This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Are Toyota Prius Owners Environmentally Friendly or Just Complete Tools?

Stocks in this article: TMAAPLP

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- After 12 years without a car, I caved. I didn't have to buy a car, but it made sense.

Since 1999 I never had a problem getting around by foot, bike and public transit in San Francisco, Irvine, Los Angeles and now, Santa Monica. In all four locations, local travel -- say within a 5-10 mile radius -- was easy. Outside of 10 miles I biked practically everything, even in the pouring rain.

If I ever needed four wheels, I rented them. But, as airport travel and CNBC appearances become more frequent, the car-dominated landscape of Southern California necessitates car ownership.

So, like some people buy a pack of gum, I went to Toyota (TM) of Santa Monica (go see Luis Caldas. He's a no-hassle salesman!) and, in less than two hours, took ownership -- via Toyota Finance -- of a 2013 Toyota Prius.

I knew I wanted a Prius. Why? Like I said in the video that accompanies this article, I got a Prius because it's a quiet car. I could have gone electric (like Dylan did at Newport), but that would have cost more and my plug-in situation isn't ideal.

While I like the good gas mileage (I logged 58 MPG on a recent 15-mile highway/city commute), I am under no illusions that I am somehow saving the world by driving a hybrid. I just like the car. It's comfortable. It's the right price. If it ran on the sweat of young Chinese factory workers instead of a mix of gas and electricity, it wouldn't make a difference to me. A car is a car. You drive one and, from a social-environmental standpoint, quit fooling yourself, you're probably not making matters better.

When Caldas told me the Prius was the best-selling car in California in 2012, I hesitated to believe him. But it checked out: Californians registered 60,688 of them last year . That helped Toyota's overall lineup account for one of every five cars sold in the state in 2012.

I shouldn't be surprised. The Prius is ubiquitous, particularly in Santa Monica.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,825.92 +10.98 0.06%
S&P 500 2,070.92 +3.89 0.19%
NASDAQ 4,782.4420 +24.19 0.51%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs