After writing my last post about our car accident problems with our 2007 Toyota Prius, I really couldn’t believe Geico decided not to cover the hybrid battery – it just coincidentally started dying the same day of an accident.
At that point late Tuesday night, we had paid out $1000 for our deductible including the repairs we already had covered, would be receiving a $1600-$1700 check from Geico for the cosmetic damage, and were going to pick up a battered 2007 Toyota Prius with a malfunctioning hybrid battery Wednesday afternoon. The dealership quoted us $3800 to replace the battery and that just wasn’t going to happen for a car worth, at best, $4600 even before the accident.
Also, our Prius with a dead hybrid battery could only be traded in or sold for $500-$1000 just for someone to part it out. Problem was that we couldn’t find our ideal used car to buy this week – a 2013 or 2014 Certified Pre-Owned Prius 3 with 36,000 or fewer miles.
I ended up staying awake until 2-3am researching what makes a “Certified Pre-Owned “ Toyota and got sidetracked by a Forbes article on a company started in Houston that literally just sells and installs hybrid batteries…
I emailed Jessica at Hometown Hybrids at 2:30am Tuesday night/Wednesday morning explaining the situation and asking if they could help before we leave on another cruise on Saturday (tomorrow). I offered to bribe them with brownies. I also chose the refurbished option instead of a brand new battery (currently $1000 versus $2700 with a 1 year versus a 3 year warranty).
She emailed back at 3:53am and explained that they totally could bring out a refurbished battery to install for us on Friday. After I woke up and saw that email at 9:14am, I replied asking if 10am-noon could work on Friday. She replied 2 minutes later that they’d be here Friday at 10am and she confirmed that the refurbished battery would be $1000 and the install would take less than an hour. She also confirmed that the refurbished battery would come with a 1 year / 25,000 mile warranty (that is transferrable to the next owner as well).
Hometown Hybrids for the Win!
So guess what?! Matthew from Hometown Hybrids just left. He showed up at 10am like Jessica said, installed the new-to-us battery in half an hour, answered all of our questions while he worked, and impressed the crap out of me. PLUS, I found out that Jessica, the owner and lady I had been emailing, is actually someone I was friends with in elementary school!!! Yay for a fellow entrepreneur!!! SMALL FREAKING WORLD!!!
Anyway, Matthew tested the battery before he started to make sure it was indeed the problem. Then he asked us to test drive it at the end to make sure all the warnings had really gone away. We have a working 2007 Prius again for less than 1/4 the cost that the dealership would have been with tax!!!
We are still most likely in the market for a new-to-us Prius within the next few months, BUT we now have the time to properly track down our next car. This also increased the sale value of our old Prius from $500-$1000 to $4000-$4200 with just this one replacement! Best $1100 repair ever! Bought us time AND money. Thank you Hometown Hybrids!!!
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!