Why There's A Prius Shortage And What You Can Do About It

You may have noticed that car prices have skyrocketed over the past couple of years. It's mainly because there's a shortage of materials, particularly computer chips.

Toyota has been cutting back on car production. In fact, it just halted production at two factories in Japan. That means we won't be seeing as many new models, including the Prius.

Why Is There A Prius Shortage?

Auto computer chip

The Prius shortage is especially frustrating for drivers who want to buy a brand new Prius. The Toyota Prius is one of the most wanted vehicles and has taken on greater importance in “going green”.

The jump in gas prices in the past year has made the demand for this car skyrocket. The amount of fuel savings is around $1,000-$2,000 a year. It has become ‘the car’ for saving money and being eco-friendly.

There are three major reasons why there's a Prius shortage going on right now:

  • Computer chip shortage: The Prius, like all hybrid cars, has several computer chips. It's impossible to produce a Prius without them. When the pandemic started, computer chips became scarce.
  • Demand is up: The demand for hybrids has risen over the past year with rising gas prices. Also, the climate crisis has inspired more people to become more eco-friendly.
  • Scarcity of precious metals: For the past several years, there's been a shortage of precious metals such as platinum and palladium. It has made manufacturing more expensive. The Toyota Prius requires more precious metals than other cars, especially in its catalytic converters.

Toyota has increased production for hybrid cars every year since they've been in production. However, with this rarity in materials, it makes producing these vehicles harder to do.

This isn't the first time Toyota has faced a Prius shortage. About 10 years ago, Toyota faced a shortage of Prius parts due to earthquake damage, as discussed in this blog post.

The Prius Shortage Is Driving Up The MSRP

Prius chip shortage

In 2021, the MSRP for the higher trim level Prius surpassed $30,000. That's pretty crazy for a car that's known for its affordability. As stated earlier, this shortage has caused a lock down on production for some major car companies, including Toyota.

This doesn't mean that you have to give up hope of owning a Prius. The Prius is a solid car with many redeeming qualities, as discussed in this blog post.

You could try to buy a used Prius for the time being. While it's true that used car prices have skyrocketed too, a used Prius would still be a lot cheaper than a brand new one. There are plenty of affordable options on used car websites such as Craigslist and Carvana.

Shortages drive up prices, especially those that have been going on for years now. We have to adapt our lifestyles in order to adapt to these changes. You could hold onto your used Prius and then trade it in for a brand new Prius once the shortage ends. Experts think that the shortage's end is at least in sight. No one can predict exactly when it'll end, but many experts agree that it'll persist until early 2023.