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2004-2009 Toyota Prius Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    It's not a commercial site (it's gov. of Canada) so it should be ok to post it.
    There are other sites as well, and a few people are importing for profit. I hear Toyota is suing one of them.
    I just Googled for "Importing a vehicle from the US into Canada".

    You should make sure the US dealer will not pull any "bait and switch" activity before going down. You'll need three copies of the documents to cross the border, as well as a letter from Toyota that the vehicle meets certain standards, and you will be expected to pay duty (6% I think), and GST. PST may be in there too depending on where you are. The taxes are additive on the duty - i.e. the GST is on 106% of the US price you paid. I don't know about the PST - we don't have it. ;)

    Once in Canada you will have a limited time to "bring the car up to Canadian standards". This will probably just be DRLs. A Toyota dealer can do the DRLs for you for $250 (from someone in BC who imported theirs). I'm not sure what they do. Mazda vehicles with HIDs use a separate bulb for DRLs. Some other vehicles (such as the Chrysler mini-vans) use the orange running lights.
    Canadian Tire has the contract to do the final inspection.
    It should be possible for a Toyota dealer to switch the "market zone" or whatever it's called in the cars' software to Canada, so everything reads metric. Not sure about this though. If not, the odometer will be stuck in miles. The speedo and the rest (I think) will switch to metric with a button on the dash.
    Once the inspection is passed, you can register the vehicle.
    You will need temporary reg. and insurance -before- you leave Canada (unless you trailer or truck it up).

    One of the sites you will find if you google gives detailed step by step instructions.

    The guy in BC I "met" on PriusChat saved $5500 or so. We figured about $5000, allowing $1000 for "travel expenses". A local dealer has offered me $2500 below invoice. Tempting. I -would- like the HID headlamps though. They are very effective.
  • You may still be able to qualify for the HOV sticker if you
    act promptly after taking delivery. For starters, check with DMV now to determine if the county in which you will register this vehicle will result in a reqirement that you apply for a Fastrak pass and transponder and provide the evidence of this with your application to DMV for the HOV
    stickers. If you do have to open an account with Fastrak,
    remember that the application form for the Prius is a hybrid application form rather than the standard one.
    As soon as you have evidence of the Fastrak account (assuming you need one) send your application for HOV stickers off to DMV. BTW, they will only accept the original confirmation of the account that comes with the
    transponder. No copies accepted. Do not wait until your plates arrive which may take months these days. Send your
    application with a copy of the temporary registration.
    DMV may bounce your application because you don't have
    plates yet, but at least it puts you in the queue.

    The Corolla is a dynamite car and you can really deal
    on that car. However, the Yaris has been eclipsed by the
    Honda Fit which is receiving rave reports. More important,
    even though the Fit is strictly a gas engine model this
    year, it was designed to incorporate a state of the art
    Hybrid power plant which is rumored to go into production
    in 20078 or 2008. I hazard the guess that the Prius will
    take a hit when the Fit Hybrid hits the street. But, rumor
    also has it that by 2008 the Prius will have evolved into
    essentially an electric vehicle using lithium batteries
    with a gas engine assist when needed. Exciting, eh?
  • Just wondering whether I am eligible for $3150 tax credit if I will take delivery of 2007 model by 9/31/06? Does the credit apply to 2006 model only?
  • kienkien Posts: 5
    I have also pre ordered a 2007 Prius, and hoping to take delivery by 9/30/06. I called Toyota of America, the person I talked to said the '07 Priuses are "trickling" in.

    I have read a couple of conflicting reports. One says it does not matter what year model as long as you take delivery of a new Prius by September 30.

    Another report says the '07 Prius is not on the IRS approved list.

