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Prius Prices Soaring Due to War and Natural Disasters

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author photo by Autotrader March 2011

Conflict in the Middle East and effects from the disaster in Japan are conspiring to drive up the price of fuel-efficient cars stateside.

With bombs falling in Libya, and the United States in the middle of a peak driving season, oil prices have shot up to over $106 a barrel; the highest price since the last spike in 2008. The demand for fuel-efficient cars is closely tied to the cost of oil and the current situation is no exception.

The Japanese quake and tsunami have further compounded the issue. Japanese automakers produce many fuel-efficient models, and a large number of the country's manufacturing plants have been shut down during recovery operations.

For Toyota, the situation is so dire that they have delayed the Japanese launch of the Prius V, a larger wagon version of the popular hybrid. Toyota has 18 plants in Japan, and all of them have been shut down temporarily.

Along with the plants, Japanese parts and dealer networks have been disrupted, and even the ones that are still operational are experiencing trouble transporting goods across the ravaged country.

With demand for fuel-efficient cars rising in the US and the supply wearing thin, prices are increasing fast. USA Today reported this week that wholesale used prices on the Prius have jumped up $1,500, and prices for a new Prius rose over a hundred dollars just four days after the disaster.

The current Prius was recently named TrueCar's most fuel-efficient car for 2011, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy just gave the car its top spot as the greenest car on the block. These recent accolades are among many racked up by the world's best selling hybrid car.

Autoblog Green reported, that the new all-electric Nissan Leaf has been listed for sale in Santa Cruz, Calif. for $5,000 over MSRP, though it is hard to determine if this is due to the current world situation, or if it is simple price gouging for the latest hot selling car.

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Used 2011 Toyota Prius Three
Used 2011 Toyota Prius
$8,632
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Used 2011 Toyota Prius Three
Used 2011 Toyota Prius
$11,243
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Used 2011 Toyota Prius Two
Used 2011 Toyota Prius
$8,990
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Used 2011 Toyota Prius One
Used 2011 Toyota Prius
$12,979
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Prius Prices Soaring Due to War and Natural Disasters - Autotrader