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Worst Deal of the Month: 2010 Toyota Prius

September 3, 2009

2010 Toyota Prius If you're an avid follower of RealCarTips, you know never to buy a car immediately after a redesign is introduced.

This is typically when demand is at its highest and supply is very limited. In this type of environment, many dealers take advantage of the situation and start price gouging their customers.

The "Cash for Clunkers" program depleted inventories of high mpg cars, especially the 2010 Prius. Inventory was already low before the government program, now it's ridiculous.

We're hearing reports that some Toyota dealers are charging markups of up to $10,000 on the 2010 Toyota Prius.

We don't understand why someone buying a $26,000 car would agree to a 40% markup, but you'd be surprised how uninformed some buyers are. Many car shoppers don't understand the law of supply and demand. If they wait until next year, after demand has died down and supply increased, they're certain to get a much better price on the vehicle.

If you're hard-headed and want to buy a 2010 Prius no matter how bad you'll get ripped off, our recommendation is to get in touch with AT LEAST 10 dealers. Have them work against each other to offer you the best price. You may be able to get one around MSRP if you're lucky.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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