How to Pre-Order a Toyota RAV4 Prime in 2024

If you are looking for a new PHEV, the Toyota RAV4 Prime is one of the best options available.

In this guide, I outline how to buy a 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime. I will also discuss the basics of the RAV4 waitlist and show you how to increase your chances of securing a new RAV4 Prime.

With over two years of experience working at a Toyota dealership, here are my most valuable insights into securing your Prime.

2021 rav4 prime se blueprint color

Finding an Allocation

Dealer allocation refers to the vehicles that are scheduled to arrive at a particular dealership. Allocation is determined based on where the vehicles sell the best and which dealerships are the highest performing.

To find the allocation of the RAV4 Prime, you need to make some phone calls. Don’t simply settle for the first answer you hear. Instead, call multiple dealerships and find the shortest waitlist or the customized model you want with desirable specifications.

**Note: Allocations come out every TWO weeks**

What does this mean for a prospective buyer? That means you could call the same dealerships every two weeks to find out what they’re going to have allocated to them in the coming weeks or months.

After inquiring about a vehicle, simply ask the sales manager when their next allocation is. Now you have your timeline for that dealership.

Based on my research, the following information may be helpful.

  • Availability is poor in the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest of the country
  • There is greater availability in the Western and Northeast portions of the country

Some dealerships even told me there was no hope of receiving the new Prime model. There wasn’t even an option to join a waitlist.

I encourage you to keep trying. With nearly 1,500 Toyota dealerships nationwide, you may get lucky.

Dealers I spoke to said they only are holding vehicles from their allocations. Meaning, if the dealer happens to currently have one on the lot, they can’t guarantee you it’ll be yours. More on that below.

Learn more about the RAV4 Prime availability


Securing Your Spot

If you can find allocation, your next step is to secure your place in line. Each dealership has a different process, so you may need to do something other than what I advise.

However, here are a few guidelines to consider to secure your spot.

  • Ask to be put on the waitlist. These average from 5 to 24 months but can also be longer.
  • Put down a deposit for your spot. These range from $500 to $1,500. Most are refundable but ask to be sure.

In some cases, I found dealerships where a deposit wasn’t required.

On the other hand, if you decide to put down a deposit and it’s not refundable, evaluate your goals. Are you willing to wait 6+ months for a vehicle, or should you move on to something else?

One frustrating thing many have experienced is if there isn’t a Prime allocation near them. Toyota does not currently have a “wait-list” option for their buyers, which is a huge missed opportunity in our view.

Other Things to Expect

It’s important that we touch on the aspect of custom ordering a RAV4 Prime. With most vehicles, it’s easy to pick out the trim level, exterior color, interior fabric, and features, but that’s not the case with the new RAV4 Prime.

There’s no way to custom-build a RAV4 Prime to your specifications. Toyota doesn’t have that option available, yet.

You may not be able to choose the following:

  • Trim level
  • Exterior color
  • Interior comforts
  • Tech features
  • Safety technology

Instead, the automaker produces various RAV4 Prime models with different options and colors. These plug-in hybrid RAV4s are sent to dealerships that have allocation. You have to take what’s available, keep waiting, or consider traveling further to get a Prime.

rav4 prime badge

As I speak about “pre-ordering” your RAV4 Prime, I simply mean that you are securing a spot for one. You aren’t actually building a RAV4 Prime like you can with the other models. 

Expert Tips

With all of the above in mind, here are a few expert tips that may help you get a 2024 RAV4 Prime.

  • Be advantageous to sell to. When a dealer knows you’re ready and serious to buy, they’re more likely to remember you and give you a call when that allocation comes in.
  • Be flexible. You may not get one if you are set on a particular color, trim, or options. Instead, be open to taking different colors or features to secure your spot on the waitlist.
  • Be persistent. Ask when the next allocation will be. Call dealerships back consistently.

