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2004-2009 Toyota Prius Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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Comments

  • While I don't know the current money factors and residuals on Prius's, don't get suckered by the dealer's terminology. That $700 "profit" is just a smoke-screen. The dealer is making at least $420 on holdback, from the manufacturer plus the profit they make on the 6.4% interest they're charging you PLUS the profit on the vehicle when they sell it as "certified pre-owned" after you turn it in at the end of your lease.

    Also, be careful with Toyota in the SE region. At least here in South Florida, almost all cars on the lot have the over-priced "Toyo Guard Protection" for $700 to $800- which is nothing more that VIN etching, Scotchguard, car wax, and rust-proofing (which is irrelevant for the short period of your lease). This "Protection" costs the dealership less than $80 and is a source of PURE profit for them. You should negotiate with them as if this "Toyo Guard" doesn't exist when you run your numbers.
  • Hi Bob,

    This is actually a really tough question in my opinion. I live in mid OR and in all honesty, gas is at the $3.00 mark. Shen we were in CA a few weeks back, it was $3.30 and about $3.50 up in Tahoe. With the economy not doing so well, it being the end of the year, car lots in the area overflowing with excess stock (cars), dealerships needing to hit end of month/year quotas, this is definitely a prime time to buy.

    I looked very closely at the hybrid Civic and Prius (both '08 models). The '08 Civic hybrid still has the full federal tax break for about 3 more weeks, then they begin to phase it out progressively. Right now, it's about $2,400, assuming you're not hit with AMT and qualify for the full refund. Additionally, Oregon offers a state tax break of about $1500 for either the Civic or Prius, so, you're talking about an almost $4k tax break if purchased soon. In all honesty, I was very close to buying the civic, did the research, etc. It's basically like buying a fully loaded LX, but, instead, for the same price you get the hybrid engine/system.

    If it comes down to simply an economic decision, I'm not sure how you would beat the Civic at this point with the tax rebates in OR and full federal. CNN also just printed a nice article detailing it's analysis of how the hybrids stack up. Note, that the write up didn't take into account potential state tax credits. This article also does its best to compare apples to apples. It's probably not fair to compare the Prius to anything other than a non-hybrid that is about the same size/class. CNN suggests this equivalent would be the non-hybrid Camry for the Prius because it is bigger than the hybrid Civic or something like a Ford Focus.

    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/autos/0711/gallery.hybrids_that_pay/index.ht- - ml

    I was getting dealer quotes for the hybrid civic (without nav) for high 21s. Assuming I would get the nearly 4k in write offs, that's about 17k for a very nice hybrid w/outstanding manufacturer reputation.

    Having said all that, I still went with the Prius. With package #2, you can find them in the low to mid 22k range out here and I still receive a $1,500 rebate from my state. So, why a Prius? First of all, I do more in-city driving, so, this specific type of driving evidently favors the Prius as it runs more often on battery up to about 30mph and gets nearly 10mph better gas mileage than the Civic in comparable contexts. #2, I just couldn't get over the back seats of the Civic not folding down. I guess the batteries are placed in such a way that they simply don't allow you to do this. Ouch! Having several more cubic feet of space in the back seat area AND in the hatchback (yes, it's a hatchback, not a trunk) was huge for us.

    We currently have a Jeep with a V8 and run about 14mph to the gallon. When I ran the numbers, I actually chose the Prius simply for economic reasons and found the carbon emission benefit an added plus. The CNN article I mentioned suggests it would take about 4.2 years or so to pay for the premium placed on the hybrid cost. However, that does NOT take into account state tax rebates, assumes the driver puts 15k on his/her car (the average is probably higher for most of us on the west coast) and that the price of gas stays in a certain range, so, it might likely be more in the 2-3 year range for us to hit the magic equivalency "requirement". Since this is a Toyota, we honestly assume we'll have this car for 10-15 years. With that in mind, it's hard for me to imagine why everyone doesn't own a Prius as their main in-city/commuter car. In all honesty, I'm not surprised it's the car of choice in the Bay Area and in our area of OR; it makes financial and environmental sense for most, especially if the price of gas does move back up near $4.00 a gallon and stays there for awhile. When that happens again, you better hope you have your name on a waiting list :)
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    I think you got all bases covered. A couple of quibbles. The price difference to my thinking between hybrid and non-hybrid (all else trying to be equal) is about $6,000. I think a Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris is cheaper to drive 50%hwy/50%city than a Prius until gasoline hits about $7/gallon. Fit and Yaris average about 33mpg, Prius 44mpg. Say 400gallons/yr vs. 300gallons/year. 100 gallons only costs $300-350. We're talking as much as 20 years payback. But that's at a steady $3.00/gallon.
    At $7/gallon that's $700/year or a 9 year payback.
    I would choose a Prius over a Civic hybrid for sure if I were a predominant city driver. Moreover, the Prius is the premiere car and will lord it over Civic when it comes to resale.

