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I am considering a Prius and I was wondering if Toyota dealers will haggle on the price. In the past, for some car models in short supply, dealers have asked sticker price and sometimes even more. Is that the case with Prius, even now that they are available straight off the lot? I would especially appreciate hearing from recent buyers. Thanks.
 
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Charles

I bought my Prius 1 month ago today. It had just come from the factory. (Off the truck) I tried to haggle with the manager and the sales person. They said that the cars are too popular, (for those that know what it is) and anyone would pay sticker price for it at this time. They have too much technology and such to haggle a price at this time. I didnt have a trade in for them to maybe give me more on my car. So who knows on this one.

They even told me that they needed to push more sales under Toyota credit. The area rep had told them to get more sales that Toyota credit had to have more customers. I was able to qualify on just my disability income. I also have a part time job but a teenager at McDonalds would make more then what I get in a pay period.

The area you may get some help at is the extra stuff such as floor mats. They cost $85. Or maybe a deal on a CD player. Be sure if you want Cruise control or the Nav system that you order your car that way. They cant put these options in at your local dealer. At least from what I have been told.

Good luck. You wont be disappointed if you buy the car.

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Go for it. Decide what you want or what you can live with and call around. I was able to talk them down considerably for an internet order in December. Not easy though, almost lost it. Should be easier now. Or call dianne <http://www.carsontoyota.com/priusorders.html> and compare your price with her price, a flight, and a field trip. I suspect that there will be regional variations, so if you buy from a distance do not forget that it is essential to find a local Prius-certified mechanic you can talk to. On the plus side, I gather that only the best, brightest, and muscular mechanics are Prius certified (PriusTek can vouch for that).
nathan
 
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Be sure if you want Cruise control or the Nav system that you order your car that way. They cant put these options in at your local dealer.

The GPS NAV, DRL (daytime running lights), and the side air bags are all factory options, and have to be ordered from the factory (cannot be installed later). The cruise control retrofit kit for the 2001s will work on the 2002s.

Things like the floor mats, CD player/changer, cargo net, glass breakage sensor, alloy wheel locks, front end mask, etc. are all accessories that can be ordered and installed later, or removed.

Back with the internet ordering system (which was discontinued in January for the Prius (now used for the Rav4 EV rollout)), pretty much every Prius was at MSRP (sticker) price. Now that the Prius is sold off-the-lot in the regular dealer allocation system, that number can move a bit. As there are many dealerships still selling at MSRP or less, don't pay more than sticker price, and only pay for the options that you want. (Some dealers tend to like jacking up the price for things like ToyotaGuard or pinstripes or window VIN-etching or rustproofing and other gunk they add on.) You can still have a dealership custom order a Prius for you.

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I just purchased mine on Sunday and was able to make a deal. They had three on the lot and I think they wanted to move at least one. The odd thing is none of them had the Nav system.
 

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just bought a '03 black and paid sticker..dealer wouldn't budge and i had no energy to "shop". was SHOCKED to find out that the wheels are $350 a pop... I was going to get an extra set and mount 4 blizzak snows...so much for that idea.. and now to boot i read that tire mileage is less than 15k...where is the "green" in that? I have lots to learn about the car and am delighted to find this forum
 

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TC said:
Charles

I bought my Prius 1 month ago today. It had just come from the factory. (Off the truck) I tried to haggle with the manager and the sales person. They said that the cars are too popular, (for those that know what it is) and anyone would pay sticker price for it at this time. They have too much technology and such to haggle a price at this time. I didnt have a trade in for them to maybe give me more on my car. So who knows on this one.

They even told me that they needed to push more sales under Toyota credit. The area rep had told them to get more sales that Toyota credit had to have more customers. I was able to qualify on just my disability income. I also have a part time job but a teenager at McDonalds would make more then what I get in a pay period.

The area you may get some help at is the extra stuff such as floor mats. They cost $85. Or maybe a deal on a CD player. Be sure if you want Cruise control or the Nav system that you order your car that way. They cant put these options in at your local dealer. At least from what I have been told.

Good luck. You wont be disappointed if you buy the car.

[%sig%]
Actually, cruise control can be added after the fact. (I did that with my 2001 (which didn't have the cruise control option).

The things that have to be ordered direct from the factory are the DRLs, the side air bags, and the GPS/NAV.

Do not pay above sticker price. Check the Toyota site for the correct MSRP. The Prius often can be had for less than sticker, depending on the dealer and your area...
 

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you can bargain!

