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Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars, Sedan
#193 of 2152 Price Paid on 2006 Prius-Silver Pck#3 in Bay Area-Tracy Toyota was Great
Sep 01, 2006 (11:40 am)
I've been thinking about buying a Prius since December of 05. I finally bought July 4th weekend. I e-mail blitzed about a dozen dealers from Salinas to Sacramento to Santa Rosa (I live in the East Bay) Most of the bay area dealers wanted to sell at MSRP or above, and required a wait list/deposit. Tracy Toyota e-mailed me the next morning saying they had the car, and would hold it for me if I came to get it the same day. I told them I didn't have a lot of time, and they let me fax my insurance info and drivers license ahead of time so they could start on the paperwork. They also faxed me a quote with the price and VIN# on it, so I could confirm they had the car and the price. I told them I didn't want the extended warranty or prepaid maintenance contract, and they didn't pressure me at all. I think I was in and out of there in about 1 hour-1 1/2 hours. (It would have been less, but I wanted to test drive it, and I hadn't set up insurance under my own name (I was on my parents insurance) so that took a while to set up. Note: I paid cash, so it might take longer if you do financing.
I paid approximately $250 under MSRP (or maybe not... when I compared to the Edmunds MSRP price,it wasn't $250 under because there wasn't an option for the floor mat/trunk mats which I got charged extra.) Anyhow... I paid approx $23,8xx + tax 8.25% + registration, came to $26K and some change out the door.
Tracy Toyota was efficient, pleasant, and quick. They even rushed to get my registration to the DMV so I could get my Lic # more quickly to sign up for the carpool lane sticker. I got my plates in less than two weeks. Sorry, this is long, but I think this dealership gives a buyer a great buying experience.
#194 of 2152 Re: $250 under MSRP at Tracy Toyota for 2007 Prius due to Costco program
Sep 01, 2006 (11:59 am)
I forgot to mention that the $250 discount under MSRP from Tracy Toyota was for the Costco program.
#196 of 2152 Re: Whites are tough to find in SoCal [ck90211]
Sep 01, 2006 (7:37 pm)
White is a funny color (or non-color). Most colors, people either like or hate. Nobody loves white but nobody hates it either so it turns out to be a good marketing color. Also the safety factor of high visibility adds to the marketing strength of white.
You really have to consider at this point whether it wouldn't be more cost effective for you to wait for a 2007 model that would exactly suit you.
But I think that your conviction that you will drive this beast for 10 years won't come true. If it was a standard design vehicle, that is certainly feasible. But in hybrid design, the evolution will be lightening fast by comparison. I hazard the guess that by 2008-2009 there will be a a fully electric Prius that uses the engine as a backup - just the reverse of the current technology. If you are driving your Prius for more than 4-5 years, I would be surprised.
#197 of 2152 Changing rides every 4-5 years is nice, but $$$
Sep 01, 2006 (9:00 pm)
Cruising, I hope to get White because (1) it doesn't fade and hides dirt well, (2) I am going to do some marketing logo on my Prius, so everything stands out on a White car, and (3) stays cooler in hot climate.
I don't doubt the new Prius, whenever it does come out, will be even better. But for me I have driven my last few cars 13 (still have it), 12, and 7 years (sold it because $$$ Benz maintenance). And I got a teenage son who will be driving soon. So I expect the Prius to stay within the family for a long time to come. If I have urge to drive a new Prius I guess I will just need to have rich Prius friends like you.
With long term in mind, waiting for a 2007 does not make too much sense, since I lose 1/2 of the tax credit, and the 1 year newer depreciation probably won't make much difference 10 years from now.
Gas in SoCal is dipping below $3 again! So perhaps Prius fever will be over soon. Until next spring/summer.
#198 of 2152 Re: Changing rides every 4-5 years is nice, but $$$ [ck90211]
Sep 02, 2006 (7:25 am)
I'm not familiar with US tax law, or how Congress handles things like your tax credit. However, after reading these and other forums for the last few months, I'd be very wary of using the tax credit in your assessment of when to buy. I've heard lots of people reporting they will not benefit from it, others reporting it gave them $500.
Bottom line, better talk to a tax accountant before acting on the assumption you will get to claim the full amount !
#199 of 2152 Re: Changing rides every 4-5 years is nice, but $$$ [ck90211]
Sep 02, 2006 (2:34 pm)
I agree about the color white and this indeed is what we bought. And if you do intend to drive the thing till it falls apart, depreciation is a non-issue. As far as gas prices dropping, fugeddaboutit if trade sanctions interrupt oil exports from Iran which is, would you believe, one of the primary exporters of crude in the world. If that scenario turns into a reality, crude will spike easily to $100+ and we'll be seeing gas selling for $4.25 per gallon
when you can get it. I sure hope not.
Regarding the teenage son, I can't think of a better car for him to begin his driving career since it will move him away from "How fast from 0 to 6t0" towards, "How far can I go on a quart of gas". You can tell the young Turk, "You come back showing less than 45MPG, you've just turned into a pedestrian!"
#200 of 2152 Re: Changing rides every 4-5 years is nice, but $$$ [pathstar1]
Sep 02, 2006 (3:36 pm)
Pathstar - your point it taken.
