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The Key Secret to Buying a Toyota RAV4 Prime in a Different State

Owners share their stories of purchasing Toyota RAV4 Prime out of state. Interesting stories.

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One of the hottest vehicles in the entire United States is Toyota RAV4 Prime.

An extension of the red-hot RAV4 family, RAV4 Prime has all the stats that appeal to a wide audience. Speed, comfort, and great at the gas pump (well, and at the electric charging station).

Imagine a Toyota RAV4, but with 302 horsepower, a 0-60 time of just 5.7 seconds, fuel efficiency of 94MPGe (gasoline + electricity combined), and 42 miles of electric driving range.

All that sounds great, right? Well, the problem is, they are incredibly challenging to find.

2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime Supersonic Red profile view front end

Demand for RAV4 Prime is high. In fact, “The Prime” outsold all other battery electric vehicles in 2021. People in the market for a 2022 RAV4 Prime have been challenged to track down and lock down one of their own.

Especially in their own states.

ZEV States and RAV4 Prime Sales

A majority of RAV4 Prime vehicles are shipped to and sold in what are referred to as ZEV states – Zero Emission Vehicle states. These states comply with established green vehicle mandates and standards and are thus rewarded with more of these types of electrified cars, trucks, and SUVs.

If you have been searching for a 2022 RAV4 Prime in the past few months you may recognize state names like Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, California, Colorado, Oregon, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, and Vermont.

More states will attain the status of a ZEV state in the coming years, but for now, these are the states you may wish to focus on for your RAV4 Prime search.

“Can’t find a 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime in Utah? Check with Oregon Toyota dealerships.”

Scenarios like this play out in prospective owner minds each and every day.

Owners comment on 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime Supersonic Red profile view front end

But how easy is it to purchase a RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, or RAV4 Prime out of state? Generally, the most difficult step is finding one in the first place. It may take calling (or emailing) multiple dealers to see what allocations they have incoming that have not already been reserved. Or putting your name on a waiting list with a deposit, etc.

I checked in with the Facebook fan forum “Official Toyota RAV4 Prime Group” to learn about their experiences with out of state RAV4 Prime purchases.

Interesting to say the least.

Kodlee commented. “Bought mine from CT and had it shipped to WA. It's not a problem at all. You just need to find a dealership willing to sell out of state. Also, you pay taxes ONLY in the state you register the vehicle. Dealership may or may not try to estimate those taxes for you if they do the registration for you. (Note I purchased mine in Feb, so your story might be different). 5k+ markups on the west coast vs $2.2k for shipping + 0 markup from the east coast. It was a no brainer for me.”

Peter had good luck in his RAV4 Prime search. “I bought mine out-of-state: flew in, paid MSRP, drove home.”

“I bought mine last fall from a dealership in Maryland, flew up and drove it back to Florida. My brother tried to buy one a couple of months later and they no longer allow sales except to locals.” Added Jack.

More Toyota RAV4 Prime comments
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime Supersonic Red profile view back end rear end

“It’s becoming rare to have vehicles be sold across states. You’re going to have to make calls - focus on the 12 ZEV states - being that FL is not one of them.” Described Phil.

Noe had solid advice. “Search the forum, lots of threads talking about out of state purchases. Be warned this has gotten much harder as many dealers now only sell locally or charge much more markup for non-local purchases. As you know tax credit gets cut in half in a couple months so inventory on any prime will be super scarce.”

Joe put in research time and was rewarded. “Well, those of you who live in Northern California I recommend that you buy out of state. It’s crazy the mark ups here and if you go out of state there’s very little if any markup on purchasing a prime. I purchased mine in Portland Maine. After calling around to Many dealers and emailing I secured a vehicle this morning.”

“In August of 2021 I was able to purchase my RAV4 Prime for MSRP from out of state. My strategy focused on contacting dealers with large allocations of primes.” Good strategy Darrell.

Lance had an interesting story to share. “As Washington residents, we had to go out of state to get one. Fortunately, we found the color we wanted at a price we could live with after hounding various dealers to "let" us buy one. Had to pay for dealer add-ons we didn't really want, but at least we got something for our markup.”

Time for Your 2022 RAV4 Prime Comments

Based on these new Toyota RAV4 owner comments, it looks like several techniques have come into play. You may need to contact several dealerships to find the right one that is a good fit for you and who has the ideal vehicle you want.

The key to success is communication and transparency going both ways – and a mutually beneficial relationship between seller and buyer is hopefully the end result.

Let me know your stories about your search for the perfect RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, or RAV4 Prime.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story.

Jeff Teague - I have been involved in the auto industry for nearly 20 years.I enjoy learning and sharing the most up-to-date news and information. My other talent is creating informative and entertaining automotive videos. I’ve been building and growing my Toyota YouTube channel “Toyotajeff” for the last 5 years. I take pride in delivering informative automotive news, how-to information, and reviews. My background serves me well with my writing. I hope you enjoy the news I bring you. Follow me on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and send me news tips please.

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Al T (not verified)    July 26, 2022 - 12:27AM

Purchased 2022 in MA shipped it to WA. Was going to have to pay 8k markup in OR since they are not sold in WA. Paid 2k markup in MA, 2k shipping. Had family on the ground in MA to facilitate the deal and was able to use an in state address. Now Reregistering in WA and paying the difference in taxes (not more just the difference). Insurance can be tricky if your insurer won’t cover certain states

Laura-Ann Charlot (not verified)    November 19, 2022 - 7:23AM

I've been trying to find an SE without the glass roof option for nearly 18 months, and they are pretty much unobtanium. 90% of the Primes that come off the boat are XSE's with the glass roof standard, and I hate cars with glass roofs. They inevitably start leaking rainwater after 3 or 4 years when the rubber seals dry out, and that glass roof gives the XSE about 2.7" less headroom above the driver's seat than a Prime SE without the glass roof would have, if I could only find one!

Ann (not verified)    April 11, 2023 - 5:14PM

You are incorrect about finding them in Colorado too. Can’t find…wait list is 6 mo long or longer