What Fees Should I Pay the Car Dealer?

When buying a car from a dealership, most of us focus only
on the price.  We may spend countless hours negotiating the price of the car with the salesperson and once there is agreement, we feel a sense of relief that the worst is over.

Unfortunately, that’s the time that the dealer can swoop in and make some more obscene profit on you, the unsuspecting car buyer.  Think about it.  You’ve haggled the price of the car that’s worth many thousands of dollars so now what’s a couple of hundred here and there?

The Finance Manager (a.k.a. another salesperson) is set up to hit you with these fees as soon a you get into there office.  They will make you feel comfortable and they may ask you if you’re relieved now that the big negotiation is over.

They’ll also get you excited about having bought the car and remind you that you’re just minutes away from driving away in your new vehicle!

Don’t let your guard down too early though!  Make sure that you remain alert and get ready to fight another battle for useless fees that are really add-on profit makers for the dealership.

If the dealer tries to charge an Auto Prep fee on a new car, how much  preparation do they have to do?
Take the plastic protection off of the seats?  Fill the car with gas?  Enough is enough!  Say no to the Auto Prep. fee.

Are there other fees that don’t look right to you like a marketing fee or advertising fee?  Why should you pay for the dealerships marketing and sales expenses?  That’s right; you shouldn’t!

You’re buying the car from them and they’re certainly making a profit, but other expenses shouldn’t be paid by you.  The profit that they make on all of their car
sales should pay for their expenses.

Do you pay an extra fee when you buy a cup of coffee at a coffee shop or convenience store? Probably yes, but it’s part of the price of the coffee.  The store doesn’t charge you for the coffee and then charge you separately for their advertising expenses.

The only legitimate fees you should pay is a destination fee (which the dealership pays) and that’s about it.  Feel free to argue and ask for explanations
for any other fees that they try to charge during the purchase.

If they insist that you pay it, threaten to tear up the paperwork and move on to the next dealership and see what they do.  My bet is that they rescind the request and will be happy to be making a profit from the sale of the car itself.

———————————————————————————————Is the dealer trying to charge you too much for the car or add on unreasonable fees?  Contact me at ProAutoBuying.com and we’ll fight them for the best price and no unreasonable fees.


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6 Responses to What Fees Should I Pay the Car Dealer?

  1. erik turner says:

    The car is a 2012 mustang gt base model, the dealership is fritts ford of riverside ca, (951)687-2121, they say they’ll sale the car to me for 25’806.00 plus tax and fees, so the out the door price would be 28,860.00, I ask them to breakdown the fees for me and they seemed a little hesitant to do so, here’s the breakdown, sale price $28806.00 8.75 tire fee $55 doc fee $320 license fee $10.00 county fee $2,52525.34 taxes totals$31,852-3000 rebate $28,852.09, I feel this is a little too much for this car, and county fees, I’ve never heard of this , can you help.

    • Administrator says:

      Hi Erik,

      Without looking into the price of the car, the fees don’t seem too excessive. The tire fee is a CA regulation on new cars and $55 for a doc fee is really cheap compared to other parts of the country. The license fee is in line with what I remember and I don’t know what a county fee is, but for $10, I wouldn’t sweat it.
      You can probably find these fees somewhere here: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/. Good luck.

  2. Glenn says:

    I just purchased a 2011 Mercedes C300 from a local, well known dealership. The price negotiated was $27,688 minus my trade in of a 2008 Toyota Tacoma of $17,688.
    I consented to the deal based on paying the $10,000 difference plus tax and title. Once inside the finance office I noticed a fee that seemed to be out of line. The finance manager stated that was part of the tax and title ($599 preprinted on the “Retail Buyers Order”) and that they charged that fee on all of their car sales. I signed the document and drove off in my new ride. I was feeling uncomfortable about the “fee” that was brushed over by the finance manager and took a better look at the document. The fee is called a “Retail Delivery Fee” and was added to the tax and title fee. Since I have already signed the document, what, if anything, can I do to get this fee reversed. Again, I was told by the salesman that we had a deal if I would pay the $10,000 plus tax and title (no mention of the added $599 “Retail Delivery Fee”.

    • Administrator says:

      Hi Glenn,

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner.
      I’m not sure you have any recourse at this point and it does sound like it’s pure profit for the dealership.

      You could ask for a more in depth expalantion of the fee and if it’s at all made up of any legitimate fees.
      If you’re not happy with the explanation, you could ask for some free service credits like free oil changes, etc.

      Finally, you could check with your local attorney general’s office to see if there have been any other complaints against the dealership.
      It sounds like they are charging all of their customers this fee so at least it’s not something that they just asked you to pay.

      Let me know what you decide to do.


  3. Latasha says:

    I am buying a2004 gmc Yukon fully loaded. I talked him down to 8500.00. State tax is 6.000 $524.94
    County tax is 1.000 $50.00
    Doc Fee $249.00
    Title Fee $400.00
    Sale, Warranty, Title Fees $649.00
    Total $9,723.94???

    • Administrator says:

      Hi Latasha,

      All good, but I’m not sure the title fee is appropriate. I would ask for clarity as to where the $400 figure comes from.


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