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Discussion Starter #1
A local stealership has a 2005 Rav4 for sale. 4500 miles, 2WD. Think its pretty much base. It does have keyless entry and the rear plastic tire cover.

They were asking 19,900. How much should I be able to get that down to?
 

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We bought our 2005 brand new last year in pretty much the same setup for $18,500...

Automatic, keyless, tinted windows, otherwise just the standard equipment

But they do hold their resale remarkably well. Edmunds puts a used basic '05 in the $17,500-18,000+ range.
 
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Geez.. I hate playing these games. He is supposed to get back to me in the morning after his "preferred sales manager" is in and see if he can get it down to 18,995.

Any suggestions for playing this game? :)

This is a third car.. So I've got time.
 
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I am looking at one as well

It's a 2005 Sport with manual tranny and moonroof. They want $21,000!!! It has 7,000 miles and is not a certified used car. Invoice on the car is just over $21k.

I called the dealer and the price is fixed - no haggling there. I am 90% certain I'd buy it for $20,000 and 110% certain I'd buy it for $19,000.

What should I do?
 

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[Yikes, this got long. How did that happen??]

Gee, this reminds me of the "how much you pay for car insurance" thread, except with a little less variance and much higher numbers. =)

As a data point, one of my two main candidates before finding the car we have was a 2wd white pearl fully loaded L (2005), manual transmission with 8K miles (oh, it was certified too). I specifically wanted a manual trans, which was proving hard to find. This particular exterior/interior wasn't tops on my want list, so I figured I'd go and shop ambivalently.

The car was priced at 20,000 in December, and thanks to carfax, I found out the dealer had the vehicle since late August. We offered an initial bid of 17,000 (yeah, I know it was seriously low, but since it wasn't high on my list I thought "What the hey?" They flat out turned the offer down and walked away ;)) By January 2006 the total had dropped to 19K, and I'm guessing with bargaining you could have maybe driven that down to 18K-"ish".

Hmm. The point, the point...I was sure I'd have a point...ah, yes. Regional and even dealer variations will show a lot of differences in price for such a recent vehicle. Having witnessed the going prices for 2003 RAV4s with up to 50,000 miles going for as much as this 2005 with 8K, I was a bit stumped as to why it hadn't sold. At this point I never WILL know...Out of curiosity, I kept glancing at autotrader.com and cars.com and that same car seems to have stayed with that dealership until sometime in March (it may have been sent to auction at that point or been sold). This meant that this particular car stayed on lot for ~7 mos. That doesn't seem typical for an almost-new RAV of the quality it seemed to have. You can play the waiting game on a car to see if the dealer will blink first, but that can backfire. All it takes is one person to take the bite and that essentially-one-of-a-kind car you might be coveting is gone.

lem144 mentioned a manual tranny (but the OP did not)...while manual transmissions were rare by the time of the 2005 model, a certain class of buyer (still) wants them - like me. In a seriously hilly area like San Francisco this may mean that a stick will remain on lot for awhile longer than a run-of-the-mill auto trans. But you get a serious buyer that is on the hunt and casting their net ever-farther and that stick that seems to have been unloved for months could go poof in an instant.

Note:
I happened to get a Carfax account at the right time during all this, and that was interesting tool to play with in the car dealer psychology game. Finding out how long a dealer had the car on-lot is interesting data to hold in backup when you are composing your own offer on a car.

I suppose I should qualify all of what came before by saying that I played the used-car game for the RAV4 for about 2 months, and I finally gave up on it and bought new. So what do I know? ;)

-Brian
 
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Discussion Starter #7
The sticker on my L was $27,762 and after both Toyota rebates and before tax, I paid $23,000 in December. Fully loaded.
 
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