    Personally I feel it is a matter of time that IRS will add to its approved list.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    Theoretically any new Prius place in service before Sept 31 will get full credit, 2006 or 2007. But my Toyota salesman estimated that 2007 Prius won't arrive in soCal (probably earlier than rest of the US) until early Nov. Even if he was blowing smoke, a 2007 Prius would have to be on a ship or loading in Nagoya now (late August) to make it to your dealer by mid to end of Sept. Best to check the Toyota production schedule online (I think some earlier postings have the URL) and decide for yourself. Personally I am waiting for my 2006, hopefully arriving in a week or 2.
  • dreasdaddreasdad Posts: 276
    the gov will recertify the 2007 model for the credit after it comes out
  • Can anybody who has a HOV sticker in California tell me if the sticker is generic or has a identification number on it? I need HOV for my work-home commute but I heard HOV stickers are running out. I just bought a prius yesterday at MRSP.
  • This needs some clarification. I assume you mean that a 2007 model will qualify for the Federal tax credit but isn't it nevertheless going to be the reduced credit of
    $1575 or are you saying that they will reinstate the full
  • The HOV sticker is not generic and has a serial number. It also comes with a certificate. Consequently, it can not be transferred because it is only valid on the vehicle for which it was issued. Also, as a practical matter, the stickers are of the type that destruct if you attempt to remove them once they are applied. Some folks have put the stickers on a sort of post-it note clear adhesive that can be removed without defacing the stickers but as a practical matter they could only be used on another Prius or other HOV eligble hybrid. But it would be illegal to use them on any vehicle other than the one for which they were issued.
    While isn't a high liklihood, a traffic officer could demand to see the original certificate issued with the stickers to determine if the certificate details matches the vehicle bearing the stickers. If they didn't, you could count on your whole day being ruined.

    Yes, it is getting late in the day for getting these stickers because the enabling legislation puts the program into limbo after 75,000 have been issued to give DMV an opportunity to study the traffic impact of the program. So there is no guarantee that the program will croak but there is also no guarantee that it will be continued either. Get your application in ASAP after you receive a temporary registration. Also, determine whether you are in a jurisdiction that will require a Fastrak account for applying for the HOV stickers. It's required in all of the Northern Cal Bay Area Counties. Don't know what the situation is in SOCAL. And remember to keep copies of all your paperwork. All documents for the HOV application have to be originals. DMV has a penchant for returning applications with xeroxed copies.

    Re the MSRP purchase price, you didn't steal it, but you didn't get hosed either. And this puppy will save you big bucks on gas. I just returned from a trip to Lake Tahoe from the Bay area, through the Sacto flatlands, up into the Sierras and return driving at the Prius sweet spot which I find to be around 62 mph. Mileage was 55 MPG on the nose, verified by the return fillup. That's not too shabby! So you pay through the nose for the vehicle, but it keeps dribbling back to you a buck at a time.

    BTW, there's enough public resentment regarding the HOV propgram by the gas guzzling community without unnecessarily aggravating it. Prius owners with HOV stickers driving in the HOV lanes should avoid driving at 35 MPH to get their nine zillion miles per gallon while
    a hundred drivers behind them are gritting their teeth and cursing the day the hybrid was ever built. Particularly in the HOV lane, the name of the game is to go with the flow.
    Prius drivers who want to maximize their fuel savings should move over into the Granny lane. That's where you'll find this frugal dude!
  • Pathstar

    You're correct that both VSC and side/rear curtain airbags are useful safety devices and I'm in agreement with Consumer Reports that critical safety features should not be an option in a modern vehicle but a requirement for every trim level of any model sold in CONUS.

    However, I don't think your "big however" is correct, (but understandable) because of the murky marketing of the Prius
    by Toyota. Yes, in the 2006, the side/rear curtain airbags are an "option", but it's an "option" for which there is no option because you can't by a Prius without this "option".
    If you look at any of the 8 packages offered, this "option" is included so there is no way you can exclude it, even if it's one's poor judgement to do so. The 2007 Prius is expected to have a 2% increase in MSRP but that is based on the MSRP of the Package #1 2006 model which includes the airbag array. So by all means correct me if I have this wrong, but the way it appears to me is that the 2007 model will have a 2% increase across the board for the packages offered and that the airbag array will simply become a standard feature. Any way you slice it or dice it, that adds up to to the MSRP of any 2007 package costing more, not less money than its 2006 counterpart.
  • "Do these dealers think buyers are lazy/stupid/ignorant?"

    Well, they don't think that all buyers are lazy, stupid or ignorant, but they well know that some are. Let me frame it this way - There are three kinds of people in this world:

    1. A bunch of people that make it happen

    2. A bunch of people that watch it happen

    3. The hapless remainder destined to plaintively whine,
    "What happened?"

    Anybody in the business of selling anything will make that rough estimate of the potential customer in front of them and arrange the pitch accordingly. For example, often you will find, at an auto dealer, an entry on a vehicle sticker called ADM (After Dealer Markup). I've walked into the dealership and asked a saleman why he would want to insult my intelligence that way, and his immediate response is to tell me to disregard the ADM markup. I ask him why they bother to do it at all and in a moment of refreshing candor, he responds that some people just ante up and pay it! Welcome to Category 3!

