best level Prius to buy? (2,3,4,5)

gforcepdx

New Member
I'm shopping for a used Prius to drive for uber but can't decide which level suits me best.

I'd think your basic level II with cloth seats would get the job done and for the least per mile cost.

I could see making the jump to level III for the upholstery upgrades, however I'd think a well maintained, low mileage car would work regardless of trim levels.

If this were for personal use, I'd likely spring for level IV or V trim for the driving experience provided.

but then I read about lower compensation levels figured against per mile depreciation costs and I wonder if anything over level II to III makes sense at all.

yes? no? maybe?
 

Fuzzyelvis

Well-Known Member
I'm shopping for a used Prius to drive for uber but can't decide which level suits me best.

I'd think your basic level II with cloth seats would get the job done and for the least per mile cost.

I could see making the jump to level III for the upholstery upgrades, however I'd think a well maintained, low mileage car would work regardless of trim levels.

If this were for personal use, I'd likely spring for level IV or V trim for the driving experience provided.

but then I read about lower compensation levels figured against per mile depreciation costs and I wonder if anything over level II to III makes sense at all.

yes? no? maybe?
Don't buy a car just to uber.

Regardless of the seats, get leatherette seat covers to protect them. Very important, especially for cloth.

Think shit, piss and puke in your car. Oh and chicken shit too...read a bit more of this forum maybe.
 

60000_TaxiFares

Well-Known Member
I'm shopping for a used Prius to drive for uber but can't decide which level suits me best.

I'd think your basic level II with cloth seats would get the job done and for the least per mile cost.

I could see making the jump to level III for the upholstery upgrades, however I'd think a well maintained, low mileage car would work regardless of trim levels.

If this were for personal use, I'd likely spring for level IV or V trim for the driving experience provided.

but then I read about lower compensation levels figured against per mile depreciation costs and I wonder if anything over level II to III makes sense at all.

yes? no? maybe?
The largest determinant to income with Uber is being in the minority of areas Uber serves with higher rates and incentives. The car (within reason) is a tertiary issue at best, much less the variant of said car.. I II III...... like many, you've missed the forest for the trees.

Buying a car for Uber, expecially $16,000 plus has been discussed ad-nauseam as a silly thing to do. Now if one really wants a Prius or whatnot for their personal vehicle I guess that's great, however buying a new or expensive car and using it for a public vehicle with Uber, puke, butt grease and candy the order of the day is silly IMO.

No matter how much this is said on this site it seems to never end. I had one new X driver tell me since he provides a expensive car for better "passenger experience" he will get better gratuities.....

Stay Safe

CC
 

Fauxknight

Well-Known Member
For personal use I'd get a 3 with the tech package. I don't like leather, so that's as high as I'd go, and the new Prius is one of the few cars you can get all the cool tech in without having to upgrade to leather.

For Uber use I'd go with whatever you find that's the cheapest and you can stand. It wouldn't be a new model, I'd aim for an early gen 3, trim level 3 with a little over 100k on it.
 

gforcepdx

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
The largest determinant to income with Uber is being in the minority of areas Uber serves with higher rates and incentives. The car (within reason) is a tertiary issue at best, much less the variant of said car.. I II III...... like many, you've missed the forest for the trees.

Buying a car for Uber, expecially $16,000 plus has been discussed ad-nauseam as a silly thing to do. Now if one really wants a Prius or whatnot for their personal vehicle I guess that's great, however buying a new or expensive car and using it for a public vehicle with Uber, puke, butt grease and candy the order of the day is silly IMO.

No matter how much this is said on this site it seems to never end. I had one new X driver tell me since he provides a expensive car for better "passenger experience" he will get better gratuities.....

Stay Safe

CC
Could you please expand on what you've said? I'm in the early stages of researching this whole thing. Not sure I want to get involved, but it seems to suit my current needs.

I've sold my home in Portland Or and considering a move to Albuquerque for the lower cost of living. I'm 55 and no longer do construction work, so I'm returning to school online for a psychology degree to work as a therapist... I'm good with people.

that's a lot of background I know, but it's to illustrate my current state. uber seems like a way to make "basic expenses" while in school, but this isn't a "career move" to me.

I would never buy a NEW car for something like this, but have been doing a lot of research on the used car market.

I started a couple weeks ago researching a Prius with the goal of finding something for 12k with 50 to 60k on the odometer.