I was able to get $750 off my car (which I bought in March). I had the wholesale lists of the car and features, and I brought it in when I was about to buy and showed it to the dealer when we were talking price. They immediately gave me a discount. You can get the whole sale costs of cars and all features online.
=-mike-=
 

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Price for new Prius

When I purchased OCT 02 there were several on most lots.
I had looked around and priced for several months, was in no hurry. Of the 3 dealers I visited 2 came down to invoice price. Several stated on my first visit that sticker was the price, when I stated what I'd pay (invoice) the price came down. I went with the dealer that I felt the most comfortable with and liked their service and "no pressure" style.

But ... I purchased an 02, in OCT02 the 03's were rollin in.
Gas was going down ($) at the time.

Gas prices have an effect on demand for vehicles like the Prius. If gas (at the pump) increases ... the value of a Prius on the dealers lot goes up too - supply and demand.

I feel the MPG is a plus -- not the only reason I purchased!
 

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Charles McDade said:
I am considering a Prius and I was wondering if Toyota dealers will haggle on the price. In the past, for some car models in short supply, dealers have asked sticker price and sometimes even more. Is that the case with Prius, even now that they are available straight off the lot? I would especially appreciate hearing from recent buyers. Thanks.
My suggestion is to visit Dianne's place (http://www.carsontoyota.com/) if you are in the neighborhood and/or take a look at her in-stock Prius inventory (http://216.219.239.199/fleet/showroom.p ... icles&data[model_id]=17) if not.

If you can't buy from her, then you can at least use her prices as a "yardstick" at the dealership of your choice.
She has 02s from 18,633 and 03s from 19,600.

WARNING:
Dianne's prices are FAIR! If YOUR dealercritter gives you any crap about her prices or insists on adding on ANYTHING ("we do that on ALL our cars") say nothing and IMMEDIATELY LEAVE: they're out to do you NO good.

Also - take a look at the dealer databases on the Yahoo groups - a LOT of good info there.

Or - pick a dealer and ask the groups if anyone has good or bad experiences with them.
 

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Re: Price negotiations

When I bought my 2002 in mid-November, the dealer had 8 on the lot! They ran an add for 15,995 :lol:

In the fine print, it said 'after $2000 federal tax credit' (it's NOT a credit, so this borders on deceptive advertising). Still, a real price of 17,995 is great, so I went in.

Even after padding the price with stupid stuff like pinstriping, I walked out at $19,480. I thought that was pretty good. Best I'd seen anyway.

One wierd experience: When I got into Finance, they said that they couldn't do this deal unless I bought the extended warranty. After a lot of arguing, they told me that the warranty can be cancelled immediately, with a full refund (-$25). So I gave in. I did cancel the warranty, and I did get the full refund about a month later.
 

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I didn't even try to get a discount. A dealer 25 miles away had the color and options I wanted on the lot and ready to sell. I paid MSRP. All I asked for was an extra key. I had cash in hand and I was hoping for a quick purchase, maybe take an hour at most. Haggling can take hours. Even without haggling it still took 3 and a half hours for Fremont Toyota to turn over the car.

Most of the delay was caused by the finance man trying to do the paper-work so the bank could make me a loan. He thought I was getting a bank loan. I thought he was just doing the DMV and bill of sale paperwork. He did not realize that all I needed wasthe final price (with tax and DMV) so I could run to my bank to withdraw the right amount of money. He was stuned when I refused to give him credit related information.

After a few hours I was tempted to insist they put it on my Visa card, just so they could eat the extra 2% fee that Visa charges. Yes, I have a card with $25,000 available credit. No, I didn't do it this time, but I've done that in the past.

I'm very happy with the car, but will not return to that dealer.
 

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I ended up buying one at MSRP last Dec. The cost was going to be no
different than if I went and bought the car I picked out as 'plan B'
(which was a Corolla S or LE). Plus the options of the ones at the
nearby dealer fit what I wanted, so I left in 5 hours with the new
car.

The good news to all this is that even though I bought at MSRP, it
was offset by what the loan folks included - 6 years of Platinum
coverage, insurance 'gap' protection, enhancement to the alarm
(vehicle tracker), and a couple other things that added to about
$2.5+K in 'free' extras. The APR will not be an issue as plan is to
pay things off quite early, like I did the previous car :)

The annoying bit was that my trade-in car did not turn out as well
as expected. Sure the car had 195,560 miles on it but it was still
in great shape due to the proper TLC (and then some) done for it.
Ended up with $500 trade-in despite trying to haggle that up. For
those curious the old car was a '93 Corolla. 8)
 

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E-loan deal

Eloan gave me great financing, I had to go to a second dealership to get the transaction (5.39% 72 mos), but the Internet Sales Manager at Marietta Toyota sold me the car for 300 over their invoice. I was very happy with the deal, and even more pleased with the car.
 

