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2004-2009 Toyota Prius Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • ariane1ariane1 Posts: 15
    I have been a reader of this forum since October. I have finally bought a package 2 toyota prius.

    Out the door price - 22500, excluding tags, taxes and license fees. Used Capital One financing for entire amount. No trade ins. Maryland state. Fitzmall Toyota.

    Used approximately donkey punch method, sending out internet requests for prices. Got prices that were cheaper at Beltway Toyota and 355 Toyota, but did not like the way they dealt with me, so finally went with Fitzmall Toyota. Price at Fitzmall was still about 700 dollars cheaper than North Carolina prices and Virginia prices.

    Reasons for package 2 - contains basically all that I need. I have a portable navigation system, which is more than sufficient for all kinds of trips. Plus, you can take with you when you fly, and use it in your rental car. Leather looks nice, but can be really cold in the winter. Heated seats - I do not know about them. Premium speaker system, etc can be installed later if needed at much lower prices than charged by Toyota.

    Experience with dealerships:
    -Horrible experience with Sheehy Honda. This was when I was trying to buy an Odyssey. Numerous tricks. At Henderson Honda - decent dealership, no backhand dealings as far as I could make out. At Beltway toyota - we had corresponded through about 20 emails about forms, and they came up with yet another form when I went there. Their privacy policy is actually disclosure policy. Price was very aggressive though. Goldsboro Toyota and Hubert Vester Toyota had numerous forms to be filled and signed, including an arbitration policy, which is an absolute no-no. They also have clauses on their purchase order which state that they WILL run a credit check on you.
    Fitzmall Toyota - dealt with a nice gentleman there. They were pretty decent. For the most part, were straightforward. Price was a little higher. They did try 'good cop-bad cop' trick, and I had to play the 'walkout' trick, but their forms are the best, and they are very open about the paperwork required. They will not run credit check unless you sign their form, which is OPTIONAL. Their privacy policy was also the best, and you can even opt out of that, although they did not tell me about it. There is a provision for that while they are entering your info on the computer. Ask about it specifically. They endorsed check immediately, and it was cashed within 72 hours.

    Paperwork required for purchase of car
    I am posting this also because I visited several dealers, and it was sometimes frustrating because various dealers had various forms. From what I could understand, came to the following conclusions:

    1- If you are using an institution's financing, like Capital One or your local credit union for the entire purchase amount, you do NOT have to fill out ANY credit application forms at the dealership. They do NOT have to run a background check or terrorist check on you, as these have already been done by your finacing institution before giving you the check. You do NOT have to fill out a FIVE LINER, which is a partial credit application, as they CAN use this to run a credit check on you.

    2- They do NOT need your social security number for a car purchase. I did not give mine during the purchase. They absolutely do NOT need it. They do NOT need to know any personal info about you, or who they are dealing with. I was told "Mr A.., our finance manager, would like to know who he is dealing with". Absolute nonsense. As long as you have a check from a financial institution, that is all that is needed. Just give them your name, address, license info, and car insurance info. That is all that they need.

    3- Do NOT sign an arbitration policy under any circumstances. It means you cannot sue them later for any of their faults. Do NOT accept statements on purchase order such as " the purchaser has agreed to buy the vehicle in an AS IS condition ".

    4- The only forms/paperwork required are - Purchase order, Odometer statement, Proof of insurance, Limited power of attorney so that they can do your tags/registration, and forms from DMV/MVA for registration. NO NEED for credit application form, arbitration policy form, background check form, etc, etc.

    These are that I can think of right now. Any further thoughts shall be posted later.
  • ariane1ariane1 Posts: 15
    Internet sales managers have absolutely the same knowledge, abilites to show you the car, test drive it, etc as any of the floor salespersons. There is no difference AT ALL. Absolutely none. When you go into the dealership, insist on dealing with the Internet sales person you corresponded with. Make sure he will be there on the day you are going in. Tell him that you want to deal with him only, and do not allow them to TURN YOU OVER to sales manager, etc. These are all tricks they play, like good cop - bad cop. The internet sales person should be able to do everything for you, except the final paperwork, which is usually done by a finance manager, and is the same for floor salespersons also.