    What you have to understand is that the brick and mortar auto establishments are relatively inefficient market places with respect to the dynamics of supply and demand. The inventory and integrity of each dealership may in no way resemble the dynamics of another dealership within easy driving distance. However, the internet branches of these dealerships operate in a highly efficient market structure that approaches the efficiency of the stock market with respect to the dynamics of "bid and ask". Brick and mortar operations start with MSRP or higher and work down toward dealer invoice. The Internet counterparts invariably work from dealer invoice and move up toward MSRP from invoice. Consequently, while excessive markups are not unknown by internet sales operations, it is not usually the case.

    Couple these factors with the fact that internet purchasers are much more informed about the product and its value than walk-in trade because of the wealth of information available to them prior to making any commitment. The best example of this is the forum in which we are now participating. The Edmunds website with its fact packages, TMV analysis, and user forums is the most powerful tool ever provided to consumers to level the playing field between buyers and sellers in the auto market. These people deserve a medal for the billions of dollars they have saved consumers willing to spend the time to exercise some due diligence. And they don't ask us for a nickel of what we save!
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    Well put, cruising. I guess even in cities like LA, there are people who don't go online, or don't pick up a car buyers guide at local grocery stores, and they are the one that dealers "business" managers skin. Update on my Prius ordeal. While I was waiting for my Prius, another dealer called and offered one (red) at MSRP; they had originally asked for $3000+. I went over, checked it out, and offered $500 less (not a big fan of Toyota red because a fear of fading). They decided they want to wait for 2 extra days, which they did sell at MSRP. So I am back waiting. Looks like SoCal Prius supplies is still tight, and probably will be tight until after Sept.
  • Where are you getting this price? I couldn't get them below essentially 22000 + tax, tags, title (including any of their fees) in March for the package 2.
  • Well, I have always shied away from red in the past because of 1) the tendency to fade and 2) the issue of bleed through if you ever wanted to repaint with another color.

    I'll have to say this, though. I have a 2000 Toyota Tacoma truck in red which was not the color I would prefer. But the truck is six years old now and has received absolutely no TLC and has spent these years in a coastal environment.
    But if I wash it and throw a coat of wax on it, it looks like the day it was delivered. So I'm beginning to wonder if the evolution from flat enamels of yesteryear to the current paint technology hasn't mitigated if not eliminated the fading issue. BTW, the Prius Red color, IMO is just gorgeous! The car looks great in that color - some of the other colors don't do the lines justice. I opted for white because my wife has a thing about high visibility for vehicles and white scores well in that category. An expected plus for me is that in a white Prius, my wife looks 20 years younger! I'm not kidding! Twenty some thousand bucks for the Prius is peanuts compared to what I'll save in ponying up for cosmetic surgery. ;-)
  • thanks for your reply. Thank goodness that I don't reside in bay area that requires fasttrak on HOV sticker application(although I have an account for regular), but I do work in bay area, so I definitely need this previlige. Can I apply for sticker before I get license plate number? You were saying temporary registration,how to get it? We got temporary identification yesterday at the dealership, but isn't right that we need license number also? This thing takes about 6-8 weeks!
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    Cruising, agree with your opinion on Prius' Barcelona Red, very nice. But I think 04 or 05 Prius may have a darker shade of red, which I fear, because I have a 95 Previa of the same color, that's really faded and scorched (white blotches on roof) from 7 years of west LA sun (it was garaged until then). And mine isn't isolated; every Previa I seen in SoCal have faded/scorched paint, all except white ones (because it hides better). I tried rubbing compound but couldn't bring the luster back. Had an old Benz that's hardly washed (and never waxed), and looks better than any Previa in SoCal. I figure since I need to drive my Prius at least 10+ years, best choose one that won't fade/scorch. Yeah, prejudice and fear die hard. I hope this Prius will change my perception of Toyota red/paint for the better.
  • SOCAL has its hot days. The car looks awful (IMO) in black but kind of nice in white which is the best color for those hot days.
  • The temporary registration is the paper you place on the windshield while DMV hunts around for some convict to bang out the plate. You can go to the DMV website to download an application. Put HOV in the search box and it will take you to a bunch of links, one of which is the application. In the application, put pending in the license plate box and include the original copy of the temporary registration and make a copy of it for your windshield. In the worst case, DMV will bounce the application as "incomplete" for lack of a license plate number. But it puts a firm date on record of when you made the original application which may be of help in getting you in under the wire later. And remember, if you are delayed until you get your plates, so is everyone else. I think you have a good chance of getting the stickers if you can get the registration process started out right away. Good luck!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Twenty some thousand bucks for the Prius is peanuts compared to what I'll save in ponying up for cosmetic surgery

