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2021 Toyota RAV4 Purchase Stories: You Will Not Believe What People are Going Through to Get One

Wow. You may not believe the stories consumers are telling about their search for a new 2021 RAV4.


Most of us know by now the challenges auto manufacturers are going through to get new vehicles to dealerships.

Currently there is extremely high buyer demand, which normally is met with sufficient inventory.

Not for the last several months, though.

Toyota Reduces Production

2021 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid Silver Sky Metallic profile view

In fact, Toyota recently announced a reduction in production of 40% worldwide for the month of September. This means 360,000 less Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs will be built than originally planned.

There just are not enough semiconductor computer chips to go around. Computer chips essential for producing automobiles.

Without them, vehicle supply will not come anywhere close to matching buyer demand. Something has to give.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Inventory

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE Supersonic Red profile view front end

If you have visited your local car dealerships anytime recently, you have probably noticed the lack of new cars.

Normally close to full, dealer parking lots may now have only a handful of actual new vehicles available for purchase.

This includes Toyota RAV4.

Most people in the market must now pre-order their new 2021 RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime.

For some, the expected wait time may be just a few weeks. For others, though, it could last many, many months.

People Comment on Toyota RAV4 Buying

I recently made a video for my “ToyotaJeff Reviews” YouTube channel on the vehicle shortage and offered suggestions on how to make the buying process easier.

RELATED VIDEO: My vehicle shortage update and buying tips

People left comments on how things are going for them in the hunt for their ideal RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid. Needless to say, some stories are not all that good.

Mark commented. “I ordered a Flame Blue 2021 RAV4 at the beginning of July, I have no clue when I am actually going to get the thing. Any information would help.”

Moist (hey, I did not pick the name) added. “No one is willing to discount RAV4 XSE Hybrid. Some are trying to sell the car 2, 3, even 4 thousand over the MSRP.”

Tim has a happy result to his experience. “I ordered my RAV4 in January. I drove it off in late May.”

“Hi Jeff, I just bought a RAV4 Hybrid Cruiser AWD in Australia. Apparently, there is a shortage of cars... I have to wait 9 months for my car.” Hang in there Travelman. You will love your new RAV4 when you get it.

Anthony is also playing the waiting game. “That’s right. I ordered my Lunar Rock RAV4 XLE AWD 2021 on May 26, 2021 and the last news I know about my order was yesterday. I called to the dealership, and they told me my RAV4 arrives on August 29 to my country, and I have to wait like 10 days more until they process the unit and finally my RAV4 arrives to the dealership and then they gonna call me to complete the purchase. They told me 2 months but it’s taking 3 months because of the shortage. I hope my RAV4 arrives soon.”

Pink has a different viewpoint of the shortage. “I work at a Toyota plant (TMMC) and yes, we do stop n go with Toyota RAV4 but are still building the Lexus RX. Today we were able to build RAV4 but ran short supply of steering racks... it’s always something.”

“I was told by our local Toyota dealer there was a RAV4 Prime coming (not the color or model we wanted but would have considered it). However, they said $5,000 above MSRP. We passed!” Commented Vicki.

Terri said. “We have been waiting since May for our RAV4 XSE Hybrid. Called the dealership today and they said it still has not been built yet. Advice?”

Time for your Toyota RAV4 Comments

As you can see, most of these people have had, or are in the middle of having, challenges of their own while searching for their new RAV4.

I can tell you firsthand it is not just Toyota RAV4 or Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Just about all Toyota models, along with virtually every other brand, are nowhere to be found.

Times are tough.

Hopefully there will be a resurgence with vehicle inventory in the coming months.

Tell me about your story. Have you been in the market and what has your search been like? What did you end up buying?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I compare both lime colors for 2022 4Runner and 2022 Tacoma.

- Your first look at Lime Rush 2022 4Runner
- 2022 RAV4 release date
- Answering your 4Runner questions

Follow Jeff Teague on Social Media:

- My "AutoJeff Reviews" YouTube channel - Car reviews and people stories
- My Torque News / Toyota News column
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- My Twitter page

Thank you everyone for following me.


Jesse (not verified)    August 24, 2021 - 12:18PM

Our local Toyota dealer is essentially a pre-owned car lot. Maybe 12 new Toyota vehicles on the lot, that's counting the whole Toyota lineup.

