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Toyota RAV4 Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • This was my technique, it really boils down to sticking to your price and if you are not in the rush to get a car, making the dealer do all the legwork for you. I got the price for my vehicle without even stepping into any dealership (besides test driving the vehicles of course). I started by going to the Toyota website and plugging in your zip code. Make a 25-50 mile radius and start looking at the President Award dealers first and start emailing your best price and exact specs. Email and repeat. Once you have a ballpark on the range of prices, you can figure out what kind of deals are out there. Make sure you tell the dealers to fax/email you the exact spec of the vehicle you are looking for (VIN #s would help as well). Some of them will try to give you a good price and then ask you to come in and finish the deal or test drive. Try not to do that because they will try to sell you hard once you are in their home turf. Once you have in hand the best prices with your specs, go into details about fees and extras. At this point, go for some freebies and make sure to get everything in writing. You will begin to get a feeling of what kind of dealers you are dealing with. Make sure you have all your info and email/call the various dealers with the latest highest price and some will try to beat or match them...if not, move on and thank them for their time. Once you filter out all the prices and feel comfortable with the dealer, you can put a refundable deposit and wait. Good luck and let me know if you want to know anything else about my dealer experience.
  • I too am looking for a V6 sport, 4 x 4, and it seems the ones without the moon-roof and fancy stereo are very hard to find, they have that one accessory package. So far, the best I've found is invoice + 5%.
  • eagle21eagle21 Posts: 26
    I was just reading about your trade. I also have a 2001 Honda Accord. Can I ask what was your mileage that they gave you 11,900? I'm just curious. I just hit the 80K mark and I am thinking to get the Limited V6 AWD too!!!

    Allan ;)
  • I don't know if this will help, but I'm looking to buy the V6 4X4 and got an estimate on trade in value for a 95 Accord with 98.000 miles, they would give me $2000. Snort. I'll keep it for my kids.
  • aollingaolling Posts: 9
    I have been offered $9600 for my 2001 Tacoma 4x4 extra cab with 91,000 on it. I am hoping to still get that trade in amount higher on a RAV4 Sport.

    A question....Is the 6cyl. all that much better than the 4 cyl? I won't be towing anything heavy. I am thinking for the savings, I might be just as happy with the 4.
  • acatacat Posts: 1
    I have driven both. The V6 is very fast 0-60 in a bit over 6 seconds according to CR, but the 4 is plenty quick. The 4 I drove seemed to handle more nimbly,(the 4 cyl has a tighter turning circle too 37 ft vs 39) and stop more quickly. The gas mileage difference seems more noticeable in city driving. Unfortunately in Colorado you cannot find a dealer with a 4 cylinder Limited. You must order it in. :cry:
  • I was about to close the deal on a V6 Sport 4X4 with the moonroof and stereo option with a dealer in California, and luckily asked to confirm that sales tax and registration could be done in Colorado. Not so, double checked with local Motor Vehicle Dept, by law all cars bought in Calif have to pay Calif sales tax and unless they are taken out of the state on the back of a truck, have to be registered there as well. 9.5% more.

    So checked up in Denver, got the same price. For fun, I phoned up the Toyota dealer 70 miles away in Durango (who aren't on the web) and the guy has one just in and will match the Denver and California price. Tax and Tags is 4.9%.

    I'm off to buy it.
  • wolfzr2wolfzr2 Posts: 20
    I sold my 2001 Accord to a friend of mine, I didn't trade it in. Sorry. :)
  • Made the deal agreed on price of the car rav4,23085. Left a deposit on the car at which time they disclosed that when they brought the car in to do a final inspectin they found a scratch on the front bumper cover and would need a day to get it replaced that was Wed. and since I was waiting for my check from the Credit union that was fine. But now that my check is here I called them to pick up my car and they said it wasn't back yet, it was supposed to be back two days ago. Are they playing games with me and should I ask for some compensation?
  • evergreenevergreen Posts: 213
    flyingbrick3....I would probably give them a little more time if you are happy with the deal. If they are replacing a part, sometimes there are shipping delays if they have to order it. If it is a body shop item, sometimes they get a little behind, too. I don't see why they would have any reason to be playing games with you. They would rather have your money than sit on a car and pay interest on their loan, unless they are just plain stupid.
  • evergreenevergreen Posts: 213
    Has anyone had any experience with Grossinger Toyota in Chicago. They are advertising RAV4s for $400 below invoice. Maybe they have a weird way of figuring invoice.
  • msrp 25840,
    jbl stereo 890
    tonneau cover 140
    running lights 40
    moonroof 900
    towing prep 160
    mats 199 (snort)
    wheel locks 65
    delivery 645
    total, $28,879

    I paid $27,799, pre tax and tags New Country Auto in Durango, CO. $299 is a prep charge the dealer threw in, but hey, beats driving to Denver or Albuquerque.

