NJ Prius Prime Buying/Trade-in Experiences and Tips

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by ml888, May 20, 2018.

  1. ml888

    ml888 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
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    Location:
    New Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    I really love how this forum everyone's helping each other out in a timely fashion, so I would like to contribute and hopefully my very detailed post can help others who wants to buy Prius Prime in New Jersey.

    I bought a 2017 Prius Prime Premium in Sept. 2017, but I did much less homework back then so I'll just quickly summarize: I inquired and negotiated with 3-4 central NJ dealers. I almost made deal in one dealership with $650 dealer discount when the other dealer who refused to drop price (they did offer a $700 discount but they were twice as far from my home) called me just in time, and learning I was about to make a deal elsewhere, they offered another $500 discount. So final was $1200 dealer discount + $3500 Toyota rebate. I then bought the 7 year/100K toyota care contract for $1000 or $1200. Not the best price I know but I had to get out of the dealership to pick up kids and didn't want to spend time researching and negotiating. I think best price one could get is below $800 but not necessarily in NJ. So $1000 is not bad. My final car price was OK, but another person in the forum got almost twice my dealer discount Dec. 2017 (might be better promotion then too).

    I spent more efforts and also time on this forum when I bought a 2017 Prius Prime Advanced this month (May 2018). I was completely enticed by the great rebate ($5K in NJ) and the tales of higher dealer discounts (up to $4200 in one case in R.I.) - so I wanted to get a really good deal. I contacted nearly all dealerships I found in Central NJ and North NJ that has 2017 Advanced. The best initial offer came from the same dealership that offered great discount in Dec 2017 - Morristown Toyota. I did not take it, but continued to inquire with more dealership and asked two R.I. dealerships that was recommended on forum too (Tarbox Toyota and Balise Toyota). The offers I received from NJ dealers were $1100-$2660 dealer discount. After negotiation, at least 4 dealerships were willing to offer discount above $2000, and Route 22 and Morristown were the top 2. Tarbox offered above $3K discount but RI rebate was $4.5K not $5K, so final price was similar to NJ. Balise offered $3.9K discount but again the diff. wasn't enough for the 8.5 hr roundtrip given the rebate diff. They did offer another $300 a week later (limited certificates on some cars) but I was almost done with my deals and also their director had an attitude and it was hard to get any answer from her, so I did not consider them any more (all others from the dealership were courteous). But for $4200 discount + $4500 rebate, that's $8700 off MSRP, so Barlise does offer a great option for buyers from none-NE states.

    In the end I chose Route 22 Toyota - also not everyone there gave me a pleasant experience but most of them were courteous, my salesperson Joy Willis was quite willing to make a deal and the person that helped me with test drive, docs, and pickup the car, Mervin Duran, is a good guy. The price I got was $2720 dealer discount plus free oil changes if done at their dealership. I got another promotional deal too but that is YMMV. So final total discount was close to $7900 + oil change for life. I did get annoyed at Route 22 as they lowballed me on tradein despite saying they'd discuss tradein with me, "just bring the car in" - but when we brought the car in, they said (without checking the car) that we're better off selling to CarMax (I told them I got an appraisal at CarMax but didn't mention price). We asked them to give us a ballpark what they'd offer, they eventually said a price that's 1/3 of what CarMax offered. There were a couple other annoying things (one manager was "confused" so told me sth. that wasn't true; also they require bank check while the other NJ dealerships we dealt with all were fine with personal checks, so we had to make another trip to bank and them to close the deal), but overall I do recommend them because they offer a very good deal and the experience was mostly good, not completely hassle free but worth it.

    Then we took our 2015 Honda to the used car dept. of the dealership we bought it from (we bought new) and appraised. In the end, we sold the car to CarMax. I just had absolutely great experience with CarMax. My first appraisal they gave us an offer $3500 higher than Honda's own, and judging by Route 22's attitude towards trade in, I bet other dealerships won't match it either. Also even based on KBB used car conditions, their offer was higher than higher end of the tradein range and within 10% of KBB private sales. And frankly we all know, you'd have to be pretty lucky and patient to get KBB private sale price. CarMax was no hassle. What's more, after we got lowballed by Rt 22 on tradein, it was weekend and made us miss the 7-day offer period of CarMax. So we had to re-appraise 12 days later than the 1st appraisal, and our car got another 550 miles on top of 67K. I was thinking if they offer us $50 or $100 lower in the re-appraisal, it'd still be fair. But no, they offered us the same price and said no condition changed on the car so the original offer stands. I was really impressed and told them I'll sell all my future cars to them - and I definitely will. I regret that last time when we trade in to buy our Honda we didn't sell the car to them. Honda gave us pennies really, we knew we could get at least $2000 more selling private but didn't want the hassle (it was winter times with vacations coming up). CarMax was completely no hassle, very courteous and very good price. So worth it if you have one nearby.

    So to sum up, in NJ I'd recommend Route 22 Toyota, and Morristown Toyota (I like them quite a bit because of straight forward dealing with price quotes, willingness to make a deal, and consistent good price). In RI clearly Balise Toyota offers great price. In MD Steve Bowie and some others highly recommend Jim Coleman Toyota. To tradein, CarMax no doubt in my experience. I know some said Jim Colman has great tradein price, but there're CarMax in MD and they even sell new cars - their 2017 Prime Advanced had close to $2000 dealer discount. I don't know if it's negotiable but coupling with their great tradein price and savings on sales tax (if buying/tradein at same place), I think that's an option one should check out and at least compare.

    Also I'd like to thank everyone on the forum that gave tips, and also pricing/dealership info from Lucashugh and PriusPostus2.

    One tip about setting up Entune was that Route 22 had no idea about SafetyConnect/Entune for Prime, or where to find the Contract ID. But all you need to do is call 1-800-331-4331 (you can find the # on myentune.com, make an account there and later add contract ID there), give the VIN and they'll activate the SafetyConnect and give you the contract ID. Add it in online and download the correct Entune app (not the 3.0 which was for Camry) and you can do remote temperature management on phone.

    Another tip was I read all posts about which cellphone holder to buy, and bought a magnetic air vent one (I don't want a sticky permanent ring on my dash or anything blocking my view, a friend in fact got ticket for that), and it works best on the left window air vent. At least the one I bought was a bit too big for the vents near center LCD screen.
     
    #1 ml888, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  2. ClemsonSteve

    ClemsonSteve Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2016
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    Location:
    South Carolina
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    At Jim Coleman Toyota, I traded in an Audi, so it was critical that they understand the value of that type of car. So, my deal was as follows:
    MSRP $34,243
    Dealer Discount -$3,000
    Toyota Rebate -$3,000
    Processing Fee $300
    Tax, Title, Tag $80 (no taxes in NC when trade in is worth more than the car you are buying)
    Total OTD: $28,623 - $4500 Federal Tax Credit = $24,123
     
    RogerMexico likes this.
  3. PT Guy

    PT Guy Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2016
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    Location:
    Washington, the state
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Why? Toyota's are among the most reliable cars in the world. Your car already has a 60,000 mile or 60 month powertrain warranty.
     
    ClemsonSteve likes this.
  4. ruby

    ruby Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
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    Location:
    NJ
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Which one did you get?
     
  5. ml888

    ml888 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
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    Location:
    New Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    Sorry haven't been visiting the forum, but triggyhappy's link was exactly the one I bought. It works for center vent but not as tight fit as left vent. The reason is that the diameter of the magnet was a bit too wide to push it all the way into the center vent. But it does work.
     
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