I've since read drivers disappointments with uber x compensation structures and researching cars for more upscale markets.

Days ago I dove deep into the bmw 3 series 328i (09 to 11), but they seem impossible to defend from any sort of a business proposition. People DO drive them but all agree on budgeting 2k annually to keep them in service. I've read they receive higher rates but am unsure if it pencils out ahead of expenses.

And then yesterday I started reading about the Passat. These look to offer the most rear passenger room and with the correct options, allow you into a higher fee bracket.

I appreciate the "drive what you love" mantra generally espoused here and see the wisdom in that. But my passions have never led me in the direction of larger, roomy 4 doors. Currently I'm restoring a very clean 1960 ragtop beetle and no one is going to pay me for that...!!

I believe I can structure my expenses around a fairly modest income while on school and am trying to decide if driving part time for ANYONE makes sense for me.

I believe I've stepped away from anything with cloth seats based on the feedback I've received. As a rule, I spend the little money I have on quality goods, generally. I hate ill contrived crap.

Prius would seem to pencil out ahead of most other cars but I'm not sure they make sense if it puts me at the lowest rung of an arbitrary fee structure.

Thank you again for your thoughtful, nuanced response.
 

gforcepdx

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
For personal use I'd get a 3 with the tech package. I don't like leather, so that's as high as I'd go, and the new Prius is one of the few cars you can get all the cool tech in without having to upgrade to leather.

For Uber use I'd go with whatever you find that's the cheapest and you can stand. It wouldn't be a new model, I'd aim for an early gen 3, trim level 3 with a little over 100k on it.
I was actually looking at Prius cars with 60k for 12,000. You would recommend doubling that mileage for a car costing half as much?

One of the things I've been doing is quizzing drivers from the back seat about their experiences. Asking them why they drive the cars they do? A 27 year old immigrant was the one pushing for the used Prius and he seemed to be the one giving it the most thought.

have you considered driving a car in one of the higher fee structures. I ask because I have yet to ride anything above uber x. thanks... j
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
Could you please expand on what you've said? I'm in the early stages of researching this whole thing. Not sure I want to get involved, but it seems to suit my current needs.

I've sold my home in Portland Or and considering a move to Albuquerque for the lower cost of living. I'm 55 and no longer do construction work, so I'm returning to school online for a psychology degree to work as a therapist... I'm good with people.

that's a lot of background I know, but it's to illustrate my current state. uber seems like a way to make "basic expenses" while in school, but this isn't a "career move" to me.

I would never buy a NEW car for something like this, but have been doing a lot of research on the used car market.

I started a couple weeks ago researching a Prius with the goal of finding something for 12k with 50 to 60k on the odometer.

I've since read drivers disappointments with uber x compensation structures and researching cars for more upscale markets.

Days ago I dove deep into the bmw 3 series 328i (09 to 11), but they seem impossible to defend from any sort of a business proposition. People DO drive them but all agree on budgeting 2k annually to keep them in service. I've read they receive higher rates but am unsure if it pencils out ahead of expenses.

And then yesterday I started reading about the Passat. These look to offer the most rear passenger room and with the correct options, allow you into a higher fee bracket.

I appreciate the "drive what you love" mantra generally espoused here and see the wisdom in that. But my passions have never led me in the direction of larger, roomy 4 doors. Currently I'm restoring a very clean 1960 ragtop beetle and no one is going to pay me for that...!!

I believe I can structure my expenses around a fairly modest income while on school and am trying to decide if driving part time for ANYONE makes sense for me.

I believe I've stepped away from anything with cloth seats based on the feedback I've received. As a rule, I spend the little money I have on quality goods, generally. I hate ill contrived crap.

Prius would seem to pencil out ahead of most other cars but I'm not sure they make sense if it puts me at the lowest rung of an arbitrary fee structure.

Thank you again for your thoughtful, nuanced response.
Going to school for a psychology degree,will probably end up working in a prison,or mental hospital.

Uber is perfect training !

Please put your pants back on and head and arms INSIDE the window.

Perfect Practice !
 

60000_TaxiFares

Well-Known Member
Could you please expand on what you've said? I'm in the early stages of researching this whole thing. Not sure I want to get involved, but it seems to suit my current needs.

