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2013 and Earlier - Toyota Highlander Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • Local salesman said if I wanted rear auto ac I would have to get 3rd row. Anyone know if this is true? Has anyone configured sport two rows only with rear auto air.

    I am new to posting on forums. I see a lot of good info on these boards. Thank you in advance for your help.
  • Good Grief: $1600 for 7/100,000 platium ftom Toyota. Cancel the damm thing and shop the web. I was offered $880 for identical coverage on a Limited with all of the toys.
  • Where did you get that? Can you cancel the warranty after signing the papers and driving off the lot? If so, please share how. Thank you.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    One thing you didn't mention: what was your price before tax and license? Since sales tax varies, I don't see how anyone can compare your OTL (I'm assuming to mean "off the lot") price of $30.5K with anything else.

    I'd agree with the others, though, that your 100K/7yr warranty is pretty high (I'm assuming it's the Toyota Extra Care warranty and not a 3rd party warranty that may include other things we're not considering). Check if there's verbiage in the agreement that allows you to cancel within a certain period of time (I believe the Toyota Extra Care has that) and do some shopping around (there's also an extended warranty thread that has some online sources).

    Unfortunately, I'd also agree that your question, at this point, is moot. Any car buying that's done without research is an "ignorant" one. That's not the same as a "bad" decision. It just means you went in without the information you should have had before making the decision.

    A good place to start for the information to arm yourself with the next time you're buying (e.g. the invoice price, the MSRP, negotiation tips) is right here on the Edmunds site.

    Since the decision was already made and can't be undone (with the exception, possibly, of the warranty), just enjoy your new Highlander. :)
  • yea good point. well hopefully this will help someone out there shopping for a new 08 highlander. i appreciate all the helpful tips. it's nice to see a site where people are helping people save $.

    breakdown of deal:
    - 6,500 trade-in
    +600 moon-roof install
    + 246 dmv fees
    = 24,846
    + 1,600 extended warranty
    = $26,446

    I must say that it handles really really smooth. Love the ride. thanks
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    My two cents: don't factor your trade-in as part of the purchase price. From a negotiation standpoint, your new car price and your trade-in should be two separate deals. Based on your breakdown of the numbers, your price for comparison purposes was:

    $30,500 ... Base AWD with TO (anything else? roof rack? cold weather package?)
    + 246 ... DMV fees (title/license)
    + 0 ... Tax (none in Oregon)
    $30,746 ... Total "out the door" or "off the lot" price of your Highlander for comparison purposes

    Edmunds' pricing for a Highlander AWD with TO is $29,655/MSRP. I'm guessing you probably got a few more options like the Cold Weather Package and the Convenience Package. If that's the case, you probably paid around MSRP. That's not the best deal, but paying MSRP for a new model in high demand is not out of the question. Don't feel too bad.

    One way to look at it: if someone else pays 8% sales tax in their state, then their total price (with tax) would be about the same as yours even if they got a couple grand off of MSRP. :)

    I'm not including the moonroof for comparison purposes since that's not a factory option. I'll be honest: I would be leery about a non-factory install of a moonroof. I hope it comes with a good warranty.
  • I have been shopping for a 2008 Highlander Sport for a few weeks now. The options that I am getting are:
    Cold Weather Package
    JBL Audio with Bluetooth
    Auto Dual Zone Climate Control
    Auto Rear Climate Control
    Tow Package has an Internet price of $32228. Their so-called invoice is $31728. I have also checked with Costco Auto Buying Program. The price is more or less the same as Edmunds's invoice for the car is little bit below $31000. That is around $800 less than Fitzmall's invoice. If you look at the breakdown given by the dealers (including Fitz Gerald), you will find that their prices are very strange. All of them start off with a lower base price (lower than Edmund's invoice), but then they add the TDA, Dealer Holdback and Whsl Financial Reserve to the COST. At the end, the so-called 'Dealer Invoice' is actually higher than the 'Edmund Invoice'.

