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Incredible Deals on the Toyota Mirai

If you're a California resident, here's a deal you may seriously need to consider, especially if you're looking for a low-cost, environmentally friendly vehicle (But please read the potential downside at end of article).

The Hydrogen powered 2019 and 2020 Toyota Mirai, which is only available to California residents, is not selling well and a newly redesigned model is coming out for 2021. Toyota needs to get rid of these so they are offering a whopping $32,000 rebate. Yes, you read that right. $32,000!

And that's not all. It also comes with $15,000 in hydrogen fuel credit, which should get you through 3 years of free driving (about 45,000 miles).

As if that's not enough, Toyota is also offering 0% financing for 72 months.

And the final cherry on top? California offers an additional $4,500 tax rebate as well.

The MSRP on the 2019 Mirai is $58,550. Let's assume you can get 5% off MSRP which brings it down to $55,650. (you should do better than this as a RealCarTips reader).

So let's look at the final figures:

$55,650 minus $32,000 rebate = $23,650

$23,650 minus $4,500 CA tax rebate = $19,150

Now, remember, you also get $15,000 in free fuel, so if you apply this value to the price, you're really only paying $4,150!

Your monthly payments would come to around $328 if you take advantage of the 0% financing ($265 per month if you take the CA rebate into account). But keep in mind you will have zero fuel costs for the first 3 years or so.

Now let's talk about the cons of doing this. You have to understand this is a hydrogen powered vehicle which means you can only fuel up at hydrogen stations. There are quite a few in California, including one that's in between San Francisco and LA. It takes about 5 minutes to fill up, and you can typically get about 300 miles on a full tank. You should be able to travel pretty much anywhere in California, but there are very few hydrogen stations outside of California.

My recommendation: If you have a hydrogen station close to you, and you only intend to drive the car within your region, then this is a deal you should seriously consider.

You can find out more info on the Mirai and hydrogen stations at www.toyota.com/mirai/fcv.html.

WARNING From Reader Regarding Hydrogen Vehicles

After publishing this article, I received the following note from a reader detailing his negative experience owning a Hydrogen powered vehicle. Please be aware of this before you consider this deal.

I wanted to share my experience with you on leasing the H-Clarity, which was not positive.

I used the same positive points you mentioned in my decision to lease the car (tax credits, H-fuel card, HOV sticker and unlimited HOV lane access with 1 driver is a huge positive in CA traffic, etc.); however, what I did not expect was the H-fueling infrastructure limitations, maintenance costs and insurance cost issues.

At no time did I anticipate that these fueling stations would be broken, out of service, out of H or that there would be lines of 6-10 cars waiting for the single H pump that turns a 5 min fill into a 35min errand. These stations will also limit how much H you can put in your tank. When the station is low on H fuel, the station will only let you put in 1kg when the tank has a 5kg capacity. You can't fill multiple times because each fill is tied to your H-debit card. If you drive a lot on freeways at 70mph, the range is 245 to 260 miles max, not the 316 advertised miles.

The maintenance is expensive at $485 per year and it's only at the 6 or 7 CA dealerships that can lease these cars. I only pay $48/year for my other Hondas to do the annual maintenance/oil change. The $485/yr cost is ridiculous and it takes the whole day or it's an overnight job because of labor shortage for the H-tech mechanics.

Another negative was insurance coverage. I have a clean record and pay $750/year for our new Odyssey, but the H-Clarity insurance is $3,700/year!!! This is from All-State. Other carriers all quoted over $3k/yr for an adult with clean records. Why? They said it's a $60k-$70k car with complex new tech, so if there is any semi-serioius accident with these cars the carriers will total the vehicle and write it off as a loss. Big surprise to me and a huge dent in my perceived savings.

Anyway, I called Honda and told them to take the lease back expecting them to fight me and force me to keep it the full 36 month term, but the Honda Rep said sure and took the lease back. Honda said many customers have been returning the cars. So, my negative experience is not unique.

To sum up, people should know some of the negatives about these cars. I was a huge fan of electric and Hydrogen, but I didn't know or expect these negatives and people should know. This H-car caused me a lot of anxiety.





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About The Author

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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