    Why buy a hybrid over Fit or Yaris? It's a good question. I did it partly as insurance against high gasoline prices and partly as a matter of eco-chic. A far better solution, at least for hwy driving is a Prius WITHOUT hybrid, just a 70hp motor. I called Honda and begged them to sell the Fit as a 1.0, 1.2 or 1.3 liter model but they told me the smallest engine the American market would tolerate is their 1.5liter, 109hp. A conventional Fit with a 1.0liter engine would cost at least $6,000 less than Prius and would get better mileage on the hwy. And it's a far better car in terms of ride and handling.
    Bob
  • Good points. Of course, a bicycle would beat both the Prius and Fit/Yaris and would be much cheaper, but, you would have to expend extra energy and room carrying your passengers and cargo :):) The Fit does look like a really neat car for commuting. I don't think it makes a lot of sense though trying to compare cars that vary as much as say the Fit and the Prius. The Fit seems to fall into the "mini" category, while the Prius is more in the mid-size sedan (smaller end of that spectrum); case in point, the CNN article found the closest non-hybrid to be the Camry. I think a better example to make this point is to simply compare the Honda Civic Hybrid to its LX counterpart, add tax rebates to hybrid (at least for awhile), compare prices. Of course, when the tax rebate goes away, will be harder to make this comparison. There isn't a non-hybrid Prius though, hence, the Camry fills in as the equivalent.

    Your points make a lof sense in terms of pure economics, but, again, we really value the larger interior space that you find in the Prius versus a Fit or biycle :) Take care.
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    The Fit has just about the same interior space as a Prius. But even if it didn't the point is that Toyota and Honda could make a roomy conventionally-powered car, a non-hybrid 70hp Prius if you will, if they wanted. It would weigh several hundred pounds less and get better hwy mileage than hybrid Prius. The 109hp Fit and Yaris already get 43 and 44mpg hwy compared to the Prius 50mpg hwy. With 80hp they'd probably get mid-50s.

    see below for excellent comparisons of best fuel-efficiency:
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/buyingleasing/most-fuelefficient-cars-20- 6/index.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=1&searchTerm=most%20fuel%20efficient%2- 0cars

    As to bikes, you are definitely on to something!! . . . I own an electric bike (properly, a power-assisted bike) and I toss it in the trunk of my Civic in the morning--well, it hangs out of the trunk. After I drop the kids at school I ride it home. In the afternoon I ride back, toss it in the car, pickup the kids and drive home. I substitute 3000 miles of car driving a year with e-bike riding. 2000 mpg-equivalent (1gallon petroleum yields 37kWh). Less road needed. Saves time/money I'd spend in the gym. Glorious. Consider a similar technique: Ride to the urban edge, hope on your bike or e-bike with a BOB trailer or good racks and baskets or pannier to do your errands/appts. Return to car. Drive home.

    Unfortunately, the Prius doesnt' allow me to carry the kids and an e-bike except using a clumsy roof or rear rack that doesn't have enough security or convenience in my case.

    Sorry, got a bit far afield here. Do consider a Yaris or Fit instead of Prius if you do mostly hwy driving and want to save a bundle.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    When you have a family of 4 and car pool daily dropping off the kids in the morning, the wife at her office and then reverse that on the return trip, the Fit or Yaris is TOO small. As stated above, the next car up to compare to is a Camry. If you were to purchase a Camry Hybrid, now there you have a good cost argument, but with the Prius, you simply do not have another car on the market to compare it to. When it comes to fuel efficiency, the Prius outranks all of the cars sold today. Mine gets 48+ and that is mostly highway miles. If I had a chance to drive more city driving I could easily take it over the 55 MPG mark. The best I have had so far is 65 MPG on the highway, the worst is 42 and change. Considering I went from a 2001 Crown Vic that gets AVG 18MPG to the Prius which gets 48+MPG, the return on investment is more than I am paying per month for the car and insurance. My other vehicle is an F350 Dually diesel which gets 15 MPG and since the price of diesel is now well over $3.40 a gallon, I can buy two Prius and still come out ahead. I cant say that for any other car, except maybe a TDI Jetta, even that would be pushing it since diesel is far more costly than gas now. Keep in mind I need a car that will fit two car seats in the back and two adults comfortably. Anything smaller than the Prius wont work, We had tried a Corolla and could not get the car seats to fit without shoving the front seats forward putting our knees against the dash, hard to drive like that.