    I think this is all Toyota's fault. It is because if you look at a Subaru Outback, the's Dealer Invoice is same as Edmund's invoice.

    At the end, I guess I shouldn't focus on the 'Invoice' price anymore cause for a new vechicle like the 2008 Highlander, nobody will be willing to sell it at TRUE INVOICE. All of them are pretty much selling around $1100 above the Edmund's invoice.

    Anybody gets a better deal in the DC Metro Area? Thanks
  • I'm perplexed by "dealer holdback" people are stating is being added to the invoice at the Toyota dealerships. Holdback is money the dealers get back from the factory, in Toyota's case 2% of the base MSRP. It is a major component of the $ they make on every sale. So why would they pass this off as an expense to the buyer when it's actually income to them from the factory? Are we to believe they are not getting this holdback from Toyota so they are getting it from the buyer instead? By putting this as an addition on the invoice they are stating it isn't already included in the invoice price. Is this a Toyota policy different from most other sellers? Does anybody know?
  • I am as frustrated as you about the dealer's holdback. The problem is, all printout from different dealers (including Fitz Gerald) has the same exact breakdown. To make things worse, the base price of the car is actually LOWER than Edmund's invoice price to start with. So it seems to me that Toyota is trying to complicate the equation.

    As mentioned in my previous email, Subaru doesn't have this problem. The Dealer Invoice stated in is exactly the same as Edmund's invoice. I also work with several Honda dealers a few months ago without this problem either. Only Toyota is giving me this headache at this point.

    At the end of the day, I guess I should just ask myself how much would I want to pay above "Edmund's invoice" if I want to get a Toyota Highlander. Right now, it looks like it will be around $1100 more. Since it is brand new model, I guess it is fair. I just wanna know whether anybody else gets a better deal in this area.
  • A good analysis of dealer fees at this link.
    I particularly thought this comment was interesting.
    "The holdback is included in every invoice price. This is how dealers can sell you a car at invoice, because the factory refunds them the holdback once the car is sold. They can sell you a $30,000 car at invoice and have a $900 positive cash flow. Many people don't know holdback exists, including many car salesman, as this goes directly to the dealer, and it effectively reduces the dealer's cost of the car. Many dealers deny it exists, or tell the customer it's a dealer expense, and try to add it on to the contract make the customer "pay" for it. It's the factory's expense once the car is sold. Now the dealer is double collecting. If any dealer tries to itemize you separately for holdback, leave immediately, you'll surely be subject to many more unscrupulous tricks. Don't let a dealer tell you there's no holdback, it's the business plan that the whole industry is structured to."
  • I got $700 above Edmunds invoice for a 4x4 limited. See my prior post for details.

    After some readings and research, this is what I THINK how this whole breakdown is:

    1. Base Invoice Price
    2. Dealer Holdback (2% of MSRP)
    3. Advertising Fee ($500)
    4. Wholesale Finance Reserve (1% of MSRP)
    5. Gas charge ($10)

    The Edmunds/Consumer Report/MSN Autos invoice includes the total of 1+2+4, but does not include 3 and 5.

    The actual dealer cost includes 1+3+5, but does not include 2+4.

    The invoice price dealer shows to customers, as a few posters report here, include the total of all 5 items.

    So if you pay Edmunds invoice, the dealer profit is 1+2+4 - (1+3+5). Anything more than Edmunds invoice will be added to this as extra dealer profit.

    Hope this clarify things a bit.
  • Thank you for clearing this up. I just ran the numbers I got from the dealer and Edmunds's invoice. You are absolutely correct. Edmund's invoice includes dealer holdback and wholesale financial reserve. If I just add the advertising fee (TDA) and the $10 gas charge, it will be the same as the so called "dealer's invoice".

    In this case, if I buy the vechicle at "dealers invoice', the dealer has already made $628 (dealer holdback) + $314 (whsl financial reserve) = $942.

