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What "fees" do I have to pay a dealer to buy a new car?

jmrtsus

Senior Member
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#1
The answer is simple, you pay shipping that is already on the window sticker. That is in general the only fees you are required to pay. We are talking the MSRP factory sticker. Not a dealer added sticker next to it. If the dealer has an added sticker then you need to do two things, get in your car, and drive away. That dealer has already made the public announcement they will rape and murder you. When you find a dealer without the "additional profit" sticker you are at the right dealership to negotiate. Don't waste gas, find that dealer online.

A dealers biggest money maker fee is the "DOC" fee. Does your grocery store require you to pay for a receipt? NO! A dealer is required by law to provide all the documents for you to register your car...at no charge. They will charge you taxes and acquire your tag and title for you for a fee. That fee is totally negotiable. Some states limit by law to as low as $75. Totally unregulated states like GA, FL and NC are where dealers try to get as much as $1000 for that service. You do not have to pay that even though the dealer will tell you all buyers pay it. LIE! This is why they give you such a great price on the car......they add fees to the cost for additional profit.

Advertising Fees......does your grocery make you pay for advertising? Of course not. Any business pays for advertising, that is part of their overhead, not a fee to charge the customer. Another of the fees they will tell you you have to pay......you don't!

Other fees.......this is where they get creative. I have seen; Taxable fees, Non-Taxable fees, Admin. Fees, Tire fees, Government fees, mandatory options, fuel fees and local fees. All Bullshit!

Fees are a dealers favorite way to give you a big "discounts" on the car price then add in fees for profit.

The next shark at the dealer, the "finance" person.

First if you are getting your own financing or paying cash you can basically bypass this shark by writing the check in the salesman's office when you agree on a price. Then in the sharks office just keep saying no until they hand you your papers. Better if you have a certified check from your bank, can't be modified. Never take a check book to a car dealer.......take a filled out single check.

The "finance" folks do your final paper work once you have agreed on a price. They are also a profit center for the dealer. Their games are screwing you on the interest rate, selling "Gap" insurance you do not need, trying to sell you extended service contracts and financing them for 7 years. Will also try to clip you for etched windows, nitrogen in your tires, car insurance, paint sealant, upholstery guard, alarm systems and anything else to add to profit and financing. They will even try to charge you for preparing your loan papers if they can get it.

So what do you do about all this silliness? Just say no! Demand an out the door price and compare that to online dealers prices. You will eventually get a competitive price with the real selling price shown with the addition of the profits the dealer wants. Dealer must make a profit or they will close their doors. Your job is to limit their profit and theirs is to maximize it. SHOP AROUND. I use the internet to win the buying battles, A dealer will not see me in person until I show up on delivery day. Expand out of your local dealer area. Our new Mustang was in FL and we are in TN. My ST came from GA, my daughters car was in IL and my Ex's Escape was in TX. All of these deals saved way over the cost of picking up the car compared to local dealers. Many dealers do not want to sell online and others cater to online sales. My closest Ford dealer does not do any real pricing unless you go in person to the dealer, they lost my ST sale 3 years ago and our new Mustang sale because they only do high pressure in person sales, they have zero interest in competitive pricing. They are trained to sell from stock and close today so internet sales goes against their sales policies. They could care less what you want, it is about what they want to sell you. These are the places to stay away from. You will get better online service from a dealer that has many stores and has people that specialize in online sales.

Don't fight with a dealer over fees.......ignore them, don't engage in conversations about them. Get your OTD price to shop. The fees are red herrings to raise prices.......all that matters is what the dealer wants on the bottom line, it does not matter what the paperwork says between the lines, most is just bogus numbers. Most car buyers get ripped on "fees". When you argue about fees they have won, they will give in on one fee to get you to pay the others. DON'T take the bait. BOTTOM LINE is what matters not the fairy tale in between the MSRP and the write a check OTD price. All made up numbers to deal with so do not deal with them!

