I want to make sure my 06 Prius has been clear-coated before I sign on the dotted line. Does Toyota automatically clear-coat their cars prior to delivery, or does a request have to be made to have it done?
I think that you may be confusing terms here. Clear coat refers to a paint process wherein color is applied first, followed by clear paint, which helps to protect the color coat. Car dealers make a lot of money selling a what amounts to a wax job, which they claim means you will never have to wax the car again, or worry about bird droppings, sprinkler spots, etc. I don't believe in those products myself.
The answer to your question is that Toyota does use a clear coat paint process. It still needs occasional polishing and waxing, but the clear coat makes for a nice deep shine when finished. Interesting fact is, the color coat can be applied as a dull finish, no polishing or buffing, etc. Then the clear coat is applied, and Voila!, the finish is deep and glossy. I have seen this done in a body shop.
Good luck with your new car, and welcome to the forum.
I do not believe there is any car made in the world today that is not "clear coated." As was noted, it corrects all minor mistakes in the color coats. Only drawback is the use of touch up paint which is not as easy to apply to clear coated surfaces. All Chryslers have been "clear coated" for years.
Roger V and Hyperion: Thanks for clarifying "clear coat" for me. Much appreciated. I always wax my car anyway. FYI: a really good wax is made by Zaino Bros. It's easy to apply, lasts a long time, and gives your car a "wet" look. You can't buy it in a store, but you can order it online. Awesome stuff!