    Wow...I cannot believe you get $700 above Edmund's invoice. I can look at your message but in case you don't have it there, which state are you in?

  • I am in Minnesota. But I only put in deposit and the car delivery can be two months away. by that time I'm sure there will be people buy at Edmunds invoices.
  • I am with you that the dealers have a right to make a profit, but I think this is not the point. The point is how we, as informed customers (after spending hours and hours reading the posts and doing research online), get best deals we can. We don't need to worry for dealers because they WILL NEVER sell you a car if they don't make money from it. They know their cost structure better than any of us and they will take care of themselves. Plus, there are always A LOT OF not-so-informed customers who are happy to pay MSRP; this bring more fat profit to dealsers. I talked with a young Toyota sales man and he said their dealership store manager can make about $300K a year, well above the majority of us can ever make. So they really don't need more people speak for them, esp. these Toyota dealers...
  • jb_turnerjb_turner Posts: 702
    $34,950 is a good drive out price (OTD) some people pay $35,500 or more OTD for what you got.
  • bigausbigaus Posts: 8
    Dealers should not have to tell you their exact cost. If you were (or are) in sales, would you tell customers your exact costs. I'm not sure if any business does that, however let me know if there is.

    I paid about $1,100 over Edmunds invoice to get the exact car I wanted because that is what I thought it was worth. I would have paid less if possible (could have waited), regardless of whether the dealer makes money or not.
  • kaptkapt Posts: 3
    I am picking up my 08 Highlander Ltd w Nav today. It was a bear to find the one my wife wanted (the color) but I got it at 300 over inv (and I made them show me the inv of course)I was going to order one, for that price, but I got lucky with the timing. and I am in SE PA.
  • kapt, please provide more details. Options, prices, dealership, etc. I'm in your area (northern Del) and in the market. A detail breakdown of your deal would be great. Thanks.
  • I hve bought Toyotas for 15 years and each time I have negotiated the Toyota warranty.

    They will tell you its not negotiable but you need to wait until the end of the negotition and use the warranty as the final clincher. You need to be able to walk out of the dealership to be successful here.

    eg "OK if thats your best price if you throw the warranty in at $700 I'll buy today............."

    Get up and leave if they insist on full price for the warranty

    The dealer makes a 100% mark up so the $1600 warranty costs them $800 and they will deal if it means selling you the car or not .

    I have got as much as 50% off but 30% is easier.

    I never buy warranties on anything else I buy but always on my cars.

    Dont buy a non-toyota warranty off of the web, its not as good and harder to collect. I did it once in Chicago and regretted it.Its not a cost saving if you cant collect!!

    Good luck
  • Toyot of Orlando on October 11
    Highlander 2008 Sport V6 (6950)

    Color: Black
    Interior: Black

    JBL Audio
    Leather Seat
    Power Moonroof

    carpets/rubber cargo mat
    Two Row Seat Package Deletes 3rd Row
    Power Rear Door
    Front Auto Dual Zone Climate Control
    Toyota Guard ($619,99% of all SE US Toyota have this and they won't take it out)

    $32,500 >>Tax&Fee>> TOD at 35,700

    Add ($900) for
    Side Molding
    Side Bar

    Final Price at $36,600(OTD)

    ***All numbers are round to the nearest 100

    No trade in

    Central Florida Toyota offered an identical car for 32,000 but would arrive a few days later. We were not sure if they can deliver the car. So we decided on the one we can see first.
    There were only 2 black/balck leather/Moonroof in SE US at the time
    Took 4 hours from the moment we walke in to the moment we drove out

    Hope this help :)

    PS Bringing the car back because right side speaker does not work... :mad: :lemon:
  • The dealer try to sale 7yr/100000 miles warrantee and told us we should lease instead (it's their job) but a simple “No, Thank you” and they didn't bother bringing it up again.