    Love the car.
  • Thanks evergreen. I did go back into the dealer today and they did send me home in a new car until mine is ready on Monday.
  • packrat4packrat4 Posts: 4
    Well ended up buying the V6 4wd Sport with tow package and every other option too. Ie: tube steps, upgraded stereo tow package VIP alarm.

    Got the Flint Mica w/charcoal interior. Sure wish I could have gotten Sirius. Plan to have the toyota factory Navagation system installed from along with Sirius. Bought from Homerfans salesman at Roger's Motors. Most pleasant experience.

    Guess mine is in Portland and will be here much sooner than I think so I will have to get the Nav system ordered fast. I guess either the Eclipse or Pioneer D-3 are good alternatives.

    Thanks again Homerfan.
  • homerfanhomerfan Posts: 27
    No thanks necessary, packrat!
    I just picked up SPOOKS, our new black v6 Limited yesterday, and discovered that John Ulmen is just as nice in person as he is on the phone. And, he was kind enough to let me know that if you (and anyone else who happens to buy from Rogers as a result of my recommendation) mention that Chuck Foster sent you, they'll actually pay me a referral fee! Kinda cool, since I am (obviously) happy to recommend John/Rogers Motors anyway.
    BTW, we ordered ours on January 16th, and were able to pick it up on March 2nd (45 days I think), so hopefully you're wait will be just as short. Congratulations!!
  • lawnmowerlawnmower Posts: 35
    Why is the invoice price on Edmunds different than the dealer? The vehicle I'm interested in has an MSRP of 29,540 and the invoice from Edmunds is 26,296 compared to 26,700 from dealer. Could this be legit. I want to know before I start to negotiate. Also this dealer wants 3% over invoice. Seems high to me especially for a AAA member. What should I pay over invoice?
  • kris2001kris2001 Posts: 17
    Hi Guys,
    Just got a great deal in a 07 rav4 ltd 4cyl 4wd with sunroof, 9spkr jbl, bluetooth, Z1 pkg. Paid $23800 + TTT.
    Did anyone get a better deal? Is this a good deal. If anyone needs one less than this too I might be able to refer. I am in PA.
  • Why is the invoice price on Edmunds different than the dealer?

    The invoice price on Edmunds does not include advertising costs, which is why your dealer will show you a higher invoice price. Double check invoice price on your vehicle on CarsDirect and see if that matches up, because they usually include ad fees. That being said, you do not have to pay those. They are a cost of the dealer doing business, and it is horrible that they try to pass along the entire fee to you. (That's $404 PER VEHICLE in extra profit!)

    What should I pay over invoice?

    Okay, let's rephrase the question first. Invoice is irrelevant, as is your AAA member status. You would do well to offer them between a 3-5% profit over dealer COST. The formula for dealer cost is Invoice-holdback-any incentives (rebates to dealer or customer). Take that number and multiply by 1.03 for 3% profit, 1.04 for 4% profit, etc. That should be your offer. It's fair to you and the dealer. Decide what you want to pay before negotiating and DO NOT BUDGE! If they won't sell it to you for your price, leave and go elsewhere. I don't care how new or 'popular' a car is, a good dealer wants your business and will work hard to get it.

    I hope my comments have been helpful. Good luck with your car purchase.
  • dan bitmandan bitman Posts: 158 good assuming that edmunds invoice is the real dealer's invoice?
    holdbacks- how do I know how much that is to substract?
  • Hey Dan,

    Like I said before, Edmunds is the real INVOICE price without dealer ad fees. Real dealer COST is found when you subtract holdback and rebates from the invoice. To find out holdback, go to edmunds' section on tips and advice, choose 'buying' and scroll down to the article about 'holdback'. Or do an internet search on 'Dealer Holdback' and you'll find it.

    Currently, here's what Edmunds says about Toyota holdback.

    2% of the Base MSRP (Amount may differ in Southern U.S.)