    The internet sales price is negotiable. See donkey punch method in Honda Odyssey forum.
  • ariane1ariane1 Posts: 15
    Regarding navigation system, I think a garmin c 350 for about 140 dollars from walmart or staples is more than sufficient to travel anywhere in the US. If you want a sleeker model, the garmin nuvi 200 is good, and costs about 170 dollars. Plus, you can take with you and use in a rental car, etc.

    Regarding paperwork and dealer tricks, read my post number 1230.

    Regarding getting the best internet prices, use donkey punch method posted in honda odyssey buying forum. It is very useful. Dealer processing fee is absolute nonsense. They are charging that for about 30 minutes of work. Even doctors and lawyers are not paid that kind of fees, let alone a school drop out clerk. I think that Maryland state has a rule that doc fees/processing fees cannot be more than 100 dollars. I found prices in Maryland to be cheaper than VA or NC prices.

    Ask for ALL paperwork, front and back, to be faxed to you, including forms from finance manager's office. They often hide the latter forms. Go through the fine print on the FRONT and BACK of these forms. Then make a decision.
  • skb78skb78 Posts: 4
    The internet sales price is negotiable. See donkey punch method. See donkey punch method in Honda Odyssey forum.

    Thanks for the info. Within the Honda Odyssey Buying Experience & Prices Paid thread, post #17261 gives a good step-by-step guide, and post #17334 gives a more concise summary.

    On a slightly unrelated note: would the tags fees still apply (or be the full amount) if you plan to transfer your existing license plates to your new vehicle?
  • latalata Posts: 2
    Please let me know the dealer and the state.
    Am planing to buy one with PKG 6 ,but i got the range from $26.500 to $27000 + tax.
  • latalata Posts: 2
    Can any body tell me the best proce in New York for Prius PKG #2 and PKG#6 .

    I got the dealer price listing from $26000 to $27200 for PKG #6 and $23200 for PKG#2.

    I would like to know the best deal on these two cars....
  • mchulamchula Posts: 2
    It is Capitol Toyota in San Jose, CA. Asking for a Taiwanese guy.
  • Got a quote for $25,981 + title, taxes & tags for 2008 Prius with option package NW #6 (MSRP $27,685). I'm thinking this is a pretty darn good price but would like to know what others are getting or think about the price.


  • lm2lm2 Posts: 2
    Regarding the 2009 Prius, check the March 2008 issue of Motortrend; there is a drawing based on information (rumors?) of employees within Toyota. The drawing is very sleek looking, although drawings are often exaggerated. It also states that the engine will be 1.8 litres, and will initially have the current battery. Hope this helps. I'm waiting for the 2009.
  • I noticed that the old incentive deals for Toyota expired yesterday. Any idea if they have new incentives to buy a Prius? This time last years they had low interest loans (0 for 36mo, 1.9 for 48 and 2.9 for 60). I'm hoping they'll do the same this year... thanks
  • I have a pricing question for you all:

    I've been in discussions via email with my local Toyota dealership about 2008 Priuses (Prii?), in Lexington Park, Maryland. They offered $500 above invoice for any Prius in their inventory. This seems like a fantastic I missing something?
  • When I purchased my 2008 Prius w/.pkg.#5 from 355 Toyota in late december, I do'nt remember the invoice price. However, I paid $2400 under msrp, almost 10% off. How that relates to dealer invoice, I'm not sure. The price was at least 1200 better than my best quote prior.
  • $500 above dealer invoice is not a very good deal. You can do much better than that. I have contacted several dealers in the Maryland suburbs of DC and my current best offer is $200 below dealer invoice or $2,100 off the MSRP.

