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Chip Shortage Woes: Buyers Share their Wild Stories Trying to Buy 2021 Toyota RAV4 and Other Models

Buyers are sharing their crazy experiences buying their 2021 RAV4 and other popular models. You may not believe this.


I made a video yesterday for my “Toyotajeff” YouTube channel that details the ongoing vehicle shortage. This is due primarily to the “across-most-brands” computer chip shortage and some other factors.

I also gave practical tips and suggestions that might assist buyers as they search for the perfect car for them and their families.

Buyers have been finding noticeably smaller inventories at their dealerships. Not only in this country, but in others as well. This includes shortages of Toyota RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, 4Runner, Tacoma, Tundra and other popular models.

The comments people left about the lengths they have been going to so they can buy a vehicle moved me so much that I had to share their tales.

Toyota RAV4 and other purchase stories

2021 Toyota RAV4 Limited Blueprint color profile view

These are comments and opinions from people searching for a 2021 Toyota RAV4 and other models.

Michele told her frustrating tale. “My dealer told me I could not order a car nor request one. They had no idea what was coming in. I asked them where on the east coast was the car I was looking for. They said the car I was looking for was in Roanoke Va. I live in Philadelphia. They would not ship it to me. I drove to Roanoke to pick up the car and trade my old car in. Now there are no deals for me at my local Toyota dealer.”

That is wild Michele. Good for you for the 379 mile drive each way. That is certainly one way to get what you want.

Tiffany commented sadly. “Went last week to test drive a RAV4 XLE. Left because they only had 2 RAV4 and not the trim I wanted. Bummer.”

RELATED VIDEO: I discuss the chip shortage and offer suggestions and tips for buying vehicles at this time.

Carbonunit lamented. “I have been shopping for a new 4runner but all the dealers are charging MSRP so that cancels my crazy good trade in value, so I’m going to take a rain check and wait for the lots to fill back up. probably looking for the 2022s to roll in.”

Riverwalker1 has an uncertain buying time frame. “I'm from Alberta, Canada and I'm on the list for a 2021 4Runner TRD Pro - absolutely no clue when it will arrive haha.”

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Super White front end

“If you order a vehicle then most likely you will be paying full MSRP. You have little to no negotiation power so will pay more. That’s good for dealerships who are selling fewer vehicles but will make more profit with each one sold.” Dozier shared their impressions on the vehicle shortage.

Ag is looking but not finding. “My local Toyota normally has 300 on lot (but) they're at a little over 100. Looking at Camry xse and accord sport SE. Honda not offering anything good and I can't find a xse with red seats windchill pearl and local dealer can't get it.”

“6-month wait for 2021 4Runner Trail - that’s what dealer told me also they may cancel my order.” Shared xiangyu.

Juan Carlos is also having a challenge finding the right Highlander. “Here in Puerto Rico, we are having the same problem. Looking for a Moon Dust XLE Highlander and they are very very short on inventory.”

Kat commented. “This video is perfect timing! My local Toyota dealer can’t find the Prius LE awd for me in electric storm blue and is pushing me to to either take a different color or the 2wd. He said he searched 300 miles out and couldn’t find one, but I found one at another dealership that is certainly closer than that. He said it’s in freight and he will try and see if they’ll give it to us once it comes in.”

“Great Video!!! I went to Fred Anderson (Toyota in Raleigh NC) about a month ago and placed an order for a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro magnetic gray metallic with some accessories. I just got a call the other day, said it would be the end of June before I get it. I don’t mind the wait and you do have to be patient if that’s what you want.” Offered Jason.

sdivikixjkhviud feels a little relieved over not feeling like the only one in this boat. “Thank you!! I am going thru this process now and felt like maybe I am missing something, but you have reassured me it’s the same process! :)”

2021 RAV4 and other inventory impressions

Toyota truck delivery

And, of course, there are those who are looking at dealer inventories but not necessarily buying right now.

“Not a single RAV4 or RAV4 Hybrid at the two Toyota lots in my city.” Said Cindy.

“Yeah. My local Toyota dealer has not a single tundra on the lot.” Said Vipper Nation.

Charles suggested. “You are better off if you can hold off buying a car truck or SUV. There are no good deals to be had!!! Their supplies are limited and have very undesirable ones. I live close to a large Toyota dealership and they had very little of anything and the ones they have are basic trim models.”

Kelli gave more insight. “My husband works for a used dealership and they’re having to get creative to fill their lot. We’re in west KY. They’re focusing advertising to the community right now that they’re buying local vehicles because buying from auction has gotten crazy.”

Compliments for my YouTube channel

2021 Toyota Corolla Barcelona Red Black Sand Pearl Super White profile view

I find it so nice that people leave me comments about enjoying my YouTube channel. I am so glad folks find my content entertaining and helpful.