    And remember everyone to offer the dealer a fair profit above their COST. It is fair for them to profit - they are a business and have families to feed, too! ;)
  • Actually, there is an additional 1% "wholesale financial reserve" of the base MSRP to the 2% holback that the dealers gets...making the total "hidden profit" 3% of the base sticker price.

    Exception: In Georgia, Alabama, Florida, NC & SC the 2% holdback is of the total invoice price.
  • tom116tom116 Posts: 6
    I am in PA shopping for a RAV4. Can you tell me where you got that deal? Thanks.
  • dan bitmandan bitman Posts: 158
    one more question, please:
    is the "destination charge" included in the dealer's real COST? I see Edmunds is including this charge in the "total" invoice/MSRP/TMV, when pricing a car.
    No doubts, dealers MUST have their share of profit when selling a car.
    Thanks again for your great tips.
  • kris2001kris2001 Posts: 17
    Tom, Where in PA are you? Email me at
    and I will let you know. I am near malvern,pa...
  • Hello - Can you please provide how much did you pay for 2007 Rav4 brand new? I am thinking of getting one but not sure what would be a good price.
  • aollingaolling Posts: 9
    Simply scroll back through previous posts. It is all spelled out in detail for you by various posters. I has helped me immensly!
  • is the "destination charge" included in the dealer's real COST? I see Edmunds is including this charge in the "total" invoice/MSRP/TMV, when pricing a car.

    To put it simply, destination is a legitimate cost paid by the dealer to the factory and is paid by all consumers. It is listed separately on stickers by law.

    So yes, unfortunately, we all have to pay that charge. Dealers don't profit on that.

    BUT, when you figure out your offer (3-5% above dealer cost) do NOT include destination. Add it in after, then add tax, title and reg. fees.

    Good luck to all! This is a tough process, but it can be fun.
  • kris2001kris2001 Posts: 17
    I can help anyone near S.Eastern PA. with new rav4s, great ,unbeatable deals.Email me at . I already did my research and got 2 vehicles.
  • pjackpjack Posts: 3
    I've started online and already have a price of $300 over invoice. If you want multiple quick bids, go to, design your RAV and email results to all local dealers that they provide. I've got four dealers contacting me and haven't left my couch. Toyota has even followed up with me to be sure I have a response.

    Couple of tips from experience. Always bargain up from invoice price not down from MSRP. Always visit multiple dealerships and let them all know that you have or will visit others. Always walk out of the dealer WITHOUT buying on your first visit. They will call you back. If possible shop the last week of the month. Sales people and managers have quotas that they need to meet. If they are short in that month you can get an even better deal. Once you have reached a price you know is their best, now's the time to start asking for throw ins like free oil changes, free details, free all weather mats, etc. I once got a baseball cap, free key chains, and a mug. You never know unless you ask for it. I have never been refused at least some these. These cost dealers very little in expense, but can save you good money and they are more prone to give in here than more money off the price of the car. Lastly, NEVER tell them you will trade in your car until after you have agreed to a price for the new car. They WILL low ball your trade to make up for cheaper costs of the car. Check Edmunds, NADA, and Kelly Blue Book to get a good idea of what the car is worth and refuse unreasonable offers. DO NOT let them tell you they use Galves to assess trade ins as they are always 10-15% lower for trades than the others I mentioned. For best value it is almost always better to sell your current car yourself. Just a personal choice if you want to go through the hassle. If you are in a sales tax state, you should know that the value of the trade is taken off the sales price of the new car when assessing sales tax. It makes up much of the dollar difference in CT where we have a 6% sales tax. Oh last thing which may or may not apply depending on the popularity off the car. You can tell how long the car has been on the lot in two ways. First the invoice will tell you when the car was shipped and expected receive date. Second, if you take a few minutes to learn the VIN numbers of the car, you can tell which ones were made first. For the exact same model, the lower of the last 6 digits was made first. The longer the car sits on the lot the better the price you can get. Almost all dealers do NOT own the cars on the lot but finance them and pay interest monthly. The longer they sit, the more money they lose. Good luck in all your searches!
  • aollingaolling Posts: 9
    Excellent tips! Thanks. This is why I love these forums. When you put all these tips together, no one should really get that bad of a deal. I would love to hear from a former automobile sales person. It would be interesting to hear "the deal" from their side of the fence.
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