Well I finally did it. Here is the story. About 4 months ago I went to my local Toyota dealer and left $200 and an order for an '06 with a #8 package in Driftwood. I went back last week (12/08) to check on the progress and within 2 days I went from "you are the 1st one on the '06 list" to ". . . my Pirus won't be in until 'maybe' mid-February or later". Angry was an understatement and I demanded my deposit back after I had done more homework.
Seems as though the biggest dealer on the east coast asked for 8 of the #8 packages on the Prius with everyone sold - he will be receiving only one (which obviously is sold). He is the only dealer out of 35 dealers that I called and talked with who are actually getting ANY of the #8 packages on a Prius. So my next best option was to search out an '05 with a #6 package. Right now there are a lot of them around - everybody is waiting for '06 to get the tax credit and they aren't buying anything! There are a quite a few Prius around right now (almost all are '05s but I actually found 1 dealer with an '06 #4 package in red - NOT SOLD).
I had several dealers actually willing to take a deposit now on their '05 and also agreed to hold the car for delivery until 1/2/06 - BINGO tax credit time! Do your homework - the dealer I bought not only agreed to hold the car until 1/2/06 he took $700 off of the sticker price! He did tell me that this was the first Prius he has ever sold that did not sell for sticker or even more than sticker and it was his last '05. What do I care - I got my Tideland Pearl, a color that is being discontinued, with a #6 package, saved $700 plus beat the price increase AND got the FED/IRS $3,150 tax credit too! By the way the car had been at the dealer for 3 days prior to my purchase (or should I say hold/deposit - actual purchase will be 1/2/06).
If you want a Prius and your name has been on a list that doesn't mean crap except your dealer has probably been drinking beer :chug: at your expence using your deposit money and the interest that it could have been earning. $200 is nothing these days but I understand some dealers are requiring $500 to $1,000 deposits! If they would just tell you from the beginning that they can not order anything from Toyota that would be a different story. Instead they just lie about it, make things up, and take advantage of people. I know all dealerships aren't like this but of the 35 that I contacted more fell into this category than those who did not.
Christmas came early for me and Santa won't drop off his gift until 1/2/06 but I will have my gift in time to get the tax credit! Good luck to all - especially if your name is on some kind of stupid "Toyota dealer Prius list" - if it is, they are lying to you too!