Dealers know that a Rav4 Prime should be sold within two days of its arrival on the lot. Especially before the 15th and 30th/31st.

If you are willing to purchase the vehicle soon after it arrives you will be more likely to have a salesperson work hard to get you one.

Even if you place a deposit on a vehicle, if a dealer has a Prime on the lot that is not signed for on the 31st and they need another deal to hit their bonuses they will sell it. 

In a few years, getting the Prime model may be easier, and you can upgrade then. I expect demand will drop once Toyota releases the bZ4X, creating more RAV4 Prime models on the market.

Buying Used

The used market is currently a little overpriced in my estimation. Many who received the federal tax credit with their Primes are now offloading them at a mark up.

Since the Prime no longer qualifies for the federal EV tax credit, I wager you’ll see more used one’s coming available at lower prices in the near future.

A helpful site I trust to buy used from is AutoTempest. They aggregate listings from various sources such as Carvana,, eBay Motors, AutoTrader, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and many, many more. screenshot showing some RAV4 Prime availability.

If you’ve exhausted all your options in your city and possibly state, there’s one last topic I’d like to cover.

Buying Out of State

When looking for a RAV4 Prime, it can be advantageous to look outside of your state. As of this writing, the top 5 states in the US with the most allocations are: CA, NY, MD, MA, NJ.

With that being said, the best tip for buying out of state I can offer is: fly out to purchase the vehicle in person (if this is an option for you financially).

Delivering a vehicle is very complicated and comes with a myriad of issues with identity verification and shipping. On the flip side, when a customer tells me they are flying in to purchase a vehicle, they always get my best effort.

It’s helpful to know that some dealers have policies preventing the sale of rare vehicles outside of their market.

Car Shopping Service

If your local dealership doesn’t have a RAV4 Prime available now or in the foreseeable future, you’ll need to call quite a few dealerships to secure yours.

It can be very time consuming trying to locate a Prime, so to assist our readers we began to offer a car shopping service. We do all of the upfront leg work and research to find your perfect RAV4 Prime, saving you a lot of time and hassle.

If this is something you’d be interested in please reach out here.

We do charge a small fee for this service. The service is through RAV4 Resource and is not affiliated with Toyota or any dealership.

Share Your Experience

Please feel free to share any insights or experiences you may have had when purchasing your RAV4 Prime in the comments below. 

  1. Did you find dealerships with shorter wait times? If so, where?
  2. How was your experience with the dealership? 
  3. Did you have to put a deposit down to secure a spot on the waiting list? If you don’t mind sharing, how much was the required deposit? 
  4. What do you think could have been improved in the ordering process? 

Above all, when do you think the RAV4 Prime availability will get better? Let me your thoughts.

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  1. Richard Brown says:

    I have been shopping RAV4 Primes since they came on the market. I was able to drive one in Arlington, TX. in 2021, and could have bought it. Since then they have been hard to find and priced $5-7K above MSRP. The tax rebate helped soften that blow, particularly for those of us in regions without a state incentive. However, since the start of 2023, and the knowledge that there is no longer a rebate, I have started to see used models sitting on the lots. I’ve seen used models sitting for three months. It appears to me that some folks bought them in 2021/22, got the tax rebate, kept them for the year, & then put them up for sale in the new year. But now, the dealer is carrying the up-charge, and the smart shopper doesn’t want to pay it because there is no longer a tax rebate. Bottom line, used RAV4 Primes are sitting, waiting for a buyer, if you can handle the “market adjustment”. Relatively speaking, its now easier than ever to buy a used one.

  2. Sagrario Martinez says:

    Had a wonderful experience with Putnam Toyota in Burlingame. David Proctor was impeccable in the deal and provided great advice throughout the process. My waiting time was ideal for my finances. I could not be happier with my purchase. A dream car for me in many levels.

  3. Koons Toyota dealers in Maryland have a few new prime rav4
    They have the best dealership in the area for the prime rav4