    BTW the Premium on the Prius would be getting it fully loaded, that would take a while to pay off, but a base like I have, or a package 2, would quickly pay off compared to most other family sedans, especially Domestic ones. If getting a Highlander hybrid, now there you have a good argument on premium! The lowest I have seen them for is $42,000+, compared to a non hybrid of about $32,000. That is a huge premium that would take a very long time to pay off.

    I have to admit, I was skeptical on how the Prius would handle snow and I am quite impressed. Yesterday I got the crown vic stuck in the drive, today my moms Grand Marquis got stuck in the drive, but the prius only got stuck because the snow was too deep. Shoveled out some snow from the front and off it went, today, it pulled right through without a hitch, the Vic is still stuck.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    I dont know where you are getting your comparisons from, but the Prius has a 110HP engine, the fit a 109 HP engine. The Prius has a 5 star crash rating vs a 3 star crash rating. It has a tighter turning radius, gets 48MPG in city vs 27, 45 on highway vs 34, has a range of 571 miles vs 292 miles per tank, has 5 inches less rear leg room than the prius less shoulder room, rear hip room, and when it comes to standard features, to get even close to what a base Prius includes, you will be paying the same price provided you can even get those options. You just cant compare the two, they are not in the same class. The fit is what it is, an econobox, nothing more. The Prius I have is still worth about what I paid for it, the fit, well good luck getting close to what you paid for it after 6 months.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 171,116
    Comparisons? We have other forums for that...

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • Car_man,

    "I personally would be very hesitant to purchase this car with the intention of holding on to it for a really long time"

    Can you clarify this point? Are you saying that a Prius may have expensive repairs in the future?
    thks
  • I agreed to purchase a 2008 w/Option 6 for $26150 + TTL out the door. When I asked for a breakdown showing the TTL, the dealer added a $95 Service fee. (over and above the OTD quote) I think that was bit underhanded. Is it just me?
    What are your thoughts?
  • the doc fee in my area is $299, basically extra dealer profit.
    It takes some work to determine if you got a good offer. It would be better if everyone also posted the dollars over invoice. That way it would be a lot easier to scan to see what range the current going prices are running. So, for your #6, Edmunds lists:
    MSRP: $27,535 (includes $660 delivery)
    Invoice: $25,313 (")
    Your offer: $26,150 + $95 + TTL = $26,245 + TTL
    Offer minus invoice: $932 over invoice + TTL

    It sure would make things simpler if people posted the "offer - invoice" ($932) figure.
    You didn't mention a trade-in. That often can distort the listed offer because everyone thinks their car is worth more than the wholesale value.

    But back to your question. Seems like there are better prices in California. For the rest of the country, it seems like a decent deal. Most dealers in my area have 1 or 2 or none, so I assume they are probably getting close to, or over, list MSRP for the this popular model.
  • bob104,

    When comparing the Fit and Yaris to the Prius you seem to be using 2007 EPA figures. Using the more realistic 2008 figures (and an average of 55% city, 45% highway, 15,000 miles per year, and regular gas @ $3.10 per gallon)

    Honda Fit (automatic) - 27 C / 34 H = 30.1mpg @ $1545 annually
    Honda Fit Sport (auto) - 27 C / 33 H=29.7 mpg @ $1566 annually
    Toyota Yaris (auto.) - 29 C / 35 H = 31.7 mpg @ $1467 annually

    BTW: The manual transmission models are only 1 mpg better on the highway and same in the city.

    Toyota Prius - 48 city / 45 highway = 46.7 mpg @ $996 annually
    This is 21 city / 11 highway better than the Fit and 19 city / 10 highway better than the Yaris and an average gas savings of $510 a year.

    These numbers are from http://www.fueleconomy.gov.

