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2004-2009 Toyota Prius Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The information I've read is the same as you state. You have to receive the car before the date. So far, from reports on other forums, the IRS has not received the paperwork to qualify the 2007 - it may be "in work" however. It was claimed to be just a form Toyota needed to fill out and forward to your IRS.
  • It seems the year of the car is irrelevant - IRS states "Toyota hybrid sales" and as of May 2006, they've exceeded 60,000 units.

    You can claim the full credit for a "car that has been put into service by the consumer" by September 30th.

    After that, the credit will be reduced by half = $1575.

    See the Toyota web site under Prius - it's all pretty much spelled out there...


    Toyota/Lexus Hybrid sales exceed the 60,000 threshold.

    Toyota/Lexus hybrid sales from January 1, 2006 through May 31, 2006 totaled 68,637. As TMS reached the 60,000 cumulative hybrid sales threshold during the 2nd Quarter 2006, credits will therefore be reduced by one-half beginning with vehicles put into service by consumers after September 30, 2006. Please see calendar below for the TMS hybrid tax credit phase out schedule. (this is a graphic)

  • You are smart to avoid relying on verbal assurances from anyone in financial matters. If it isn't in writing, for all practical purposes, it isn't real. Ask the saleman for the source for his assertion. The answer to your question is complicated. For starters, the model year of the vehicle is a non-issue. Both the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Lexus RX 400h hybrid are 2007 models and are qualified for hybrid tax credits. At the moment, a 2007 model Prius might not qualify but that is only because the IRS certification is done for each year of production. It will undoubtedly be forthcoming prior to your filing of a CY2006 tax return.

    So for you, the issue devolves to what the proper definition of "purchase" is. Does "purchase" require only a contract commitment, or does it also require the physical delivery of the vehicle? In IRS IR2006-26, the IRS in providing details regarding the tax credit states: "The tax credit for hybrid vehicles applies to vehicles purchased on or after January 1, 2006....." There is no information contained in the release as to whether a physical delivery is required.

    On the other hand, summary I found on Google regarding this issue states as follows regarding qualifying for the 2006 tax credit:

    3. "The purchaser must accept delivery of the Hybrid vehicle from the dealer on or after January 1, 2006...."

    5. The purchaser must retain appropriate documentation showing the purchase of the vehicle and the date of the delivery of the vehicle.

    The above statements would seem to indicate that physical delivery is an essential component of "purchase".

    What you should determine is whether your paperwork is completed on Sept 20, or whether there will be additional documentation involved when the vehicle physically arrives.
    Since a VIN has been assigned, if you can actually start the registration process now, that might be sufficient documentation to meet the IRS criteria.

    IMO, it's worth taking the shot. In the worst case you lose $1575 of the tax credit, but remember that at this late date, the day after you purchase a 2006, it has depreciated at least this much more than the depreciation you incur the day after you purchase the 2007.
  • Thank you all for your responses. It's hard to say what's right here, but common sense tells me that the 2007 is the best buy. I agree that it is hard to imagine that the 2007 Prius won't qualify for the tax credit.

    This is a great forum with a lot of good discussions. I have learned a lot here and am certainly excited owning my own Prius in the near future with or without the full tax credit.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    I am curious what CA's DMV fees are for a new car. Buying Prius at MSRP is pretty hard to take, giving dealers additional profit in name of DMV fees would be even harder to swollow. Please advice. May be able to get a Prius this weekend.

    I do like how 2007 options are packaged, and like the touring package. Just wondering which package would be sold in CA?
  • Here is a tabulation for a California purchase of Package 6:

    Cash Price 27768.00

    Document Prep 45.00

    Smog Fee -0-

    Sales Tax 2155.21 (Doc Fee is taxable!)

    License & Reg 231.00

    CA Tire Fee 8.75

    California sales tax is a little higher than the national average. It isn't uniform throughout the state. The basic rate is 7 1/4% but different counties piggyback sales tax increments on the basic rate. The sales tax percentage you will incur does not depend on where the vehicle is purchased. It's determined by the county and city in which it is registered. The registration fees which used to be horrendous were reduced when Governor Schwarznegger delivered on an election campaign promise to rescind the hiked registration fees implemented by Grey Davis.