    Now that's funny. I have also followed your other posts and agree wholeheartedly. Especially with the courtesy advice for those that want to squeeze every mile out of a gallon of gas.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    A large national news magazine is looking new Toyota owners that switched out from a Ford vehicle with their new purchase. Please send an e-mail to [email protected] no later than Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by 2:30 PM PT/5:30 PM ET containing your daytime contact information, what Toyota car you purchased and what Ford car you left behind.
  • I've been looking for quite a while now and finally pulled the trigger last night. I decided on a Prius instead of the TCH and HCH based on overall gas millage advantage, increased interior space, tax credit
    and LCD. I really liked the TCH and the styling is much nicer than the Prius, but that extra 10 mpg was a kicker for me. I felt the TCH and Prius both outperformed the HCH which was my third choice. I got a great deal from Charles Barker Toyota in Va Beach, VA
    MSRP - 26, 321 and I Paid - 25, 421. They provided a fair trade-in value for my Honda Pilot, but both selling price and trade-in value took a good deal of back-and-forth with the salesman. All-in-all a good experience. :D
  • I pulled this information from a .pdf file on Looks like the base prices will actually be cheaper with the increase in standard options, but the Touring Edition will run you a little higher. All prices MSRP.

    5-DOOR LIFTBACK $22,175
    5-DOOR LIFTBACK Touring $23,070

    Package #1 - $825 - Backup Camera, Smart Key System, AM/FM/CD/MP3 w/6 spkrs

    Package #2 - $1175 - Vehicle Skid Control, Backup Camera, Smart Key System, AM/FM/CD/MP3 w/6 spkrs

    Package #3 - $2550 - Backup Camera, Smart Key System, JBL Premium AM/FM/CD Changer/MP3/Bluetooth w/9 spkrs,
    Vehicle Skid Control, Security Alarm, Homelink

    Package #4 - $3,180 - Backup Camera, Smart Key System, JBL Premium AM/FM/CD Changer/MP3/Bluetooth w/9 spkrs,
    Vehicle Skid Control, Security Alarm, Homelink, HID Headlamps (standard on Touring model), Fog Lamps

    Package #5 - $5,080 - Backup Camera, Smart Key System, JBL Premium AM/FM/CD Changer/MP3/Bluetooth w/9 spkrs,
    Vehicle Skid Control, Security Alarm, Homelink, HID Headlamps, Fog Lamps, Nav System

    Package #5 - Touring Edition Only - $4,455 - - Touring Edition: Backup Camera, Smart Key System, JBL Premium AM/FM/CD Changer/MP3/Bluetooth
    w/9 spkrs, Vehicle Skid Control, Security Alarm, Homelink, Nav System

    Package #6 - $6,350 - Backup Camera, Smart Key System, JBL Premium AM/FM/CD Changer/MP3/Bluetooth w/9 spkrs,
    Vehicle Skid Control, Security Alarm, Homelink, HID Headlamps, Fog Lamps, Nav System, Leather Steering Wheel &

    Package #6 - Touring Edition Only - $5,725 - Touring Edition: Backup Camera, Smart Key System, JBL Premium AM/FM/CD Changer/MP3/Bluetooth
    w/9 spkrs, Vehicle Skid Control, Security Alarm, Homelink, Nav System, Leather Steering Wheel & Seat
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    Well, yes and no. The 2007 will cost more, option for option, than the 2006. It's not easy to do the math because the package options for 2006 have different contents than 2007. But there is one exception - the 2006 Package #8 is identical to the 2007 Package #6.

