has made others jealous. They want that same financial immunity, so if you have a Prius, you’re among the lucky ones. And if you’re looking to buy a new car, you might consider a hybrid for their resale value, if nothing else.