    Now, if gas goes to $4 a gallon, and you drive 18,000 miles per year, you're saving $790 a year comparing to those already gas efficient models. If you go here you'll see that a fairly loaded Yaris is, on a feature for feature value vs. the Prius is only $4000 cheaper than a Prius Standard with Package 3. And a base Fit is also around $4000 cheaper than a Prius on a feature for feature comparison.
    At $4 a gallon and 18,000 miles per year, you'll recoup your investment in five years. After that, you'll be driving a MUCH nicer vehicle than a Yaris that will also have a higher resale value.
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    Not on topic so I'll be brief. My mileage figures are from actual scientifically-controlled tests by Consumer Reports, not anecdotes. I've found them to be spot on accurate in all my cars and way more accurate than the EPA figures which are only computations:

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/buyingleasing/most-fuelefficient-cars-20- 6/index.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=1&searchTerm=most%20fuel%20efficient%2- 0cars

    Transmissions can be geared for acceleration or for mpg. Manuals are usually geared for acceleration. Apples to apples manuals are more efficient.

    Toyota could build a non-hybrid Prius that got better hwy mileage and cost $6,000 less. But they won't because it would be sluggish.

    Prius gas engine is 70hp and its electric engine is about 40hp for a total of 110hp. Remember, though, all the energy is ultimately generated by the gas engine.

    Bob
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Prius gas engine is 70hp and its electric engine is about 40hp for a total of 110hp. Remember, though, all the energy is ultimately generated by the gas engine.

    Well not entirely. The regenerative braking does help out somewhat but yes it takes excess energy and charges the battery with it. The braking is a big factor.
  • I really appreciate your input. This forum is great.
    Actually the offer I agreed to is $837 over Invoice of $25,313 OTD.
    My issue is their attempt to add on to the agreed to "OTD" Price.
    If I were to purchase from a dealer 100 miles away, I could shave $100 to $200 off the price but I am willing to leave that on the table to purchase at a local dealer. It is just rubbing me wrong for them to agree to an OTD price then, "Oh by the way, here is another charge we're adding on".
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Excellent way of putting it. When you drive 25000+ a year like I do, the savings goes even higher. When you add in the difference from the vehicle that the Prius has replaced, the cost savings are amazing. From 18 MPG to 48 MPG is a huge savings. a 30 MPG difference adds up really fast when you drive 500 miles a week. Now when I fill up my truck, which is rare, I look at what it costs to put in a half tank of diesel and think to myself I can drive 3-4 weeks on that amount for the few trips I made in the truck.
  • I just bought a Prius base model with package #2 today from a SF Bay Area dealer for invoice minus $250. This is $2,175 less than MSRP. Toyota SF

    Got quotes from various dealers through the Consumer's Checkbook, carbargains.com service for a fee of $192. The low and high quotes for the package were $1,200 apart.

    Two other dealers were willing to match my best quote through Carbargains only if they had a package #2 on the lot and they had none.

    Rob
  • Hello,

    I am looking to lease a Prius with package #6. I am in Bay Area. I am looking for basic information such as residual value, money factory, and PRICE. Any information or recomendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Rob - thanks for the information. Would you recommend Carbargains? Did they get the bid for a specific package number or was the dealer's bid valid for any Prius? Did they choose which dealers to contact? Thanks!
  • Yes I'd recommend.

    I picked base without navigation (1 or 5 carbargains choices for Prius). Carbagains guarantees at least 5 dealer quotes. I received 16 dealer quotes (These weren't all the Toyota dealers in my SF Bay area). The quotes are a specific "invoice minus" or "invoice plus" and good for any package associated with my choice, base and for 2 weeks.

    Here's an Today show interview favorably comparing carbargains against other online buying services.

    http://www.checkbook.org/auto/todayshow.cfm

    Rob
  • I agree people, this is the buy and paid section, please use the compare section for general talk, thats why they have them :)
  • 2008 Package #5 for 24,750 + Fees and Tax

    This was a dealer on Stevens creek in SJ, CA. - Sales person was really nice and replyed pretty fast to my emails.

    I got the following option:
    - Extended warranty (7y/75k=1,400.00)

    Had to wait for about a week for the car to get in, but they prep'd it and had it all ready to go when I went to pick it up.

    Thanks for everyone help that gave feedback and pricing :) ( Buyer Power )

    Dil
  • Can you tell us the name of the dealer you purchased from and the other competitive dealer names too.

    Thanks,

    C
  • Thanks robcruz. I ordered the carbargains service yesterday!
  • hmm ... no answer?

