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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just getting started on my journey toward Prius ownership. I'm going for a test drive today! I currently have inquiries out with about 15 dealerships, 5 of which I am actively corresponding with on their prices (based on which packages), waitlists, deposits required, etc.

So, here's my questions for the experts:

1. Anymore suggestions on what info I should be getting from them?
2. Did y'all get on multiple waiting lists? I just assume people do this, to increase their chances of getting their desired package/color combo fastest.

Thanks!
 

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Im curious about this also, like you ive just started trying for a prius. I am currently on the waiting list of one dealer in my area, a list thats 14 people long.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
SlyJoker said:
Im curious about this also, like you ive just started trying for a prius. I am currently on the waiting list of one dealer in my area, a list thats 14 people long.
Hahah, I would love to have a list of only 14 people long. Most of the delaerships I'm talking to must have about 100 people...I'm finding waiting times of 6-12 months!
 

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cheetah said:
1. Anymore suggestions on what info I should be getting from them?
2. Did y'all get on multiple waiting lists? I just assume people do this, to increase their chances of getting their desired package/color combo fastest.
A lot of people are on multiple lists

but... dealers that take firm non-refundable deposits do tend to have shorter lists

I have heard about some people putting down multiple $500 deposits to get on these shorter lists. Once one pays off then they have to talk their way into getting the $500 refunded to them.

Make sure they sell for msrp!!

Chris
 

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I talked to a dealer today (in Kansas City area) and he told me there was an 11-12 month wait for a 2005 Prius. Insane! Who can wait a year for a car?

Is anyone else hearing similar reports?
 

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I was told 6 months with 14 people ahead of me by the dealer, but somone on this board told me i could expect 3 months or less, if i was lenient on my color choices.
 

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Waiting List, Many factors

I got on "THE LIST" back on Feb 2nd. I should be taking delivery of my New Prius the end of this week or the beginning of next. When I first got on the list, I was about 20th in line.

The main factors are the following.

How many cars the dealership gets in per month, if they are getting 3-4 per month, figure that if you are 30th in line, its going to take you quite a few months before you get to the top of the list.

How set you are on color and options, will jump you up, as those ahead of you on the list, continue to pass on cars becuase they become available to others down the line.

Number of duplicate on your list, by this I mean people on multiple lists. Figure in a very small factor that there will be some people on the list ahead of you, which will either give up, or get a Prius from another dealership. Toyota is doing it best to get accurate counts of request. It seems they started their own list to find duplicated. By sending letters to people who are interested, they are getting a better number of people requesting Prius by cross matching mailing addresses. This could be a incorrect assumption, but many on the message boards believe it to be true.

Just as an example, when I was #2 on the list, the person sitting at #1 was set on a Black #9, he had been there since Novermber. I believe he just recieved his car a few weeks ago. I could have been driving a White #9 at the end of April, but because I didn't want that color, and no #9 showed up on the next allotment, I will have to wait nearly a whole extra month.

From what I keep reading, these cars are unbelieveable. I test drove a classic Prius, I never even had a chance to test drive the next Gen. I am sure I am in for a pleasent suprise when I drive it home at the end of this week hopefully.

My estimates to SlyJoker were my real world experiences. If you are on a list with over 100 people, expect at least 10 months.

Good luck.
Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So far, I have two dealerships confirming the deposit is fully refundable...so it's not "illegal" or anything to be on multiple lists?
 

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I was on a single list until I got a call in March telling me to come pick up my deposit because the dealer allocation was cut and they could not get me a car for over a year. Instead of panicing, I took the advise of the Prius forums and did the following:

1) Go to Toyota.com/prius and use the "find dealer" function. Only list by state, do not include a city in the search, then you will get multiple pages of dealers, about 4 per page, listing location and phone numbers. Call, DO NOT email. Plan on contacting at least 20 dealers.

2) Call each dealer. Concentrate on dealers far away from metropolitan areas. Your questions should be in this order:
- Hi, I'm interested in a Toyota Prius. How long is your waiting list?
- How many Prius are you allocated for this year?
- How many Prius have you received this year?
- What is your selling price for package xx (insert package you want)?
- Do you require any additional options when you sell the vehicle?(such as midwest package (rustproofing), southern package (leather
seat covers and other stuff, dealer fee (some charge an additional $499), etc.
- What do you require for a deposit?
- Is the deposit fully refundable if for any reason I decide not to buy?
- Do I have to accept any Prius, or can I choose to only accept a specific color and package I want?

3) If the salesman laughs into the phone when you ask question #1, plan on saying thank you and hanging up. If the dealer allocation is less than the waiting list, do simple math. At best, you are looking at 2005. If the waiting list is small or none, compare the allocation with the number received to date and gauge your odds. If the selling price is more than MSRP or includes the various "special packages," none of which are authorized by Toyota, keep looking. If the deposit is over $500, negotiate to $500 max. If the deposit is not fully refundable, keep looking. If you must take the first car available, think carefully. If you want a Red package #9, you could get a White #1, etc. Make sure you would be happy.

4) With all this information for at least 20 dealers, you can now choose 3 or 4 to place refundable deposits with and cross your fingers. Luck will be a large player in your success.

5) Do not ask for deposit refunds until you are told the car is at the dealer. Stuff happens in transit, keep your options open. Toyota may also send a color or package not to you liking to the dealer when your spot is next. Be prepared to pass and wait for the next car.

FWIW, I really got lucky. My panic search was in March. I placed 2 deposits with 6+ month waits, weeded out at least 12 dealers who required special packages or charged over MSRP, and found 1 dealer with only 1 on the wait list and also placed a deposit there. My order was submitted only a few days after I contacted them, and the short list dealer had a car for me, to my specifications, in mid April. Again, I really lucked out, but I called dealers in 4 states, using maps to single out the ones far from any major cities. Others have had similar luck. Maybe you will get lucky too. The car is wonderful and well worth any wait.
 

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Re: Question on waiting list

I agree with most of the suggestions, but would like to add a "yes, but..."

1. For some buyers the deposit amount may not be an issue.

2. Just know what the dealer added options might be prior to signing up - no surprises please.

3. The MSRP issue is also a personal choice. I think if I starting today, I might pay a bit more to assure I would get the car quickly.

We are on two lists. April 8th we put our name on the list at the first (large) dealership. They get 10 Prii a month. We started at #81 with the understanding it would be 8-12 months: MSRP, $500 refundable deposit. Two weeks later we added our name to the list at the second (small & distant) dealship. They get 1 Prius a month. We started at #3: MSRP, $1000 refundable deposit, estimated time 3 months. When I went to the first dealer to remove our name, they said that the small dealer would not be able to get the car that soon and we should stay on their list. We did.

Being rather flexible, when the small dealer called last week to ask if we wanted the Driftwood Pearl #7 that was at the dock with their name on it, we said yes. (The #1 person only wanted a minimum package.) Our order was for a silver #9. We had already discussed what we would accept and would not.

Although the car is not yet in our possession, I am confident it will be in the next couple weeks. We will drive the Prius to the large dealership to pick up our deposit!

One more thought on this: Dealing with a small town dealership is not the same as dealing with a big city dealership. I am sure this is a hard on them as it is on us.
 
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