I purchased my 2007 Toyota Prius (yes, it's White!) on September 28, 2006. I chose the Prius because I wanted a low-emissions vehicle that got great gas mileage and had the quality reputation of Toyota. One month in and I've been very happy with my purchase.
One of the side benefits of purchasing a qualifying hybrid is that you can apply for one of the 75,000 stickers that were approved as part of California's incentive program that allows certain low-emissions vehicle access to the carpool lanes with only a single occupant. However, at the time I purchased my vehicle, the anticipation was that all the stickers had been claimed. No matter. I still purchased the car.
The day after I purchased the car, however, the California Governor signed AB 2600 into law, which added an additional 10,000 stickers to the pool, and extended the HOV-lane access until January 1, 2011. I was pretty confident that I would get an HOV-lane sticker after all.
But, does the 2007 Toyota Prius qualify for the program?
It should, but the AB 2628 approved list of vehicles knew nothing about the 2007 model -- it had only been on the market for a week when I bought it. However, that approved list was updated on October 11, 2006, and the 2007 Prius was added. Note that no other 2007 model was added to the list at that time!
In the end, my stickers arrived today, October 30, 2006.
Here's the timeline:
- 09/28: Purchased 2007 Toyota Prius
- 09/29: Called dealer to ask them to expedite DMV license plate registration (required for HOV sticker application)
- 09/29: Drove up to San Francisco to register for the FasTrak program (required for HOV sticker application for Bay Area residents)
- 10/03: Dealer called with license plate number
- 10/03: USPS overnight mailing of HOV lane application packet and $8 check to DMV in Sacramento
- 10/11: 2007 Prius added to approved vehicle list
- 10/13: DMV cashed the $8 application fee check
- 10/21: "Date Issued" of stickers by DMV
- 10/30: Stickers arrive at home -- Sticker #0803XX
I will enjoy my low emissions, my 50mpg, my $3,150 tax credit for 2006, my free city parking in San Jose, my easier commutes, and my quality Toyota.