Battle preparation

Prepare before ever stepping into a battleground known as the dealer, when you walk in the door you are a "new fish" to be hooked, gutted and eaten. Do not fight a buying battle on your opponents home ground. I know of many dealers with offices bugged legally listening to your conversations when you think you are alone. In many states it is legal if ONE party is aware, not both. Take your conversation with your spouse OUTSIDE! Be prepared to talk to three different people and get three different prices. First price is their dream price, second will be a slightly lower "cut to the bone" price and the third or forth will come AFTER you walk away. Know what the dealer paid for the car buy looking up invoice prices, have your financing taken care of so you are not at the mercy of the dealer and shop prices online to win the price battle. Do not EVER think the Salesperson, Sales Manager or Finance person is your friend. The are smiling thiefs. And ALWAYS check their math.....amazing how many overestimate taxes are charged or "mistakes" in math. Verify what the taxes are with your County/Parish offices. Do not get rushed, it takes me a good 5 -7 days to get to my price and financing. I don't claim to be an expert, I bought my first new car 46 years ago and well over 20 since then. I have sold used cars and all three older brothers were new car salesmen or Managers. I have also purchased 4 new Fords in 3 years. I have made some bad deals like paying sticker twice because I was in love with a car. I have been "double dipped", financed both a car and down payment. Double taxed, double shipping, and paid way to much in "fees". I now steal cars compared to what others pay. One other tip for buying out of town, get a pic of the odometer the minute you make a deal. Sold cars are often used by staff. I don't want a salesman trying the Track mode on my new car!

If you feel lost or don't understand part of the buying process PM me, I may can help you not make the many mistakes I have made over the years. But buying a car is a time consuming process if price is important so be prepared to fight to get your best deal. It is not fighting dirty to know the answers before you ask the questions.

And when the salesman tells you he works for you to get the best price give him a proper Southern response of "Bless your heart". Which translated means "you lying sack of shit!"[wrenchin]

BTW, if you are in need of a car quickly and HAVE to walk into a dealer here are a few tips.

Never walk up to the car you want, let the sales staff show you what they want to sell.

When you do approach a car you want find problems with it. Wrong color, wrong options are good. Let them know you would settle for it at the right price.

When you test drive the car do not take the sales person to listen to what you and your S.O. are talking about. If they say no.........leave! You will be expected to provide a D.L. and proof of insurance usually.

If you like the car when you return then start looking at cheaper cars to send message price is too high.

Get a first price on the car you want then walk away with pricing in writing.

Go to another dealer, hand them the paperwork and ask them to beat it.

Take the better price back and get their next price. Wash, rinse and repeat till one drops out.

Buy car, that is probably the best you can do in a few days. If you have 3 dealers local do all three. Don't let the Finance shark take a bite out of you!
 

Clint Beastwood

1000 Post Club
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#2
Anywhere they won't budge in price you can usually negotiate for other things, like free stuff for the car, 3 years worth of oil changes, car washes, stuff like that. I negotiate hard, then when the price is all set and done and no more discounts are on the table I start pushing for free throw-ins. I've gotten extended warranties worked into the price of the car (it's a service so it's non taxable, ultimately lower purchase price), a free set of tires, free tinting, 6 free detailings (not at the dealership, but at a detail shop they contract with), from VW a full set of their all weather "monster mats" (which are REALLY nice!) and a set of rear hatch velcro cargo blocks (amazingly useful!). Anything they throw in that is service only should be tax free (here in CA at least). Nontaxable items make for a lower overall purchase price. I also bring my own financing (or in the case of the FiST I was ready to pay cash) and got discounts for financing through the dealership (at 0%), competitive pricing from other dealers, and I usually use USAA's car buying service, as it does 90% of the negotiating for me. I like the negotiation process, it's fun and if you encounter a "no", it's exciting to find an alternate route to get to a "yes". I also have never selected the color of a new car, I've always just bought what was available, after making a big deal of how much I dislike whatever color they had in stock. One of the biggest discounts I ever got was for buying two cars at once, I kept switching negotiation between the two and they made a mistake (gave me the cash-back offer on both purchases instead of one per customer), by the time the finance guy noticed the error I had been there for 6 hours and they decided to let it ride. One oddity I have noticed is that if they see you have money, they fight you less on the negotiation. If you go in looking broke (or in sweatpants and flipflops, not my proudest moment) they were much less willing to deal than when I went in full office battle-dress (lol suit and tie).
 