    The California Board of Equalization does have a policy regarding trade in values that is infuriating. For example, in the case of the above tabulation, a vehicle was traded in at the value of $7800.00. In some states, this amount is subtracted from the sales price of the new vehicle, reducing the amount of sales tax levied. In this case, it represents a tax increment of $604.50 which would not be paid in a state that permits the new vehicle sales price to be offset by any trade in value. There is no practical way of avoiding this without going through the convoluted process of having the car delivered to an adjacent state and developing a record of operating the vehicle for one year or more outside the state. Of course, the vehicle will have to be registered in some state for that period and the state of choice for this region is Oregon which has a uniquely low vehicle registration fee. Oregon used to be pretty lax with respect to this process but as of late they have started to require some proof of residence in the state. In any event, because it involves a lot of work and hassle, it really isn't cost effective for the sales tax incurred with a Prius. Now if we were talking about a 300,000.00 luxury motor home, the equation would be somewhat different.

    There isn't an awful lot of difference between the 2006 and 2007 packages. The base MSRP is fractionally cheaper than 2006, but for 2007, the VSC option is now a required option in every package but No. 1. Also I think for 2007, the Sirius/XM radio function has been included. Other than larger wheels, I don't recall the additional features the touring model offers. I'm not sure that the bigger wheels really accomplishes much particularly if it results in a tire size that is significantly more expensive to renew.

    Which packages will be sold in California? I sure wish I had a rabbi somewhere high up in the Toyota food chain that could provide a heads up in this regard. I think it's safe to assume that the touring model(s) will be offered in CA, but I'm not sure that for marketing purposes, CA is just one market. It may break down into sub-markets with a different distribution profile for each one. Frankly, I think it sucks that a customer can't purchase any package of their choice from any dealer in the country, but the demand for this class of vehicle is so powerful that they can call the shots even though it looks wrong from our end. I'm reminded of an exchange I had almost a half century ago with the owner of a business for which I was a purchasing agent. I was cogently explaining why a particular purchasing policy he implemented was costing us money, and he replied: "Son, last year I made over a million dollars and now you're telling me I did it the wrong way...." And that was the end of that conversation.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    Cruising, once again thanks for quick response. I know about CA's high sales tax, just did not know what was other DMV fees, every state does it differently.

    While it's probably too late to get a HOV sticker, what is the procedure of getting one? Do I ask the dealer to file it? Or do I file it? Before getting the plate? Or after getting the plate?

    2007's options seem better packaged because CA only gets package 1, 3, 7 and 8. And I think 16" tires may give better handling (but probably at the expense of mileage due to additional friction/weight). But what I really want is factory Sirius/XM. I know it's cheaper after-market, but nothing beats a well integrated system, and the good deals offered with factory systems (I pay $7/month for XM in my Honda Pilot).
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    I was just informed today by a SoCal Toyota dealer that they will get a 2007 Prius #2 in before end of Sept (3-10 days from now). Price out to be almost same as a 2006 #3 but with the extra VSC. Very tempted. So I went on Tooyota's website, did a "Build Your Prius", put in my SoCal zip, and was told in CA that standard Prius comes only in pkg 1, 2, 5 or 6, and touring comes only with pkg 5 (I think). Just for curiosity I inputed a DC (and then NJ) zip, and was able to get touring Prius with a low end package. Looks like Toyota really wants to milk their largest market (CA) for every option dollar it can get. Guess the touring just isn't for me, but I guess Toyota must think there will stil be plenty of Californians with the extra $6K.
  • I had read some good reviews about Kearny Mesa dealership in SoCal and therefore decided to get my Prius from there even though I live in Orange County. Well, not a good experience. After a few weeks they called me one day on Friday monring at about 9am saying that my car had arrived and I had 24hrs. Now I'm a physician so to took me a lot of effort to re-schedule my hosptial rounds, out patients and even had to cancel a voluntary lecture I had planned for some senior citizens in an hospital in Anaheim. But when I was half way there to the dealership in San Deigo, about 7hrs later, they called me say that they had made a mistake. It wasn't my car after all! They realized that after 7hours...after I had spoken to the dealer three times on that day after their first call. Personally I think they just gave it to somebody else with total disregard to my time and effort. Wouldn't recommend buying a car from Kearny Mesa toyota. :mad:
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    Sorry to hear your experience; and lack of some "make-up" gestures from Kearny Mesa. I too had some bad experience in Puente Hills Toyota, and heard awful stories about Carson's Toyota too. While I was a Power Toyota this morning, getting my name on a 2007 #2 (scheduled to be in before Sept. 30), I saw at least 5 families getting "handled" by a slew of salesman, sales managers, business managers over payments, leases, and more payments again. Truly shocking to see how unprepared these folks were about such big decision, and how dealers just lead them to the slaughter house. It's the same every dealer I have gone to in search of my new Prius (6 total). Anyhow, since you are in SoCal, this FYI maybe helpful to you. Power Toyota has 3 incoming 2007 Silver #2, MSRP, in port and scheduled for dealer lot anytime after the 19th. I was the 2nd with deposit, one more left (as of noon today). I would think a 2007 is going to work out better for you than a 2006, if you are cool with the color and options. Good luck.
  • We're thinking of buying a Prius Touring with package #5 (DVD Nav) in the Chicago area. After reading posts on the Internet, there are a lot of people who purchased their Prius under or at MSRP but in different parts of the country. shows a ridiculously $3000+ above MSRP for this area. What gives?