Although I'm certainly no tax expert, I do file my own return so I have some superficial familiarity with the tax code. 2005 and 2006 are very different years with respect to the tax relief afforded Prius purchasers. For 2005, there was a $2,000 tax deduction which did amount to an out of pocket savings of $500 for taxpayers in the 25% bracket. Those in a higher bracket got still more. In 2006, this was changed to a $3,150 tax credit which unlike a deduction is a dollar for dollar credit against your tax liability so the savings are much more powerful regardless of your tax bracket. But, as you indicate, there are a couple of caveats:
1. There is no tax refund, per se, provided. For you to get the $3150 tax credit, you must owe at least $3150 in taxes.
If you only owe $2500 in taxes, that is the cap on Prius credit. They don't give you any way of carrying over the unused portion of the credit ($650) into a subsequent tax year or carrying it back into a previous tax year.
2. Since the refund comes back to you, you must also be the one who actually purchases the car. For example, if you want to give your teen age daughter a Prius, to get the credit, you have to buy the car. If you provide her the funds to buy the car, and she buys it, she, not you, will qualify, (or non-qualify) for the tax credit. So when you effect a transaction like this, you want to be sure that regardless of how the vehicle is registered, that the purchase order indicates that you are buying the car. There are some creative ways of dealing with this (joint ownership etc) and a tax advisor would be helpful in steering you in the right direction.
3. If you are ensnared by the Alternative Minimum Tax for CY2006, this can indeed affect the value of the credit and you would do well to discuss this with a tax guru to determine if you can shape your CY2006 return to maximize the credit recovery.
BTW, the most important tax "credit" you get driving one of these cars is the diminished Federal and State taxes you pay on the gas you consume. Depending on the vehicle the Prius replaced, the tax revenue being squeezed out of you drops anywhere from 35 - 80% ! In the micro, you are making out like a mink, but in the macro, it turns into a zero sum game because if EVERYBODY's tax bit dropped that much it would wreck havoc with the Federal revenue intake and you know darn well that the gummint would figure out some other inventive way of squeezing it back out of you. This bizarre consequence plays itself out in other venues also. For example, it's eloquently argued that if we eliminated alcohol and tobacco as staples for consumption, the decrease in the cost of the social mayhem and terrible diseases caused by these products would be enormous. But the flip side is that the government collects billions upon billions dollars in tax revenue on these products and one way or the other, we will all end up paying for the shortfall if these highly taxed products were no longer sold. It's all so weird, I'm gonna have to go for a quiet drive in my Prius, just to calm down..........
#201 of 2152 Re: Changing rides every 4-5 years is nice, but $$$ [cruising7388]
Sep 02, 2006 (6:44 pm)
Further to your "tax rant" if we eliminated alcohol and tobacco a lot more people would be living well into retirement years - yet another drain on the tax dollar (at least here in Canada, not sure what your pension situation is federally).
I went for another test drive today, this time in a 2005 "B" package Prius with 22,000 km+ on it. Took a good long test drive this time, as the car already had lots of km on it so I didn't feel guilty or obligated. Had fun watching all the things posted here and in PriusChat and Priusonline. "B" package, for those Americans too lazy to check Toyota.ca, is everything but nav. We appearantly don't get leather here in Canada. The car was way too expensive in my mind - they wanted $30,000 Can. New a package "B" car is $36,000 or so. So it now looks like I will end up with a 2007. Most of the dealers here are running out of 2006 units. Only saw three base models in the two dealers I visited today.
I've now saved up enough money to buy, once I sell my RX-7. I'm getting anxious!
#202 of 2152 Slimy SoCal Toyota dealers
Sep 03, 2006 (1:32 pm)
I now wonder, are we Toyota's customers? Or are the dealers Toyota's customers?
This happend to me this weekend. On Friday night, I was called by Puente Hills Toyota (35 miles from where I am) that they just received 3 #3's, I can get one at MSRP. I showed up 10 sharp, now the car has "wood" dash, and $2K more. I told the sales person, if I can peel it off, then they should peel the $2K off, if I can't, I gladly pay the $2K extra. She stopped me, and said, why don't you make an offer and see what "management" thinks. We set down, she wanted me to put personal info (name, address, jobs, etc) on a credit application. I said, look, why you need all these info just to see if managers take my MSRP offer. Even DMV does not require these info. She kept telling me it is their standard procedure, and how it helps them help customers. And I told her, I am paying the money, so they should respect my wishes. This went for 10 minutes. I kept asking her, why can't I just talk to a sales manager and see if he wants to take it or not. Finally, a guy came by, greeted himself, then said, "NO, we put this wood dash in, and we are going to get something for it. And if you are on wait list at other dealerships in SoCal, good luck because they too are going to take your car and loaded it up accessories to sell to retail customers." For sure I will never buy, or tell anyone to try Puente Hills. And I have no respect for anyone who bad-mouth their peers/competitors.
I suspect many Toyota dealers are all doing this, bypassing their waitlist customers so they can load up $2-5K of junk on retail customers. This is why I am wondering, who does Toyota really care about, us the endusers, or the dealers?
I made a call to a leasing company and they can get me a black/blue Prius at $100 discount, and perhaps a white one in 2 weeks.
I think I am going to wait until a middle of the week to check again to see if prices get lower. Then if not, buy from the leasing company.
It amazes me how dealers are treating customers and potential customers. But since they are still doing it, it must still be working. So it saddens me, how in the age of Internet and books, people still do not arm themselves with information and strategies on such big $$$ purchase. $ 2K save is $50/month on car payments!!!!
Why must dealers make potential customers make "offers" first? Shouldn't they be the one working their numbers down, until customers are satisfied? Instead, I feel like I am throwing numbers, and they are the ones deciding if they are satisfied?
And why do dealers want my personal info just to make an offer? Are they hoping to drag the process so long that I make stupid decisions?
I really like Toyota's but sure hate the buying experience. Must admit the only ones that did it right was Saturn (10 years ago now). But GM seems to have screwed that up too.