    Let me ask the question another way.
    What is it that makes a Prius not worthwhile holding for a really long time?
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
  • Hi,
    I'm looking to lease a 2008 Prius Pkg 2 in SoCal. They offered $356 (+tax)/month for 36 months. 12K a year mileage and $640 drive-off.
    Is this fair? If not, how do I negotiate a better deal? I asked about a monthly payment of $336 (+tax) and sales person said -"not possible" I'm going in tomorrow as I've only dealt with this sales person via email/phone. I haven't told the salesperson i have a car I want to trade-in (worth about $500 trade-in). Do I try to use this as part of the drive-off or is there anyway I can use this to lower monthly payment. I'm not sure if this is a good deal or it just sounds good to me given I went to Miller Toyota in Culver City and they wanted $2000 down and $369/month for a 59 month lease (they were CRAZY)!
    Thanks!
  • Rob, email me since they don't let you post names and stuff like that up here and I will send you the sales guy name..

    owen311 AT HOTMAIL
    DOT COM

    Dil

    Hate spammers ;)
  • Hi 08Prius,

    I recently purchased a 2008 Prius Pkg 2 from RSM Toyota and am basically paying what you outlined, I don't remember the exact price of the car. It was the best deal that I could find at the time. They aren't any good lease deals out there for this car right now.
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    Got this email today. I removed identifiers. The dealer is a huge, huge LA dealership with multiple locations. I know they don't sell Prius but the email indicates that it's time to try offers in the range of $1,000 below invoice . . . at least try. News reports are that the car market is very flat. I have no interest in the dealership and no knowledge of their business--just offering an indication of the current state of the market.

    Start-------

    Subj: News from Norm Reeves Honda Superstore
    Date: 12/15/2007 8:29:53 AM Pacific Standard Time
    From: [email protected]
    To: [email protected]
    Sent from the Internet (Details)


    Hi!

    This is XXXXXXXXX,

    I would like to wish you a Happy Holidays from all of us here at Norm Reeves Honda Superstore Cerritos .

    During this Holiday Season we are closing the year with a bang!

    Right now we are accepting any reasonable offer and even some unreasonable offers on every vehicle in stock!

    Here are some unbeatable specials going on now until January 2nd from the #1 Volume Honda Dealer in California :

    -When you buy or lease a new Honda, you get a discount package worth over $2,000 after working your best deal!

    -You get a FREE $25 Visa Debit Card just for stopping in and taking a test drive! (print this email for redemption)***

    -We are giving special, no hassle, Employee Pricing during this event!

    -How about 0% APR financing on all new Honda’s in stock for up to 60 months! ***

    -You can lease a new Honda with $0 down and payments as low as $199 per month! *

    -We are in desperate need for used cars, so we will pay you top dollar for your car whether you buy ours or not!

    We have over 2000 new Honda’s to choose, and over 400 pre owned vehicles in stock every day!

    So why go anywhere else, free gifts for stopping in, special interest and lease rates, super prices, super selection,
    and the best service you will ever find.

    I hope to see you here!

    Thanks for reading!

    XXXXXXXX
    Norm Reeves Honda Superstore Cerritos
    18500 Studebaker Rd. Cerritos CA 90703
    562-345-9100





    *on approved credit

    **0% financing for up to $10,000, if financing more than $10,000 than 0% does not apply

    ***one visa debit card per household. Mail in gift certificate required and provided for redemption.

    If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, type "Remove" in the subject line and return. Thank you.
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    A check of normreeves.com>coupons/specials reveals that Civic hybrids are on special. Also leftover 07 Civics. You might get a phenomenal deal on a new 07Civic hybrid. Try $17,000, what the heck.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Hello all,

    About to buy a Prius.. I think. Got the Costco price, $300 over invoice, and 1 dealer quoted me for Invoice price w/option 4 package; 24,074. However I see in the printout there is a dealer holdback of $446 - many dealers told me this exact number, and there is a Whsl financial Reserve line, I don't know what this number is, it's listed at $223 - and no one dealer is talking about this. This is an 08.

    Anyone know what this number refers to?

    Thanks for all your notes, it's been helpful.

