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I'm sorry if this is obvious, but my current lease on an Audi is up in January 2005, and I'd like to replace it with a 2005 Prius at that time. Can anyone suggest the best path to take so that when January rolls around, I have a Prius waiting (I could pick up the Prius early or later than that if I had to). I live in SoCal, if that matters... Thanks -- Ken
 

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This is going to sound like I'm being tacky, but I'm not. Call and ask for one now. You might have it by January. A lot of dealerships have stopped taking orders, but if you tell them you don't want something until January '05, they may put you on the list. You can do that, or you can wait and really start shopping hard in December - it's possible to find a car that can be at your door within a month or less, but it's not usually easy (speaking from personal experience there). Maybe by then you'll have better luck, but I'd say your best bet at this point is to call your dealership and get your name on the list now. Good luck!

'04 White #7
Ordered 3/1/04 from Helena Motors (MT)
Estimated delivery 3/21/04 (Orlando, FL)
 

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Orders can be taken now with a target delivery date. The lead time is about 10 months; so order one now and hope for the best.
 

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Boy it's tough to predict the future. Toyota has historically limited production to maintain a 2-3 month backlog on orders, but the variation has been pretty large. A surge in gasoline prices that lasts more than a month would probably make the backlog grow huge. If the upcoming other makes/models of hybrid really do show up, the backlog could shrink, possibly even resulting in immediate showroom availability of Prius (depending on the relative desirability of the new hybrids). A reasonable strategy would be to monitor the forums/boards frequently, starting early in September, to get a feel for the backlog. Then put in your order, timed with that information, to arrive in January. It sounds like you can tolerate a month or so variation, so that should work out reasonably well. If in September the apparent backlog is more than 4 months, you probably weren't going to get the timing anywhere near right anyway. If there doesn't appear to be much/any backlog, show up at the dealer in late December hoping for a great year end deal. If none is available, buy at normal prices in January.

Good luck with your car acquiring plans.
 

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re: Desire for a 2005 in January

Depending on where you are located in SoCal you should seriously consider contacting Dianne at Carson Toyota. <[email protected]> She is on all the Prius lists and has been very helpful to a lot of people. If anyone can do it for you, she probably can. Incidently, I did not get my Prius from her and have no connection to Dianne or her dealership.
 

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also, note that the US Federal Clean
Fueled Vehicle deduction will be
going down by another $500 when the
year changes. So, if you purchase
before Dec. 31, 2004 you'll get it
in tax/calendar year 2004, and get a
$1500 tax deduction (only a few
hundred dollars off of your taxes,
depending on your tax bracket). If
you wait until after Jan. 1, 2005 to
buy a Prius you'll only get a $1000
tax deduction.

(of course, that's assuming that there's
no wierd tax bill (like the current
Energy Plan) that passes Congress
by the time you buy your car that
changes the tax deductions/credits
for hybrids...)

But yeah, time to ask now to get yourself
on a list...
 

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Coordinating cars

Well, I have a similar issue to your's except my lease is up in September, so I went in February to place an order for either an '04 or an '05, whichever is available when my name comes up on their list. I really wanted a Prius, but couldn't be left car-less either and was worried about what if one wasn't available when my lease was up. Toyota suggested that I contact VW to see if I could extend my lease. I can extend my lease by up to 6 months, and can actually go month to month, with the same payment as current, no extra fees, etc. tacked on for doing this either. Maybe this will be an option for you.
 

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I'd say the obvious thing, if you know a dealer you trust, is to explain the situation. Ask if they'll put you on the list with the proviso that if you get to the top of the list before your target date they go ahead and sell to the next person on the list. If you're willing to put down a deposit now it seems like a reasonable request. Maybe the biggest problem would be if they don't get the color/package you want for several months after your target date.
 
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