Travelman Podcast (not verified)    August 24, 2021 - 6:44PM

Thanks for quoting my comment Jeff! The one positive from getting my car late is that it's coming with a bunch of new bits and bobs because I've ordered the 2022 model. That means electronic seats both passenger and driver, updated lights and a few other things! Cheers Travelman Ben!

Maggie Hinderliter (not verified)    August 25, 2021 - 10:18AM

I took weeks to decide on a 2021 Rav4 Hybrid....and 3 weeks to get my brand new One with 3 miles on it. On April 23, 2021... drove it 6 days... I was on my way to have it undercoated with 400 miles on it when it caught fire while I was driving it..... the investigation determined
the batteries were the cause. Still waiting for Toyota to get back to me on how they are handling this..injuries from. Breathing the fumes...still under going treatment.

Chris (not verified)    August 25, 2021 - 10:46AM

We went to look at a rav4 prime in Richmond ca and the dealer 1) wouldn’t even let us test drive it and 2) was asking $15k above msrp. Absolute sleezeballs. No thanks. We just got a Tesla instead.

Eric Silvern (not verified)    August 25, 2021 - 12:48PM

I was one of those fools that paid a premium over MSRP' 7k. I regret it every day. Rav4 Prime is nice but not worth that much.

NormT (not verified)    August 31, 2021 - 6:52AM

In reply to by Eric Silvern (not verified)

Unfortunately the credible journalist are not cover the fact that bank set residuals have not changed. So most who pay anything more than a 10% below MSRP will get hosed if in an accident or have to trade-in for another style.

MB (not verified)    August 25, 2021 - 1:19PM

So glad I purchased my 2021 Camry XSE at the beginning of March before the chip shortage was announced. Nobody would haggle on a 2020 so I got a brand new one for less than the used one. Also got a great deal thousands under MSRP which wouldn't happen now. It had to be located cause there were none in my area, but the best part is its the only one like it out here.

Sterling Sanders (not verified)    August 25, 2021 - 1:24PM

Put in order for my RAV4 Hybrid Limited Blueprint and tan interior. Did this 30 April 21 and got the car on 3 August 21. Loving the car.

Brady (not verified)    August 25, 2021 - 1:33PM

After speaking to multiple dealers in the Southeast, I was told that in order to get a RAV4 Prime that I would have to order the Prime with an estimated wait time of 4 to 5 months. I used Cargurus and the Toyota web site to track inventory nationally and eventually found a Prime at Antwerpen Toyota in Maryland. I originally had planned to have the car shipped by a third party but after having multiple delays, I booked a one way flight and drove the SUV home 800 miles in the same day. Antwerpen was professional and we negotiated what I considered a fair deal under the circumstances. The car was a gift for a birthday and I was able to make it home with the Prime with 26 hours to spare.

Randy (not verified)    August 25, 2021 - 7:47PM

Went to one dealer to buy a RAV4 Prime SE. His salesman had it marked up over $5,000 above retail. I told him that another dealer had it listed for retail on the internet. He insisted that they would mark it up. I said that their salesman said, "We honor our internet prices." I went to the second dealer. They sold the one that I wanted. It looked like a Star Wars Trooper. :( I asked If I could have the floor model. The salesman said, " It's available. Leave a deposit to secure it. I picked it up the next day. It's a real step up from my Chevy Volt. He who hesitates...

Sandy (not verified)    August 25, 2021 - 9:44PM

I bought my 2021 RAV4 Hybrid back in June and ended up going to eight dealerships. Finally the last dealer I went to told me he had one coming in on the truck in about five weeks and wasn't getting anymore for four months. Well I literally bought it off the truck sight unseen and I am so glad that I did. I absolutely love my RAV. My wife and I own four Toyota cars and wouldn't drive anything else. My problem is that my wife has taken my RAV over her Highlander because she loves it so much.

Tx Jerr (not verified)    August 26, 2021 - 9:54AM

In reply to by Sandy (not verified)

Sorry Sandy. You obviously dont have or have not ridden in a newer Highlander..Cause I own almost every Toyota Model for company cars. .and I am here to tell you no one on planet earth will prefer a Rav4 over a New Highlander Platinum AWD..NO ONE!! Time to Upgrade to a New Highlander when or if you can ever find one. We actually got rid of our Rav4 Limited AWD 2019 as the transmission was so jerky no one wanted to drive it. Our Rav 4 Prime comes in soon to replace it. Also waiting patiently for that New 2022 Tundra.O Baby!!!!! Toyota Rocks!!!

