Toyota markets the Prius Prime as an affordable hybrid. Dealerships clearly haven't gotten the memo.
Crazy dealership markups have long been an issue in the US, usually on limited production or special cars. However, this is the first time we see a markup on a Toyota Prius Prime, a mainstream nameplate.
In a post on Reddit, user GalacticKitty was asked to pay $48,641 for a 2024 Prius Prime XSE Premium, which has a base price of $39,370 before packages, accessories, and delivery fees.
The user provided a photo of the dealership's computation, showing $3,166 worth of dealer and port packages and accessories installed, along with $1,095 for delivery and handling fees. The markup, however, is $5,000, labeled as "market adjustment."
The markup is given by an unspecified Toyota dealership in Los Angeles. According to the user, the average markup in the area is around $3,000 to $5,000. According to Markups.org, some states have asked for up to $7,500 above MSRP.
Given these figures, customers might want to look at other brands when shopping. The Tesla Model 3, which recently got a price cut, can be had for less than what the dealership above asked for a Prius Prime XSE, even before considering the $7,500 federal tax credit.
Of note, it's an apples-to-oranges (hybrid versus EV) comparison, but jumping from a PHEV like the Prius Prime to a fully electric EV isn't far-fetched. Besides, a PHEV with an EPA-rated 44-mile all-electric range should never be more expensive than a comparable BEV, let alone versus one from a brand regarded as premium.
The user asked for recommendations in the Reddit thread, saying maybe changing the trim would be a viable option. The Toyota Prius Prime is also available in the lower SE and XSE trims with base MSRPs of $32,675 and $35,925, respectively. The user is also considering driving to dealerships further afiled for a lower market adjustment price or waiting two years until prices drop.
While dealership markups won't go away anytime soon, several ways exist to avoid them. Shopping around to know prices would be a good place to start. Some brands, like Tesla, sell cars without a dealership through a direct-to-consumer distribution model, making markups nonexistent.