I've sold my home in Portland Or and considering a move to Albuquerque for the lower cost of living. I'm 55 and no longer do construction work, so I'm returning to school online for a psychology degree to work as a therapist... I'm good with people.

that's a lot of background I know, but it's to illustrate my current state. uber seems like a way to make "basic expenses" while in school, but this isn't a "career move" to me.

I would never buy a NEW car for something like this, but have been doing a lot of research on the used car market.

I started a couple weeks ago researching a Prius with the goal of finding something for 12k with 50 to 60k on the odometer.

I've since read drivers disappointments with uber x compensation structures and researching cars for more upscale markets.

Days ago I dove deep into the bmw 3 series 328i (09 to 11), but they seem impossible to defend from any sort of a business proposition. People DO drive them but all agree on budgeting 2k annually to keep them in service. I've read they receive higher rates but am unsure if it pencils out ahead of expenses.

And then yesterday I started reading about the Passat. These look to offer the most rear passenger room and with the correct options, allow you into a higher fee bracket.

I appreciate the "drive what you love" mantra generally espoused here and see the wisdom in that. But my passions have never led me in the direction of larger, roomy 4 doors. Currently I'm restoring a very clean 1960 ragtop beetle and no one is going to pay me for that...!!

I believe I can structure my expenses around a fairly modest income while on school and am trying to decide if driving part time for ANYONE makes sense for me.

I believe I've stepped away from anything with cloth seats based on the feedback I've received. As a rule, I spend the little money I have on quality goods, generally. I hate ill contrived crap.

Prius would seem to pencil out ahead of most other cars but I'm not sure they make sense if it puts me at the lowest rung of an arbitrary fee structure.

Thank you again for your thoughtful, nuanced response.
Some reading

https://uberpeople.net/threads/what-preowned-car-is-best-for-uber.91187/page-3#post-1288256

In general , the average UberX vehicle costs .30c/mi to operate. Most uberX vehicles are later model cars. Personal insurance and finance costs generally aren't included in the timeshare model as those would be paid anyway as your personal vehicle. TNC "endorsements" are offered (preferably unlimited) miles by some carriers in some states for aboui $200/yr. Without these one may be generally underinsured in most states, for Uber stage 1, and probably 2 and 3.

Of course approval of your insurance carrier is necessary but probably not sufficient. They may not mind, but deny claims related to Uber in many states. Some states have only recently passed insurance laws providing for the creation of additional TNC "endorsements" and such terms that (presumably) keeps the Uber driver from being (too badly?) underinsured. Not all insurance carriers offer them. Uber and the other timesharing firms are about as helpful in this area as the pigeons in tree branches above one's car.

It doesn't matter whether one's operating cost is .30c/mi or .24/c mi with a Prius. Whether the Prius is base, I II III XXVIII, whether the seats are leather or cloth , whether the leather is from North America, South America, Europe. Without worthwhile incentives, the business model as it stands generally it isn't worth it. Unfortunately this describes many areas.

The average UberX driver is rolling at a .80/.20 base rate. This is about a $7.00/hr proposition (with tips) without incentives, perhaps $10.00 on weekend evenings. Uber cut base rates substantially and switched to a model emphasizing incentives in January. (see link in my signature below) This is questionable, and some surmise the company(s) may never turn a substantial profit in Western (or any ?)countries.

Some incentives are surge rates, hourly guarantees, and a new "boost" model in a small # of markets , all based on jumping through hoops emailed to all or a select few drivers based on criteria drivers muse about.

In many areas Uber drivers lack substantial incentives and/or are in areas saturated with drivers for all Uber grades.

Sometimes XL Select rates are barely 50% or 100% more than X in places. In the link above I talk about a Black driver taking X trips just to make ends meet. Sometimes the trips in areas for higher grades are scarce.

Don't know what it it's like in your town in New Mexico but if the rates are at (or worse, below ) .80/.20 things aren't starting off good. Uber reps in each town don't really provide a lot of details, just "send us a copy of your license and be on the road this week" is the order of the day.
I appreciate the "drive what you love" mantra generally espoused here and see the wisdom in that.
Personally , I see no " drive what you love" mantra emphasized here. Most often seems expression of the regret of taking their late model cars and making them a public vehicle with 4000 people in and out of them a year. If you must, get an older Ford Fusion, Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla (whatever) for about $5000-$8000 and run 500 trips. A good car keeping a big expense, depreciation, to a minimum.