    I wish they can do their “checking with my manager” thing faster
  • I picked up my Blizzard pearl sport with Black leather interior yesterday. The purchase was off the lot for me but it was actually ordered by someone who backed out of the deal. I paid $31,581+ttl -7k for my trade-in. My options are listed below:

    Leather faced seats w/o 3rd row
    Special color
    Power rear door
    All weather mats
    3rd row seat delete
    Window tint
    Front Dual Zone Auto HVAC
    Toyota protection (required)

    I was actually waiting for another Blizzard Pearl Sport with Ash fabric to come in. I prefer black leather so I was pretty excited to find this vehicle. I purchased from Atlanta Toyota.
  • kaptkapt Posts: 3

    I will definitely give more info.
    Here is what I remember:
    08 Ltd, w/nav no DVD. Running boards (came with them) the other std ltd equipment such as moon roof, rear AC, etc etc. I got it from Tri County Toyota in Limerick, my salesman was from the internet sales dept. He was a nice guy, really. No BS, I already knew what vehicle I wanted so he just worked with me on price. I did not like Sloane Toyota in Devon, they really seemed like the stereo typical "car salesman". If there is anything more information you want, just let me know I dont know if there is a PM in this service, but I will check the post.

    Anyway total came to 37,200 + taxes and tags. you would not have to pay taxes being from DE.
  • de77de77 Posts: 40
    Holdback is dealer profit no doubt, however the holdback (equal to 2% of invoice price/NOT MSRP) amount is so miniscule on most Toyota models (eg. Camry, Corolla, Yaris, Scions, Avalon) Why does everyone think that dealers shouldn't make at least 2% on a product that they wash, pay employees to wash and prep for sale , sometimes pay security companies to guard, and then pay to keep on their premises (floor plan)? Why aren't we beating up our farmers for the best price on milk, forcing the furniture dealer to sell that couch for no profit, or negotiating with the server to get our meal cooked for free (how much are those cooks making anyway?)It's enough to "keep you up a night"-just like holdback.
  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    Options are nav, leather, 3rd row delete, alarm, tow, cold weather, dual zone climate control. We paid $400 over invoice plus a $199 doc fee.
  • I am looking for a Toyota Highlander Sport AWD with the following options..

    -Cold Weather Package Includes
    -Homelink Universal Transceiver
    -Leather Seat Package Includes 3 seat
    -Anti-theft Alarm System w/ Engine Immobilizer
    -Front Auto Dual Zone Climate Control
    -Auto Rear Air Con itioning System
    -Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof w/Sunshade
    -Tow Prep Package
    -Carpet/Cargo Mat - 3 Row Seating

    The Edmunds invoice is around $32,200 and was offered at $34,550. It seems a bit high given what other people are getting. What is a reasonable price to pay for this and are there any good dealers in northern new york or NE US to do business with.
  • Dealers in the ny/nj area are including around 500 more then edmunds invoice for their advertising. They are calling this their invoice price. Now add on another 400 or 500 & that is a fair price. hope this helps. Also if you are upstate new york ther is toyota dealer in Ramsey new jersey (at the northern end of rt 17) that has lots of cars & also is on the interent with prices etc. The price they quote as invoice has the 500 included. I DO NOT know anything else about this dealer........
  • Planning to lease a 08 HL Limited with Nav and DVD. Can someone help me out. Prices are all over the place. Most of the post I read, I confess I am new to this forum, were dealing with purchase experience.

    Anyone from Iowa who got a good deal. One dealer asked for $5000 down (included tax,title, etc) with $590/M. It was Limited, DVD, Nav, Moon Roof, i.e. fully loaded. I backed off as it appeared too high to me.

  • kaptkapt Posts: 3
    I am in SE PA and they ad the same thing. They list it as TDA and it is a 500 charge. Always get the actual invoice, they should show it to you if they are a reputable dealer. There is also a 10 fuel/admin charge. I found Edmunds inv pricing right on with the exception of the TDA, which when I questioned the dealer about, he explained nicely.
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    looking for any info on Highlanders in Northern NJ...fair deals....there are no bargains....thanks
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