So it’s been a year since I got the Prius (April 2012), and I thought I’d review some statistics … because I like numbers and have geeky friends.

First off the numbers for the last twelve months for Priceline (source in Excel or CSV).  This data includes what I bid vs. what the hotel’s web rate was for the night, as well as what I actually paid (bid + taxes & fees) vs. the hotel’s rate plus an estimate of taxes (12%).  I did this because comparing the base bid/ask numbers skews the savings higher, as it doesn’t take into account Priceline’s fee.

So based on those more accurate numbers, I’ve spent 50 nights in Priceline hotels over the last twelve months, paying an average of $67.23 a night with taxes and fees included, and enjoying an average of a 3.32-star hotel.

That’s $3294.37 I’ve spent on hotel rooms that would have been $6648.70 if I ‘d paid retail – a savings of $3354.33, or 50%.

Dude, some say, you spent three grand on hotels?  That’s insane!

I can understand that perspective, but there’s another factor at work here – the Prius. 

In calendar year 2011, driving a V8 Mercury Mountaineer, I spent $4407 on gasoline.  In the last twelve months, driving the Prius, I spent $1985 on gasoline, including a 9000-mile trip around the country.  So even with that trip and all the others, spending weekends in 2013 visiting DC, Atlanta, Raleigh, Savannah, New Orleans, Denver, and Greeneville, I still saved over 50% on my fuel bill.

Rather than spend that other $2400 on gas, I spent it on hotels – that’s a lifestyle change I’m glad I made.

Thinking of it that way, applying the gas costs that I’d been incurring anyway to the hotel stays, the delta is only $872. 

Think about that for a moment – I had been spending $4407 on gas, but the last twelve months I spent $5379 on gas and hotels. 

Fifty nights, $872 difference – that’s $17.45 per night.  I’ll call it a bargain.