    If anyone has experience with purchasing Priuses in the Chicago area (as I've seen several on the street) please share. It most certainly would help first-time hybrid buyers like us.

    Also, what is the deal with the taxes? Would it be good for '07 for the same $3150 amount as in '06 (for the first 60k cars sold)?

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "Also, what is the deal with the taxes? Would it be good for '07 for the same $3150 amount as in '06 (for the first 60k cars sold)?"

    You have 12 days to take deliver of a Prius to get the full tax credit. After that it is 1/2 of the full amount for 3 months, then 1/4 of the amount for another 6 months. Thereafter, nada, zip, zilch.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    Virgil, will you be able to get 2007 before Sept. 30th in Chicago area? If yes, and it's a touring, then it must be one of the first touring Prius in the country. So please share. If not, good luck getting one.
  • Hi, Steve

    You mean that more than 60k Priuses for '07 are already pre-ordered? What is the deal with 12 days? AFAIK, the wait time from ordering to delivery is measured in months, not days.

    Finally, how is the deal with the taxes? I read that you are eligible for the tax deduction only if you owe money on the taxes, but not if the gov't owes you. Is this true?

    Can you please clarify these?

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "You mean that more than 60k Priuses for '07 are already pre-ordered? What is the deal with 12 days? AFAIK, the wait time from ordering to delivery is measured in months, not days.

    Finally, how is the deal with the taxes? I read that you are eligible for the tax deduction only if you owe money on the taxes, but not if the gov't owes you. Is this true?"

    The "12 days" was the time until Oct 1. There is no limit on the number of hybrids that can get the full tax credit, so long as they take delivery of the vehicle by 30 Sep 2006. So unless you can find one and take delivery in the next "11 days", you will only get 1/2 of the tax credit.

    You have to owe taxes to get a tax credit. It is not money back; it is a reduction of the amount of taxes you have to pay.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129

    There may be more authoratative experts on this forum than me, but I believe the tax deduction you were thinking applies for pre-Jan 1, 2006 hybrid purchases, which lets buyers deduct a variable amount off their taxable income when filing for income tax. For Jan. 1, 2006 or after, you get a straight $ 3150 tax credit on a Toyota Prius (less for other models and for Honda's). That is $ 3150 less on your federal income tax. So if you owe more taxes, you pay $ 3150 less, and if you are getting some (refunds) back, add $ 3150 to your uncle Sam tax refund check. Sure makes the Prius costs more tolerable doesn't it?

    But this tax credit does not apply to tax filers who also AMT taxes, which applies for a lot of folks who owns businesses and/or rental properties. Only your accountants and your conscience can determine that.

    The 12 days mentioned here is perhaps in reference to when the $ 3150 gets reduced to half ($1575). So if you get your Prius before Sept. 30, you get the $ 3150 tax credit. Between Oct and Dec, $ 1575, and the quarter after that, half of $ 1575, then nil.

    If you don't get one by Sept. 30, I think it would be better to wait until Nov-Dec to get a 2007. You will get a newer car, a Touring model (as you said in your earlier posting), and perhaps a good discount off the MSRP. I think with gas prices coming down so quickly (for how long is another ??), and no $ 3150 tax credit, there will be Prius disconts finally. I also suspect people to buy Honda Civic Hybrids too, which will still have $ 2600 (I think) tax credit for some time to come.

    As for me, I hope my 2007 will arrive before Sept 30. If not, I will follow my own suggestion and wait until Nov-Dec.

    News in LA Times has mentioned Midwest gas prices dropping the fastest in the nation. So perhaps you won't even have to wait for long for Prius discount.

    Good luck. CK
  • For California Prius customers, it appeared that DMV was going to stop issuing any more HOV stickers but the Governor
    has just authorized issuing 10,000 more so that should cover purchases over the next few months.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    Cruising thank you so much for the great news (CA HOV). Looks like Prius price (in CA) won't tank so quickly in the next few months after all.
  • Thanks for the tip. I did call Power Toyota yesterday and am on their wait list. But I'm going to try again tomorrow.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    Wood2318, any physicians who give free lectures at senior centers deserve all the praises and headsup in the world. Glad you too got your dibs on an '07 at Powers. Lets just hope they don't let us down by Sept. 30. CK
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