    Scott
  • You know i also called in for costco and the price was like 1400 above invoice
    for 2008 touring package #6, I was really disappointed I've been looking for something 800 above invoice considering the car doesn't get the tax incentive at this point and the carpool stickers are unavailable now, so i dun feel like the car has enough value in it anymore. If anyone can shoot me over some info I'd appreciate it pr0ject004 [at] gmail
    I went to one dealer today who agreed to everything i wanted then I got there and they did the bait and switch, they didn't have the car etc. I was kinda shocked they pulled that. I mean I thought worse comes to worse they woulda said they can't do that price but they tried the bait switch i was pissed off.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Did you call costco? Call them, they take your name, phone, Costco #, they call the dealer you want, the dealer calls you within 24 hours. The dealer then shows you the MSRP, the invoice price and the Costco price. The Costco price is $300 over invoice, but you can get the car at Invoice as there is a dealer holdback of $446. Does your dealer work with Costco? Ask. If so, it should happen just as I state above. I'm right at $24,000 with option 4. Will test drive once before and then make my final decision.

    Scott
  • my costco guy gave me the price of 27122 for a touring with option 6 thats like 1400 over invoice. geographically which dealer are you getting?
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    I'm in San Jose, Ca - but what you state is different that my experience, the Costco person I spoke with could not give me a price as Costco does not know the invoice price, they negotiate only a number above invoice, so they could tell you it's "$300 over invoice" or something like this, but not an exact price - how would they know invoice price on all the different cars with minor options that change the exact invoice price.?

    sc
  • really thats interesting because I got that number from the dealer. I guess I will be calling the costco number and seeing what the difference is.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    I don't own one yet, but just about... went and drove other hybrids today.. and while others had better acceleration, better features, they did not get near the gas mileage and were not even close to $24,000 with option 4 similar features. Took the Prius out for 45 minutes, average was 50.9mpg.. and reasonable acceleration - I did not 'baby' it during the drive. I really like the Option 4 package, I have a portable GPS (Garmin) and like it, so option 5/6, while nice, increase the price by $1500-$2000 and I don't need it.. Not crazy about the seats not moving up and down and no telescoping wheel, but seemed fine for my 45 minute drive. The seats were also, surprisingly, pretty good.

    Hope to pick up mine tomorrow - will get the light green color - all other cars are white (that I own). Nice to get come color now.. perhaps blue if they can't get green.

    It's been fun reading about this car. Look forward to saving some money on gas!

    Scott
  • I just purchased a Prius this past evening in San Diego, CA. It was the best car buying experience I have ever had. I ordered quotes through "Carbargains" online service and had two local dealers quote me 0$ over invoice. One could not find me the car I wanted, an opt2 in Spectra Mica Blue (a hard to find color). I was going to drive to Los Angeles in the morning to pick one up that I located, but my other 0$ over invoice quote dealer, Toyota of Escondido, just got one in so I quickly snapped it up.
    The sales guys I worked with were very professional and not at all pushy. They seemed more focused on giving me great service than on making a big profit off of me. Even their finance department just presented me with extras, but did not try to force anything on me. The whole time I was preparing myself for a bad experience and it never happened. I would highly recommend this dealer to anyone in San Diego.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Seems from reading many of these posts, perhaps the car dealers have figured out how to make us more comfortable purchasing cars (?). Here's my total 'experience'. Was set to get a Package 4.. but wanted Magnetic Gray after looking at all colors plus I have a Garmin portable GPS, so did not need a package 5 or 6. There were none to be found in the San Jose area - but some coming in soon. Package 4's were somewhat scarce, there was a black one and a few white ones, the 2 colors I did not want. I have 3 white cars now and was determined not to get another one! Black, for me, was out of the question. There are a ton of package 5's and 6's around. After working with the 'Costco' price, which is $300 over invoice, 2 dealers told me I could get a package 4 at a bit BELOW invoice.. $24,000 even (invoice price being 24,074). Thought this was good.. but I could not get a color I wanted. I told these 2 dealers that I would consider a package 5, but we need to split the cost between a package 4 and a package 5 if they wanted me to buy 'today'. The Nav system is $700 more at invoice price, so I'd tack on $350 to the $24,000 if they wanted to sell a car 'today'. To my surprise, these 2 dealers accepted this! Then, from reading these posts, I knew the extended warranty conversation was coming.. and I had printed out one post where the guy got the 6/75K mile additional warranty for $800 I think - read back in the posts to see exact number. I took the $800 and edited it to $750 - this is the $1400 package the dealer offers (when you buy your car), and there is a 7 year/75K mile one for $1500 - if you drive fewer miles per year. I had this printed out and with me when it was time to sign the papers. The finance guy, a nice young 'kid' (I'm 50, so everyone is young) just got a new iPhone, and we played with this for a while as we talked. I let him finish all his 'sales pitch' telling me he could give me the 6/75K for $1100 'today' as we both liked this phone. I then brought out the paper.. and told him I'd give him $750 for the 6/75. I really did not plan to buy the extended warranty so if he could not do it, no big deal to me. Went and talked to his manager, came back with $850.. 'nope'.. not going to do it. After more discussion, told him, here's what I'll do, right now, I'll give you $800 for the 7year, 75K mile plan - he wanted more money, I'll give him $50 more for another year of coverage. This was 1/2 way between the 6/75 at $1400 and the 7/75 at $1500 (1/2 of the $100 difference). Back to his manager.. "OK, we got a deal". So paid $800 for the 7/75 - which is really 4 additional years on top of the base 3 year/36K mile warranty. I was happy with this. OTD price was $27,241 with the 7/75K mile warranty. The sales person, new to the dealership, but not new to Toyota, was great.. no pressure.. and I was his 1st sale at this dealership in the Fremont, CA. I was also pleased that he took over an hour showing me all the new 'stuff' about the car. I'd highly recommend you take the time to review the car features with your salesman. I have a Garmin portable NAV system, so I knew something about GPS.. but the built in one is 'cool' too. Many voice activated features depending on how the display is set.. it's very cool to say 'increase tempetaure to 72 degrees' or 'next track' when playing an MP3. I'm now in the process of reading all the manuals and can't wait to get out in the car tomorrow and just 'play' around. I drove from Fremont to San Jose (my home) and got 48mpg, with several 5 minute driving stretches of over 50mpg. I ended up with Classic Silver Metal color with a nice 2-tone interior.