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Location
Naples
#3
Dealer fees and taxes vary from state to state and dealership to dealership. Some charge no fee and I have seen it as high as $1100 just for you to buy a car from them. Then there are other "doc" fees, registration and taxes also- some paid at the time of purchase, some paid at a later date, like Excise tax.

It's a very good idea to check with the dealership their standard fee before you buy. The dealer fees in Florida- at least South Florida seem to be huge compared to where I used to live in Massachusetts.
 
OP
jmrtsus

jmrtsus

Senior Member
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Ooltewah
Thread Starter #4
Anywhere they won't budge in price you can usually negotiate for other things, like free stuff for the car, 3 years worth of oil changes, car washes, stuff like that. I negotiate hard, then when the price is all set and done and no more discounts are on the table I start pushing for free throw-ins. I've gotten extended warranties worked into the price of the car (it's a service so it's non taxable, ultimately lower purchase price), a free set of tires, free tinting, 6 free detailings (not at the dealership, but at a detail shop they contract with), from VW a full set of their all weather "monster mats" (which are REALLY nice!) and a set of rear hatch velcro cargo blocks (amazingly useful!). Anything they throw in that is service only should be tax free (here in CA at least). Nontaxable items make for a lower overall purchase price. I also bring my own financing (or in the case of the FiST I was ready to pay cash) and got discounts for financing through the dealership (at 0%), competitive pricing from other dealers, and I usually use USAA's car buying service, as it does 90% of the negotiating for me. I like the negotiation process, it's fun and if you encounter a "no", it's exciting to find an alternate route to get to a "yes". I also have never selected the color of a new car, I've always just bought what was available, after making a big deal of how much I dislike whatever color they had in stock. One of the biggest discounts I ever got was for buying two cars at once, I kept switching negotiation between the two and they made a mistake (gave me the cash-back offer on both purchases instead of one per customer), by the time the finance guy noticed the error I had been there for 6 hours and they decided to let it ride. One oddity I have noticed is that if they see you have money, they fight you less on the negotiation. If you go in looking broke (or in sweatpants and flipflops, not my proudest moment) they were much less willing to deal than when I went in full office battle-dress (lol suit and tie).
I like your approach......but the first time a dealer sees me the deal is done already. I could care less what I look like!
 
OP
jmrtsus

jmrtsus

Senior Member
Messages
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414
Location
Ooltewah
Thread Starter #5
Dealer fees and taxes vary from state to state and dealership to dealership. Some charge no fee and I have seen it as high as $1100 just for you to buy a car from them. Then there are other "doc" fees, registration and taxes also- some paid at the time of purchase, some paid at a later date, like Excise tax.

It's a very good idea to check with the dealership their standard fee before you buy. The dealer fees in Florida- at least South Florida seem to be huge compared to where I used to live in Massachusetts.
Better yet don't pay them...no reason to pay them. The dealer cons you with your "standard" you keep saying. There are no "standard" doc fees, even the states that limit the amount charged by law do not require them, just how much they can charge. If you buy the "standard" you have lost already, these fees are pure profit. The bottom line is what you pay for the car. If you buy the "standard" routine you must also recognize the price they are telling you you are buying the car for is just a bogus made up number. If you buy a $30K car but pay $2K in fees you paid $32K for the car not $30K. You finance $32K not $30K. So if you do not fight these fees you are doing what the dealer counts on.....paying them extra profits. According to an article I read a few years ago most buyers also buy into the "standard" routine as a normal charge to buy a car. Sad.
 


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