So basically get something older and relatively inexpensive, and still a nice car to drive while completing your internet courses and living life.

Insurance, compensation, one's temperament, inexpensive nice car, other things, and as dead last as one can get, Prius I II, III, Passat, leg room , cloth vs leather... et al.....

One may struggle to make $8.00/hr in many areas and some driver in an old $4000 Mazda3 in select locales may make $30+/hr on a (currently rare) Medal "boost" program or $18+/hr with generous hourly guarantees, rates, and/or surge.

The only way to really find out if Uber is worthwhile to you at this time and your space is to try it and run 300 trips or so. However the insurance stuff may be difficult to properly wring out.

So there ya go

Good luck

CC
 
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JimS

Well-Known Member
Prius V or Prius Plug In (Prius Prime) would be my two choices. V is a bit roomier, and the Prius Plug In (Prime for 2016?+) has an all electric function for up to like 25 miles or so.
 

Adieu

Well-Known Member
Could you please expand on you've said? I'm in the early stages of researching this whole thing. Not sure I want to get involved, but it seems to suit my current needs.

I've sold my home in Portland Or and considering a move to Albuquerque for the lower cost of living. I'm 55 and no longer do construction work, so I'm returning to school online for a psychology degree to work as a therapist... I'm good with people.

that's a lot of background I know, but it's to illustrate my current state. uber seems like a way to make "basic expenses" while in school, but this isn't a "career move" to me.

I would never buy a NEW car for something like this, but have been doing a lot of research on the used car market.

I started a couple weeks ago researching a Prius with the goal of finding something for 12k with 50 to 60k on the odometer.

I've since read drivers disappointments with uber x compensation structures and researching cars for more upscale markets.

Days ago I dove deep into the bmw 3 series 328i (09 to 11), but they seem impossible to defend from any sort of a business proposition. People DO drive them but all agree on budgeting 2k annually to keep them in service. I've read they receive higher rates but am unsure if it pencils out ahead of expenses.

And then yesterday I started reading about the Passat. These look to offer the most rear passenger room and with the correct options, allow you into a higher fee bracket.

I appreciate the "drive what you love" mantra generally espoused here and see the wisdom in that. But my passions have never led me in the direction of larger, roomy 4 doors. Currently I'm restoring a very clean 1960 ragtop beetle and no one is going to pay me for that...!!

I believe I can structure my expenses around a fairly modest income while on school and am trying to decide if driving part time for ANYONE makes sense for me.

I believe I've stepped away from anything with cloth seats based on the feedback I've received. As a rule, I spend the little money I have on quality goods, generally. I hate ill contrived crap.

Prius would seem to pencil out ahead of most other cars but I'm not sure they make sense if it puts me at the lowest rung of an arbitrary fee structure.

Thank you again for your thoughtful, nuanced response.
$2k annually is NOTHING

Literally irrelevant

Not when that can be had on Select fares just by waking up at the crack of dawn 15-20 days per year and working until morning traffic kicks in
 

Adieu

Well-Known Member
PS if NOT doing select, buy a $2500-4)000 low mileage 2004-2005 Passat from an empty nester / young grandma in a rich suburban neighbourhood
 

rob glen

Member
Prius V or Prius Plug In (Prius Prime) would be my two choices. V is a bit roomier, and the Prius Plug In (Prime for 2016?+) has an all electric function for up to like 25 miles or so.
But there's a catch: The Prius prime only seats 4- just 2 seats in the back. If you want plugin, go for C-max or Fusion
 

Zardoz

Member
I have been considering either a Prius C (hatchback) , or a Toyota Corolla . Both are similarly priced .

Just landed a FT job so I hope not to be doing Lyft/Uber as much as I used to , but prob still will every other weekend or so to try to write off the car payments .

Any Prius drivers - or hatchback drivers in general - have problems with the smaller trunk and pax luggage ?

Cuz so far that is the only real downside I see to choosing a Prius .
 

dolllarchaser

Well-Known Member
1-2 pax = no problems
3 pax = 3-4 suitcases using the front seat
4 pax = suggest XL

3 carry on cases in trunk + 1 on front seat is max typically
2 large suit cases in trunk + 1 on front seat

Typically, airport travelers will have 1 carry on and back pack which is no problem.
 
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