    Good luck with your purchases. Here's something interesting to me.. in the several times I have pulled up to a stop light, and been sitting there - with the motor stopped - I am very aware of the other cars using gas, just sitting there waiting for the light to change. Strange to me, never given this much thought. I bought the car for gas mileage, period. The fact that it's a pretty nice vehicle is an added bonus. I don't mind the seats, and thus far find them comfortable - even with the lack of adjustments. My days of driving fast are all but gone.. and honestly, I can't wait to pull up to a gas station, after driving some 500 miles before I do, and just smiling as I put in only 10 gallons and drive off with a fairly nice car, for another 500 miles!

    sc">
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    Excellent report. End of year, end of month, car sales are sluggish=good deals.

    But something doesn't add up . . .

    When I go to edmunds.com they list the invoice for an 08Prius#4 at $23,540 (includes destination charge of $660). NOT $24,074. REPEAT: NOT $24,074, BUT $23540--$534 less.

    08Prius#5 is $24,170. Adding $800 for warranty makes $24,970. Adding the same TTL you report of $2091= $ 27,061. But you paid $27,240. By these calculations you paid $179 over invoice, not at least $350 less as you state.
    Check my figures please. Whatever the case, if my figures jibe or not, I think we are well advised to research edmunds.com invoice price and go from there, not trusting the salespeoples' assertions that they are selling you a car "at invoice," or "below invoice."
    Still $179 over invoice is the best I've heard and certainly better than the $600 over that I paid in late Oct. for my 08Touring#6 at $30,000.00 including a 100k platinum warranty (everything but wear items covered). I hope you enjoy the car as much as I enjoy mine (when I'm not riding my power-assisted e-bike as my first choice for transportation.)
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    I did the same thing, and the numbers did not add up either.. but I think the invoice price shown on Edmunds is LESS dealer holdback ($446) and less something called Wholesale financial reserve, about $233.. I was told these are dealer profits but am not sure. Every car I looked at had the above numbers in the 'invoice price' that I saw. I agree, something does not totally add up, but go check and see what you come up with.

    I faxed my sales receipt to my sister in LA, and she went out today looking to buy. The first dealer told her 'no way', would not sell a Prius for that price. This made me feel good - I got a reasonable deal. The 2nd dealer she went to, told her $350 over my price, and she said 'no way' - and started to walk out. They stopped her and 1 hour later she drove out with the exact same car I got / color and all. They told her this was the best 'deal' they have given at that dealership. So, we are happy, but anything close to this will be good.. and if you get a better deal, good for you, feel even better about your purchase. We are now both trying to figure out how everything works!

    Hang in there, get the best deal you can, and remember the above numbers as dealer profit. I only have 55 miles on my car, but I plan to drive more soon.

