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Toyota Prius Prices Soar Due to Earthquake

March 24, 2011

Toyota PriusLast Friday's earthquake-tsunami disaster damaged a manufacturing plant that provides batteries for the Toyota Prius.

As a result, American consumers are anxious, with many scrambling to purchase the Toyota Prius before inventories disappear.

East and West coast dealers are seeing their inventories decline the fastest. High gas prices are adding to the increased demand.

With demand increasing, so are prices, which means shoppers should be prepared to pay more for fuel-efficient cars or be willing to wait a several months for supply to catch up.

Consumers can expect to pay at least $2,000 more for a Toyota Prius than they would have shortly before the earthquake.

Are there alternatives? If budget isn't an issue, there's the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, but they're pretty much sold out for the year.

Then there's the Ford Focus Electric, not out yet and with limited availability.

The Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima hybrid cost more than the Prius and their fuel economy ratings are lower.

Other options are fuel-efficient gasoline cars like the Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Cruze and the Hyundai Elantra.

All three can get up to 40 mpg on the highway, and you won't pay more than $18,200 for these models.

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My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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