    I'm looking at the Package #6 with MSRP of $27,803. Dealer invoice is listed at $25,918 and they are offering $25,700 + T&T.

    Other dealers have offered from $1,780 off to $2,000 off MSRP.
  • Got a quote from a different dealer, and I just don't understand it. How can they be offerring this car at this price?

    In part:

    "My sale price to you regarding
    the magnetic gray, package 6 Prius with an MSRP of $27,884 and an invoice of
    $20,012 is $20,212 plus your taxes, tags and a $100 dealer processing fee.
    This price reflects $200 over cost and includes floor mats and a cargo mat for
    the rear. ."
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,456
    Looks like a typo...


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Since I've got that in writing in an email, are they required to honor the price?
  • Update: just called the dealership, and they confirmed that that is indeed their sale price for a 2008 Package 6 Prius. I still don't really believe it, but I'm going to drive up and get it.
  • Fallabel:

    That really sounds too good to be true! Let me know if you actually get the package #6 for that price and let me know the dealer as I am in Maryland as well.
  • I just called that dealer back again (Bayside Toyota/Scion), and asked again about the price. He said that $20,212 is not correct, that it should have read $26,212. Summary:

    Email said invoice was $20,012 and I could have it for $20,212. I called the salesman to confirm the price, and he said that was indeed the correct price. Not wanting to drive 45 minutes for a typo, I called again, read the price again, and he said, "Oh, no, that should have been $26,212."

    Not sure if I want to deal with Bayside Toyota. Maybe it was a mistake, but it sounded to me like they just wanted to get me in the door.
  • That invoice price doesn't sound right, I would have them fax that in writing signed by someone as that sounds like the base model and not with the option 6.
  • Fallabel:

    Thanks for the info! I'm sorry the dealer was incorrect or jerking you around, but I'm glad to know that I am not getting screwed on my price!

    I have contacted 8 dealers in my area and I strongy feel that the drive away price of $27,585 on the MSRP of $27,803 is a good deal. This price reflects the offer of $25,700 on the car + title, tags and $100 process fee.
  • tiff_c - Did your wife get the GPS? I wanted to recommend the TomTom ONE XL-S to you - I just started using it last weekend and it is awesome! I had no problems with the buttons and it has text to speech which was a huge help to me as I was traveling out of town and really had no idea where I was, so hearing the road names was a huge plus!
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    tiff_c - Did your wife get the GPS? I wanted to recommend the TomTom ONE XL-S to you - I just started using it last weekend and it is awesome! I had no problems with the buttons and it has text to speech which was a huge help to me as I was traveling out of town and really had no idea where I was, so hearing the road names was a huge plus!

    Hi no we didn't get a unit yet. We tried out the Tom Tom as well as the Garmin Nuvi 660 and a few others but I wasn't very impressed with any of them. I think I will wait to see the new wide screen Garmin as well as the new Tom Tom, but in my area the units show you the long way to go and that's dissapointing. I'd imagine out of town they'd be great, but I'm so busy with work and when I do go out it's to other companies so I know where I'm going. map upgrades are $75 I've heard.
    Glad you enjoy your unit. I think next year we might get one but for now I think I'll wait and see what new maps they come out with.
    Thanks for the reccomendation :D
  • We bought a Gray Package 6 Prius from Toyota of Southern Maryland today for $350 over invoice ($26,281 total). I was really happy with the buying experience there; they didn't try to push a lot of stupid add-on such as paint protection, extended warranties, etc. The salesman sat in the car me for probably 45 minutes showing me how to use everything in the car, and gave a great overview of the navigation system. Even set up my cell phone to be tied into the car via Bluetooth.