    Good luck.

    sc
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    From what I've read, you're right. Dealers make about 3%, about $700-800, when they sell a Prius at invoice. There are other concerns, like inventory reduction for tax purposes, too. From your experience, if I were buying now, in a buyers' market, I'd look up the edmunds.com invoice and make a deal for that price. Maybe better. As I said before, you might steal a Civic hybrid at this time, not only in price, but also in tax benefits (I don't know the ins and outs of this aspect). Civic: realworld 37mpg, Prius: realworld 44mpg. (Consumer Reports).

    The only remaining question what to pay for mats (or just ask for them for free). That, and the warranty. Yours was $800 for 7y/75k. Mine was roughly the same, about 11 cents/mile, $1150 for 6 years/100k miles. (I'll definitely use up the miles before the years).
    The trick here is to throw the salesman off by giving them erroneous figures when they ask you how much you drive per year. If you say you drive a lot they'll offer you something like a 7y/75k warranty, so say you drive a modest amount. Then they'll offer you what they offered me 6y/100k. And vice versa.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    I think these are all good inputs for those reading this forum. Hope these comments help you make a better deal. The dealers are making money for sure on this car, and all others too. The dealers are getting more 'professional' and they seem to be treating all of us with respect and don't seem to be pushy. I think this is a great statement for the car sales industry. This is of course only based on Toyota experience.

    Have fun shopping guys and gals!

    sc
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    You're right about the Toyota buying experience, ditto for Santa Maria Toyota, CA. We think Toyota is so good a company that we bought stock (and I should be telling people to happily pay full retail price!).

    What has happened in this world that car salespeople are more cordial than flight attendants?
  • The hybrids may have a low residual because the batteries need replacing somewhere around 100k miles. This is one reason it is extremely difficult to justify a hybrid on pure economics. The lease numbers you see are a reflection of the accelerated depreciation that takes into account the much shorter expected lifespan of a hybrid before a major overhaul versus a conventional gas powered vehicle. If compared to a true diesel that should go 250k miles before a major overhaul, the numbers will look even worse.

    This disparity is not so apparent in purchase scenario since the residual value is the purchaser's problem and not part of the financing calculation. But the finance companies are well aware of this issue and cannot hide the low residual value in a lease quote.
  • ??? I have leased 4 Lexus vehicles in the past and compared to those leasing experiences, ALL of my dealings with Toyota have been a nightmare. I've never met so many sleazy salespeople. The numbers don't add up compared to those on Yahoo Car Buying or even the Toyota website.
  • A dealer told me that the steering on all of the Prius is something other than "power steering" but supposedly better than the power steering on older models of Prius. I think you might be getting caught up in a non-issue. You should drive the car and see if the steering is OK for you.

    That being said, it seems like it is nearly impossible to get an accurate MSRP or Invoice. The dealers are playing all sorts of games, at least here in the Los Angeles area, including adding additional options to the packages all in a successful attempt to confuse buyers. I have also learned from someone who works at Toyota (not as a salesperson) that some salespeople are pointing to documents and saying they are the "invoice" when in fact, they are not.

    This is been a horrible buying experience so far and I'm guessing it will be a lot worse before I have the car sitting in my garage.
  • 500e500e Posts: 13
    Who knows what the "buy rate" is for lease money offered to Toyota dealers for a Package 6 Prius? I have been offered .00265

    Does a residual of $15,332.00 make sense for 36 months/45,000 miles? Based on MSRP plus destination, that is 54%

    Someone here must have access to this information.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Actual invoice is close to what Edmunds indicates (I think), then the dealer adds $446 for Holdback and $223 for Wholesale reserve and this is the invoice we see WITH THESE PRICES ON IT. If you do not see these prices, ask them to break out the charges, and you will see this. Even if we buy at Invoice, they dealer is making $680+.. which is OK with me.. they need to pay their bills too. The TBA - the advertising fee we pay, was huge as I recall; some $400 also (but don't recall the exact figure from my invoice)

    I honestly can't believe some have a poor experience with Toyota (no, I don't work for Toyota and am not affiliated with them at all). Ok, sure, there will be dealers and SALES PEOPLE that are 'not professional', but I am pretty sure Toyota places high value on their people being professional and not pushy.. it's more of a consultive sell. All dealerships I went to before buying my Prius told me they wanted an 'excellent' rating when Toyota sends me the evaluation sheet on my buying experience. With this hanging over the dealers heads, and the sales peoples heads, I think they will all go out of their way to work with the buyers..

    just my .02 cents.

    Scott
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