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We got ours about 6 weeks ago at $250 over dealer invoice with 3.9% Toyota financing. With the $400 holdback (2% of 20K), the dealer made about $650 on the deal.
 

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Fredericksburg VA Pricing

Ron Rosner Toyota (http://www.rosnerauto.com), the local Fredericksburg VA dealer (about 50 mi south of Wash DC) said they would "entertain any offer over invoice."

They also had all the invoices for the 10-12 Prius that were in inventory posted on the front window of the dealership. Don't know if it was true, but the saleman said that his dealership was the #1 volume Pruis deal in the nine state Toyota Mid-Atlantic area (they are all #1 at something).

Not much sales presssure and it seemed like a good deal as the invoice prices were well below MSRP.
 

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My experience with buying the Prius

First I read several books on car buying and the auto business in general. The best of these is "Don't get taken every time" by Remar Sutton. Web page at http://www.dontgettakeneverytime.com.
The book is a real eye opener on the car business and dealers. Also about internet car sites and buying over the internet.

Then got the dealer invoice cost on the car and all options from sites like Edmonds and Kelly Blue book. Consumers Reports also will give you the true dealer cost as well as the dealer hold back and any special dealer incentives going on. The cost for 1 car price report is $12. Web site is http://www.consumersreports.org

Then emailed 5 Toyota dealers and told them I was going to buy the Prius that week, that price was the only factor, and the lowest guy won. It's important to let the dealers know you are serious, have decided on the exact model, you have the dealer invoice costs, and you are going to buy the car within 5 days from someone.

Received 3 replies back and then started bargaining via email between the dealers. I had the invoice numbers, knew what the dealer holdback was and started from there up. Never start from the list price down.

Within 48hrs I had a deal that allowed me to get the car for exactly $51 over the true dealer invoice price. The MSRP was $21392 and I paid $20024. That's $1368 off the "suggested retail price". If I wanted to spend more time I expect I could have shaved another $50 off the final price. I had no trade and went with Toyotas 0% financing.

The April 2003 issue of Consumer Reports has the entire issue devoted to cars. There is an good article in it tilted "Tricks of the Trade" which covers 10 of the common dealer methods used to part you from your money. It's worth reading. Car dealers are not you friends!

Also a ploy the dealer tried to use was he showed me the "Dealer Invoice" which did show the true dealer invoice cost for the car and the options, however down at the bottom of the invoice was a line labeled TDA for $325. He tried to convince me that this was the Toyota Dealer Advertising charge and that Toyota Motor Sales USA added it to all dealer invoice costs to cover regional advertising. Wrong!!

This is a bogus charge the dealers use when someone says show me the invoice on the car. It appears the dealer is charged this by Toyota when they order the car. This is pure 100% BS. The dealer makes up this number. Remember with desktop publishing you can whip out a very convincing looking Offcial Invoice with what ever numbers you want.

If you just do not want to do any dealing or hagling with car salesmen there is a buying service that for a flat $200 fee will get the best price deals in writing from 5 dealers in your area and you then pick the best deal. I have not used the service but the group is a non profit consumer information service. The web site is http://checkbook.org.

The dealer also tried to add a 1/2% county sales tax on the full purchase price of the car. In Wisconsin there is a 5% State sales tax and SOME counties have a 1/2% sales tax. The county I happened to live in does not have the 1/2% sales tax. The amount was $100 and when I pointed out to the salesman there was no county sales tax because of where I live his response was "Oh yeah, I think your right"

This would not have been a big deal except when I went to pick up the car 2 days later and sign the final paperwork the dealers financial manager typed up the sales contract and again there was this 1/2% county sales tax of $100 on the final contract and again I had to tell him that was incorrect, there is no county sales tax in my county. Like they did not know this?? And they sell 1000's of cars a year. Right.

All this could have been just a simple mistake, and I am sure if I picked it up after I had signed the final document the dealer would have refunded the $100. But I have to wonder if I had had not noticed the error, would the dealer after his bookeepers had discovered the overcharge for the nonexisant county sales tax have notified me and sent the refund as soon as it was discovered?? Maybe.

So far happy with the car. It is VERY high tech. Definitely leading edge technology. Just hope it is not "bleeding edge". In 5 years I will know!

Consumer reports sends out a survey to all subscribers asking lots of questions about the relibility and satisfaction of new cars bought.
Toyota Prius rated number 1 in owner-satisfaction ratings for small cars this year.
 
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