Merlin Valencia (not verified)    August 26, 2021 - 6:40AM

I just purchase a Rav4 Prime SE 2 weeks ago through California Clean Cars for all program. I emailed all the dealers what I was looking for and I got lucky they were going to get the one I want in a week or two. Shopped around a bit and contacted them that I wanted to do the $500 deposit. It was a Super White Rav4 Prime SE with the moonroof package and all weather liners. It was $5k marked up also. They discounted it just enough so I can purchase it with the Clean Cars For All grant to $46k. After the grant and clean fuel reward discounts $11k, it wound up being $40k out the door fees taxes included.

It is really bad right now. I called one dealer that didn't charge a markup but they had a waitlist and they flat out told me they couldn't help me there is a wait list off 100+ people waiting for a Rav4 Prime. I heard the shortage is going to get a lot of worse so I am somewhat happy how it turned out I got the cat I was looking for in like a week of shopping. $5k markup is not too bad I have seen markups as high at $15k! Good luck all!

Jeri Evans (not verified)    August 26, 2021 - 5:17PM

In reply to by Merlin Valencia (not verified)

I took my 2019 Rav4 XLE in for service it had 17,600 miles on it. They wanted my 2019. I walked out with 2021 XLE Lunar Rock. I lease my cars. It cost me $50.00 for the new lease.

Dean (not verified)    August 26, 2021 - 10:30AM

People might want to conside the new Venza. It is similar in size and is a AWD hybred. I am getting 44 MPG so far.

TJ (not verified)    August 26, 2021 - 10:43PM

Love your videos Jeff! Unfortunately Ohio has virtually zero of them this year and probably few next year. I searched in CA, WA, VT, NY, NH, and finally NJ and found the XSE I was looking for after somebody flaked on their reservation. About half the dealers are charging markup, especially on the west coast. But I kinda get it actually. Santa Monica Toyota (10k markup) for instance is on extremely expensive property and there's very little inventory to sell and people like me will fly to the dealer or ship it. I only entertained dealers who categorically don't add markup. Very excited about this car! I have not even test driven it, but I think I know what to expect and not expect. BTW, all the ones I've encountered coming into the dealer were silver or white. I'd considered a Tesla, but then found RAV4 Prime and chose that due to tesla's frustrating service delay stories, toyotas superior build quality, and Tesla's expired incentives. I also just don't want to be following tesla news all the time. I just want a reliable PHEV.

Lieza (not verified)    August 27, 2021 - 7:15PM

After endlessly trying to buy a Rav4 Hybrid in August, Mona at CarBlip was able to find one in stock that met my specs for $2 thousand less than the next best quote I found. She also facilitated the buying process and any potential haggling at the dealership. I absolutely recommend using this service to ease the pain of car shopping in this environment!

Warren (not verified)    August 29, 2021 - 9:29AM

Hi Jeff. I really enjoy reading your column. My wife bought a RAV4 hybrid XLE premium at the end of January for $ 32,300 on the road . My car was totaled in late July and couldn’t find an XLE premium for me so, put a deposit down on an XE prime and when I realized that it would cost $46,000 on the road with much less equipment than the XLE premium and ,would have to wait so,,decided to purchase a used car from an acquaintance. I would get a $7500 tax credit but would need to wait for that and my car payment would not decrease even if I applied it to the loan . So, I hope my used car works at least until this market cools ,then I will decide what to do. I drove by the dealership and saw it parked in the front line and got a bit upset until I remembered I just saved $32,000 buying a used car.

Ithichai O (not verified)    September 13, 2021 - 10:29AM

I went to check or RAV4 XLE hybrid at dealer in Tyson corner area after talk with sale person. End up they add $10k above MSRP which is ridiculous.

Karen Simonetti (not verified)    October 13, 2021 - 8:33AM

I ordered a 2021 Rav4 Adventure in Blue Flame with Ice Edge Roof late August. The dealership is now telling me I have to wait 6 to 8 months. They also told me that the more common colors are produced first.

jess (not verified)    December 1, 2021 - 2:02PM

I ordered a Luner Rock RAV4 XLE on September 14th, and I was told 2-3 months. I got a call a week or so ago & he said he still had no idea when it would be built and offered me my deposit back. I said that taking it back kinda defeats the whole point of me already waiting 2 months. So still just a waiting game..

Merlin Valencia (not verified)    December 1, 2021 - 10:56PM

Saw a white Rav4 Prime SE exact model as mine priced at $41k with $8000 markup Stvens Creek Toyota