John said. “Hi Jeff love your jokes and channel. I tried buying a rav4 hybrid in Los Angeles dealer asked $5k markup wow.”

Kiss Kiss had some good obvervations on the chip shortage. “Glad you made a video about this, Jeff. Remember that because of the Pandemic, used cars prices are through the ROOF!! Therefore, people are more likely to buy new cars... BUT without "chips" the supply is not meeting this demand. As you just mentioned, Jeff.”

Brian has a great story to tell. “This is an awesome video and Deja vu for me! I just experienced this. I live in Canada and I decided I want a Rav4 Limited. The dealer here had none, and also the plant in Ontario was closed for a while because of covid. I ordered one 2 days ago and it could take up to 2 months but likely sooner. I'm also getting more from my trade in than I expected and now I know why. A positive thing is I got to choose the exact color I want, blueprint with a beige interior.

I love your videos and they helped me a lot in choosing the vehicle that I'm buying. There are a few subtle differences in the Rav4 between Canada and the USA but overall, the information was valuable in helping choose. Thank you!!”

“This was very informational! I’m looking to trade my rav4 in before august when my lease is up and have been having a hard time finding what I want. I’m in CA and the dealership I usually go to has a huge shortage. This explains why. Thanks for the videos!!” Said Betty.

Time for your Toyota RAV4 and shortage comments

Thanks everyone for reading my story.

Do you have a comment about the chip shortage and vehicle shortage to share? Have you had luck finding the perfect RAV4 or another Toyota?

See you next story when I discuss the potential 2022 Toyota TRD Pro color - yellow. By the way, see what gasoline shortage leads to, and please follow us on Twitter.

Follow Jeff Teague on social media:

- My website
- My Torque News / Toyota News column
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Thank you everyone for following me.


Tracy Smith (not verified)    May 14, 2021 - 11:48AM

We know first-hand about this situation. We looked at all over Western Washington for a 2021 RAV4 Adventure model in Lunar Rock paint. My wife started to become more and more emotionally invested in this with the more time spent looking. It turned into weeks and her search started taking her further and further. Then she hit 3 matches. One in Tallahassee another in Chapel Hill and a third in Dry Ridge Kentucky at Marshall Toyota. Within 24 hrs of finally finding the one she wanted we were boarding a Seattle plane bound for Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport and taking a Lyft the last 40 miles to Dry Ridge. I was nervous about being so vunerable to any sales tactics but it worked out great and had an epic road trip home.

Cary (not verified)    May 14, 2021 - 12:05PM

I purchased a RAV 20 in Early, TX one month ago and got 2500 off and a 1250.00 cash back and financed w/Toyota. Ash to not put 3rd party vender warrentys on contract but when I got home it was added on the 3 ft contract I signed anyway. 4K dollars plus interest. When I went back to get it corrected they said sorry we already got our money from Toyota. Buyer Beware if Bruner Toyota of Early Texas!

Joe (not verified)    May 14, 2021 - 4:38PM

I'm done with Toyota for a while and the difficulty with buying one now is the icing on the cake. I wanted the RAV4 Prime but gave up when they said limited quantities would be made, went to RAV4 Hybrid and the option packages changed for the worse in 2021 and all were $2k above sticker, and I am reminded how our 2007 Prius consumes oil thanks to substandard oil rings in that year, how the AC slow leak is unfixable, how the clear coat flaked off, how the touchscreen's solder joints cracked so the it "no worky", and how we had the thing religiously serviced by the trained dealer the entire time paying $$$$$. And here I was worried about the hybrid battery back in 2007. Sorry Toyota, you're rested on your laurels too long. I would happily buy something else that gets slightly less mileage, less warranty, and less buyers remorse.

Bill W. (not verified)    May 14, 2021 - 5:02PM

Looking for a RAV4 Prime in XSE trim in greater Boston area. None to be found. Dealers have the odd SE white models but nobody will let me test drive! One dealer said I could test drive "after we agree on numbers". Why should I have to endure a car purchase negotiation which is about as fun as a root canal if I can't even take the car for a spin to see if I like it first? Insane.

Jackee (not verified)    May 14, 2021 - 8:50PM

Here's how our Rav4 XLE Hybrid buying experience has gone so far:

Want to buy: 2019-2021 Rav4 Hybrid XLE in Lunar Rock. Going to be our beloved Element replacement.

Quickly realized: Used units are going for higher than brand new MSRP

New plan: Order new for MSRP (~31,500) exactly as we want, either base or $1500 added option we prefer. Either way we'll take it.

Local Dealer #1 - "Toyota is not making XLE Hybrid trim anymore, we have to bump you up to Premium." Sends Premium Hybrid spec sheet with $3200 options we did not want. Told it would be tough to get without any add ons. Total before taxes/dealer fees ~37k.

