One fact that goes unnoticed is that the Toyota Hybrid not only saves money on fuel but also cost less to maintain. The weakness is the HV battery.
The HV battery In the Toyota Hybrid was expected to last between 8 to 10 years. The HV battery in the series 1 hybrid manufactured between 1998 to 2000 are failing or have failed. The problem is that a replacement battery cost more than the car is worth.
The Battery Clinic is the only company that specialize in restoring and reconditioning these HV batteries and give them a new lease of life. We charge a fix fee of $1500 for this service.
Knowledge is power and we have had a few people bring in vehicles that they have bought for $2500 - $3000. We recondition the battery and they get a very good cheap vehicle for their commute.
This car still drives like new - very smooth and still gives the good fuel economy. At $5000 and the likelihood that the battery will last for another 5 years your cost of vehicle ownership is as low as it gets.
Our company owns 3 series hybrids for 3 years now and the only maintenance cost are the tyres, and oil. Because of regen from braking, brake pads do not wear out as fast.