    This was my first new car purchase, and I was very happy overall. I'd definitely shop there again.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    We bought a Gray Package 6 Prius from Toyota of Southern Maryland today for $350 over invoice ($26,281 total). I was really happy with the buying experience there; they didn't try to push a lot of stupid add-on such as paint protection, extended warranties, etc. The salesman sat in the car me for probably 45 minutes showing me how to use everything in the car,

    The salesman we dealt with even tho we didn't buy the car, came close tho. spent all of 45 minutes showing us how everything worked for the test drive.
    Then we took several long test drives. We still bought a Honda but the Prius was very close. The non adjustable seat was the deal killer for the Prius, if it had better, more comfortable and adjustable seats we would have bought it. I see so many Prius around here now that you'd think it was the #1 car. I see more Prius than I do Civics! The dealer has a ton of them in stock.
    Glad you are happy with yours. :)
  • Hi all,

    ok so I'm looking at getting this car for my 16yr old daughter. 130,000 miles midnite blue..the dealer says they checked it out and it's good they will give 1,000 mile warranty. it's $8998.00 i'm in the pacific northwest....I'm not sure why but I find prius over here over priced. they want 20,000 for on 04...Yeah right,,,way ridiculas..I find the average asking price of 01-02 well over 14,000...The carfax say not salvage but there was an accident but of course it doesn't say what happened in the accident...I'm thinking I should offer less considering the 8000 help please

    Is there a reason i shouldn't buy a prius at all or are they good cars?
  • You can use the Edmunds appraisal calculator to get a gauge on how much the car should actually cost. I did this for a 2002 Prius, 130,000 miles, White, no additional options installed, and in my zip code in Maryland. It would of course be more accurate if you changed everything to represent the car you're looking at. - sult

    That calculator says that the Dealer Retail price is over $10,000. $9000 doesn't sound like a bad price.

    Consumer Reports says that the 2002 model had some electrical system reliability issues, but overall they still give that model car (like every Prius model) a "Much better than average" rating-their highest.

    Honestly though, I'd recommend getting a Toyota Echo or a Yaris. A 2008 Yaris starts at about $11,000. A 2005 Echo (the last year the model was made) could probably be yours for around $7000. Echo gets an CR-estimated 38 mpg, which is very close to the 41 mpg that you'll get with a 2002 Prius. For comparison's sake, a 2002 Echo will run about $5000.

    My wife's car is a 2002 Echo, and she loves it. It's small, so it's easy to drive and to park. It gets great gas mileage, and the acceleration is sufficient for the type of driving she does. There's a ton of interior room for a small car; the headroom is especially good. Reliability is predicted to be excellent for the Echo as well.

    From my point of view, they'd both make great used cars. However, you're paying for the Hybrid system in the Prius when it doesn't really buy you a lot of extra gas mileage in the 2002 version.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    I own a 2008 Prius - and I have a daughter this is not much past 16. At 130K miles, this car would scare me off - trust me, the last thing you want it to start getting phone calls from her... "my car is not running right"... and the 1K warranty is a JOKE! If you must have this car, tell them you want a 10K mile warranty. I think the Yaris advise is solid. However, the cars are not made to have an accident - very light cars with 'tin can' bodies. (I know the Prius is, not sure about the Yaris). There is a good chance your daughter will get in some sort of an accident - perhaps not her fault, but 'something' will happen. At that time, a more solid car may be a better choice. (at least that was my thinking with my daughter not so long ago).

  • t_ht_h Posts: 2
    Initial quotes from dealers range from $250 to $1500 over invoice on a Prius Touring PKG #6. With some persistence most quotes came down to $100 to $500 over invoice. I ended up paying $300 over invoice at the local dealer that I felt was the most honest and ethical, and who offered a respectful buying experience.
  • I just purchased my 2008 Prius with PKG #6 for $200 under factory invoice or $2,100 under MSRP. Out of 8 dealers I contacted by email (Maryland suburbs of DC), I found two that came down to this same price. Some dealers were a few hundred over factory invoice and some wouldn't come close to this price, so it really does vary by dealer.
This discussion has been closed.