Local Dealer #2 - Ask for XLE Hybrid, told they can build it for us no prob (although Toyota isn't making this trim anymore according to Dealer 1). Sends spec sheet with ~$3800 in options we did not want. Told car couldn't be ordered without it, no budging.

Dealer #3, about an hour away - Ask for XLE Hybrid, tries to sell us on non hybrid in different color. We tell them XLE Hybrid or nothing, back and forth with specing a build with options we do not want. Almost two hours later our patience runs out and we tell them we're leaving. At this point, they decide they can submit order how we want, as a matter of fact will do one completely base and one with options we want in case Toyota doesn't accept the optioned order we want. Didn't want/need to take a deposit. Told it would be a month before we hear if Toyota accepts the orders, so we are waiting now.

We're aware there is a 2-6 month wait currently, and don't mind that part. Just want it how we want it. Why else would Toyota offer options if you can't build it the way you want.

Kat (not verified)    May 15, 2021 - 7:51PM

In reply to by Jackee (not verified)

I have an almost identical story. I’m also trading in an Element and want the Rav 4 hybrid in Lunar Rock. A dealership in San Diego said they had one coming in 2 months that had extras I didn’t want but I was willing to wait and make a deal. They called me within an hour of getting it and when I got there they had added $6900 to the MSRP because it was in high demand. I had several choice words for them and was so disappointed and upset and left without the car wondering who would pay that!

Tom (not verified)    May 15, 2021 - 4:50AM

I just purchased a Toyota Venza hybrid which is a step up from a Rav 4. The dealership had them in stock and was ready to deal. The Venza also had a $1,750 rebate from Toyota. The car was equipped and rode like a Lexus. Very glad I expanded my options.

Jim C (not verified)    May 15, 2021 - 9:44AM

First off, love the videos Jeff (which is also my brother's name & he's a mechanic), especially the ones about the Tacomas which I am currently in the market for. Anyways, I have been wanting to buy a Toyota 4x4 Pickup (yes, Pickup for all you younger folks) since I was in high school back in 1989 (some of you probably weren't even born yet). Tan with brown stripes with the XtraCab. But life & family happened & this particular vehicle eluded me. I've had many Toyotas from Corollas, to supercharged MR2's to my current Prius. The closest I ever got to a Pickup was a 2000 4Runner which is still in the family but have sinced passed it on to my son & daughter-in-law. I am now over 50 & getting very close to retirement, so with the urging of my closes friends, family & wife (whom I drove nuts talking about it day in and day out), I decided to get myself my Toyota Pickup (now known as a Tacoma) so I started looking. I knew I had missed out on the Quicksand color (my favorite) so now I am trying to get one in Army Green. So I started my journey by emailing 3 dealerships in my area. They promptly responded by saying they could not offer me any incentives or get me one due to the chip shortage & high demand. It was very disappointing. But fortunately I had a back-up. I have a good friend who works as a fleet manager at another Toyota dealership & decided to see if he was still available & fortunately he still was. I have bought 4 Toyotas from him in the past (including the 4Runner) & he was always a straight shooter & even with the current chip crisis, he was. He told me "yes, it was going to be tough to get one....but it doesn't mean we can't try." He was the only one to give me any hope. So he told me to do a build & email him with it & he would do his best to get me one, which I am now waiting for....a 4x4 Tacoma Double Cab SR5 Trail Edition or TRD Sport/Off Road in Army Green. I didn't even need to give him a deposit. Which makes the wait even better. I am willing to wait 6 months, even a year if I have to. Like I told my friend, "I already waited 32 years, what's another 6 months or year?" Good things come to those who wait & I know that this will be totally worth the wait when I finally get it. Good luck to you all!

Jerry Wu (not verified)    June 7, 2021 - 4:09AM

Been trying to buy a 2021 sienna platinum or a 2021 LX570

Dealer here in SF bat area wants $4000 above MSRP on a $54K minivan

There are a total of 6 LX570 in entire California.

This is beyond bad.

California MIke (not verified)    September 28, 2021 - 5:04PM

I sell Toyotas in San Antonio, TX. As I've explained to a lot of my customers, they're estimating the chip shortage to end in late 2023. Also, when the inventory issues adjust, the extra value in trades are going to landslide back down, evening out any savings you will receive. Also, naturally vehicles go up in value quarterly. The Rav4 LE started off with a post delivery MSRP of $25,995 in 2019 when the new model came out, now you can't find an LE under $28,000. I've had nothing but no brainer MSRP deals for customers I used to sell vehicles to at net zero. It's easy to realize there's no discounts when you're getting what you paid for or close on your trade. Visit if you would like a no nonsense car deal.