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I posted this over in Priuschat but for those here who don't go there, it's an interesting question I'm trying to wrap my brain around. Something for the enviromental fanatics. ;)

Yes, I know, buy the darn Prius now! However, I have the two vehicles listed below (trying to sell the RX-7 - any takers ;) ) and really must sell one before getting the Prius. I have someone who wants to buy the anti-Prius, but I really want to keep it for a while longer - I usually keep my vehicles for 10 years or so.

So, is it environmentally responsible to buy a -insert gas gussling non-Prius here- and sell it before you "use it up" - say less than 10 years? Where is the enviro. cost vs benefit crossover, or is there one?

My thinking is if everyone bought a new vehicle and then got rid of it after say 3-5 years that would be harder on the environment than the benefit gained if they all switched to a Prius.

I'm having trouble figuring out how to calculate the environmental cost.
 

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Assuming that you're not going to scrap your old vehicle, the environmental consequences of that purchase will be the same whether you own the vehicle or someone else does. Your old car is probably going to be operated for it's economic life, and it will polute accordingly.

When you purchase a new vehicle, you are making a decision that will have environmental and economic consequenses for the life of the car. By buying an environmentally desireable vehicle sooner, you put one more on the road. You also encourage the manufacturers to make more fuel efficient cars by increasing sales in this market segment.

So I would say that buying your new, environmentally desireable car sooner you are unequivocally making a positive move. On the other hand, I ran my last car the customary 10 years before I made the move.
 
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