    2006 MSRP = 21725
    Package #8 +6890

    TOTAL $28615 for 2006

    2007 MSRP 22175
    Package #6 6350

    TOTAL $28525 for 2007

    So yes, it's true that this particular configuration will
    cost you $90 less in 2007 than it does in 2006. But note that in 2006, the VSC option was not provided on Packages 1, 2 3 or 4, while in 2007, VSC has been included in every package except Package 1 which bumps the price of those packages $350. I'm of the personal opinion that this option is certainly worth $350, but for those folks that don't want or need VSC, there is no way to deselect this option without taking Package 1 which won't even be available in many parts of the country.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    Hvysnow1, congrats on a great deal. I have no such luck in SoCal. In fact, my dealer (Miller Toyota in Culver City) has not even entered my order (Prius #3) for the past 2 weeks, and instead said they can offer me a Prius #1 for $28000 because it has leather, lojack, etc. I am thinking, why in the @#!% would you put leather and crap in a car that has no NAV, Smart Key, VSC, etc. The markup many SoCal Toyota dealers charge is insulting enough, but adding valueless blings in a plain car is really over the top. Anyhow since I laid deposit I continued to look for #3 at other dealerships, and hopefully someone will turn up one soon. I too compared Prius to TCH and HCH, and decided on Prius because it is the best bang for the buck. TCH base would be better if MFD/LCD is included, and HCH feels too much like a regular Civic, plus the hybrid in HCH seems to be an afterthought. Congrats.
  • I purchased a prius last weekend and sales recommended Lojack for my new car. We wanted a peace in mind so we purchased it for $695. Anybody here also purchased Lojack? How was the deal? We still can cancel the deal before they install it this weekend.

  • My dealer has alerted me that the car should be coming in the next 5 days. Needless to say, I am very excited... :shades:

    My question is - what do I have to be careful of at this point? We already agreed upfront on MSRP, which seems standard in the Bay Area. He promised a fair trade-in value for my SUV (which he preliminarily estimated through Edmunds figures, amounting to about $2000 below Kelley - any suggestions on this?). And I've told him that I'll be paying cash.

    Based on what I've read, I know not to purchase the extended warranty through the dealer. Are there any other surprises coming my way? LoJack? Mats? Paint? Tires? I'm not the car whiz here - have never actually purchased a car on my own in the past - so any heads-up or words of advice would be much appreciated! Thank you. :)

    PS. Think i can make the car pool sticker?
  • I guess it depends on the reason you want it. My understanding is that Lojack is essentially a system to recover a stolen car. However, I don't think the Prius is particularly high on the list of car thieves who seem to
    focus on the Accord and the Camry.
  • Go over the car with a fine tooth comb for scratches, dings etc. If there are, either arrange for them to be fixed at their expense or work out an adjustment in the MSRP. Don't leave the lot with verbal assurances. Got to be in writing.

    It's supposed to be delivered with a full tank of gas. It's actually computed into your MSRP.

    If you are paying MSRP for the Prius you should get a robust tradein on on the SUV and while it's not realistic to get the full Kelly blue book value, it should approach it. The utility of Lojack depends upon the theft rate where the car will be principally garaged. I believe that fiber mats front and rear are included in the MSRP as an option you can't refuse. If you are not getting the mats as part of MSRP I would avoid getting the Toyota mats because IMO they are overpriced for their quality. Toy also provides heavy duty deeply ribbed front and rear black mats which are of excellent quality and less expensive. Some Prius owners have used Costco rubber floor mats which can easily be shaped for the Prius.

    I would avoid any paint protection options. Tires ...well they are always a compromise on vehicles trying to get the highest MPG possible. Some owners strip them immediately and replace them with performance tires. I've never felt that the OEM tires are that bad performance wise and unless you have hot rod genes in your DNA, I think you will be satisfied with the OEMs.

    When you are passed to the finance office you will get a strong pitch to buy both the extended warranty and also the prepaid maintenance policy. No harm in passing on both at this point.

    After market. A set of seat covers will probably more than pay for themselves at the point you sell or trade the car. There are excellent covers available from GT covers. They have a web site.

    Don't get uptight if your MPG is not as high as the figures recited in this forum. It takes a while to get fully tuned into the technique that maximizes mileage. Also, it is widely reported that mileage improves after the car breaks in a bit. One tip ahead of time: Cruise control is a mileage killer except on essentially flat terrain.

    And yes, I think you have a good chance of squeaking in for the HOV sticker. In the worst case, even if you don't, the stickers expire on Jan 1, 2008 at which point either the entire program will crash or you may have a fresh opportunity to apply for them.

    Anyway, you're in for a treat driving this car. It is a whole new driving experience.
  • CK90211, sorry to hear about the pain you folks go through in CA. Here in the Mid-Atl. most dealers have between 2-5 Prius' on the lot and usually 1 or 2 TCHs. I talked to many that have sold vehicles to SoCal individuals. Not sure if this would work for you, but I know has a good listing of Prius' and they are all listed under MSRP with minimal processing fees. You might be able to save a few thousand by having a car shipped to you from a dealer over here. In any case good luck!
  • Cruising, thank you - that was exactly what I needed! Who knew that a brand new car could still have dings? Very helpful. And will post on the final dealer experience when I am through (buying from Berkeley, who claims to be the largest dealer in Prii in the country).

    Can't wait to join the community and play the mileage game...
This discussion has been closed.