How to Pre-Order a Toyota RAV4 Prime in 2023

If you are looking for a new PHEV, you may want to know how to pre-order a RAV4 Prime in 2023. With your quick action, you may be able to secure your new RAV4 Prime before anyone else. But I’m not going to lie to you; it will be a difficult journey.

In this guide, I outline how to buy a 2023 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.

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.

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

Sadly, some dealerships told me there was no hope of receiving the new Prime model. There wasn’t even an option to join a waitlist. Yet, I encourage you to keep trying. With nearly 1,500 Toyota dealerships nationwide, you may get lucky.

Learn more about the RAV4 Prime availability by checking out my article. 


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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 $1,000. Some of these are refundable but don’t make assumptions.

In some cases, I found dealerships where a deposit wasn’t required. If that’s available in your area, it’s your best option. 

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 24+ months for a vehicle, or should you move on to something else?

Other Things to Expect When Ordering a RAV4 Prime

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 right now.

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 or continue waiting.

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 designing a RAV4 Prime. 

With that in mind, here are a few tips that may help you get a 2023 RAV4 Prime.

  • Be flexible. You may not get one if you are set on a particular color, trim, or options. Instead, take what you can get to secure your spot on the waitlist.
  • Be prepared to pay more. Because of increased demand, you may pay more than MSRP to get a new RAV4 Prime. 

Understanding this, it’s important to determine if you want to wait and deal with the hassle. Maybe you would rather own a RAV4 Hybrid instead. 

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.

When considering your purchase of a RAV4 Prime, you should also keep in mind that it no longer qualifies for the federal EV tax credit.

Got Insights to Share About Your RAV4 Prime Purchase?

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