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What Car Buying Fees Should You Pay?


hegemony
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Don't know what they're calling a "Destination Charge" that covers other expenses, but at least with Ford/Honda/Acura that's just wrong.  That's what the dealership is charged by the manufacturer for shipping the vehicle to them, and is already covered in the MSRP.  And most of those things...frankly, you should read your contracts, period, and know what you're signing.  Use common sense in all cases.  If you don't know what something is on a contract, and you're signing that you are paying for it, freakin' ASK.  You always have the power to walk away.

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8 hours ago, Zanshiro said:

Don't know what they're calling a "Destination Charge" that covers other expenses, but at least with Ford/Honda/Acura that's just wrong.  That's what the dealership is charged by the manufacturer for shipping the vehicle to them, and is already covered in the MSRP.  And most of those things...frankly, you should read your contracts, period, and know what you're signing.  Use common sense in all cases.  If you don't know what something is on a contract, and you're signing that you are paying for it, freakin' ASK.  You always have the power to walk away.

Agree, those who are uninformed and refuse to educate themselves deserve the outcome they receive.  All of those so-called fees can be negotiated, maybe not directly but indirectly.  OK, so you want to charge me a $600 doc fee.  That's fine, lower the price of the car by $600.  At the end of the day it doesn't matter how you arrange the numbers to get to the bottom line, it is the bottom line price that matters.

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Worst I can remember seeing is when the "Market Adjustment Fee' reared its ugly head...first time I remember seeing it was when the Miata first hit the lots.  That was also the first time I experienced a dealership demanding a non-refundable down payment just to test drive a car...I rejected both.  I did ultimately acquire one of the early Miatas (Miatae, Miati?) but it was not new...was a numbered special edition, but not new.  Still have it...

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2 hours ago, centex said:

Worst I can remember seeing is when the "Market Adjustment Fee' reared its ugly head...first time I remember seeing it was when the Miata first hit the lots.  That was also the first time I experienced a dealership demanding a non-refundable down payment just to test drive a car...I rejected both.  I did ultimately acquire one of the early Miatas (Miatae, Miati?) but it was not new...was a numbered special edition, but not new.  Still have it...

Like when the BMW i8 came out and dealers were asking for $100K above sticker as a "market adjustment"...and some actually paid it...insane.

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On 12/15/2020 at 5:35 AM, centex said:

Worst I can remember seeing is when the "Market Adjustment Fee' reared its ugly head.

I remember the "ADP" on window stickers that stood for Additional Dealer Profit if you weren't knowledgeable enough to negotiate that off the price.

 

I just bought a new car and when they brought the sales sheet there was a $600 document fee and worse $300 for VSR.  When I asked it is that awful etching of the VIN on the windows.  Yeah, that has to go.  They agreed to remove the charges after I argued that if they were hand filling out paperwork that might support a document fee but in the computer era finance guy was just going to feed forms through a printer and 15 minutes worth of printing didn't support a $3600/hour rate.  The other argument was I was not paying $300 for a service I never asked for and cost them $25 to perform.  Then I sat there until they agreed to remove it.  I gave them 15 minutes to decide.  I knew they would cave.  Sales guy had already taken my plates off my trade and put temporary tags on new car even though we hadn't signed one shred of paperwork yet!  They agreed to drop the fees but when I looked at the new sales sheet the price of the car had mysteriously increased $900 (yeah right) which I balked at.  I stood my ground and stated I am paying the agreed upon sales price for the car minus dealer incentives, my trade, and my down payment, state taxes and legally required fees or I am leaving.  It took another 30 minutes but I prevailed.  If you know how to handle these things you can avoid being abused and taken for a ride figuratively and literally.

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Someone's almost always sadly going to try to tell you that you got screwed on most purchases you make if they can.  Also people have a tendency to inflate the price of their house, and deflate the price they paid for a vehicle, in all my years working in those industries, it's a constant source of amusement.

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3 hours ago, Zanshiro said:

Someone's almost always sadly going to try to tell you that you got screwed on most purchases you make if they can.  Also people have a tendency to inflate the price of their house, and deflate the price they paid for a vehicle, in all my years working in those industries, it's a constant source of amusement.

Braggarts going to brag and wannabees going to put others down. 

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15 hours ago, StarkRaven$ said:

Thanks for this Hege. I literally suffer from so much anxiety when it comes to buying a car because I never know how to circumvent the bulls**t. Afterwards someone is always rubbing it in my face how I got screwed. 

Someone is always going to get a better deal if you look hard enough.  The problem is there are dealership dynamics in play which no one can control and can mean the difference in a dealer going deeper into a discount, even the same dealership on the exact same car.

 

For example, most (maybe even all) dealers have incentives to sell a certain amount of cars in a month.  If you get near month end and they need one or two units to hit those targets, they may be willing to discount the car further to hit the incentives.  There is no way the customer (absent insider info) would know that, and that alone may mean the difference between your deal and the one someone else got.

 

A wise person on another car forum said "you drive the car, not the deal".  If you are comfortable with the deal you got, and you're happy with the car you picked, don't kill yourself over someone else paying something different. (especially because someone may look at your deal with envy because they're paying more).  Do you research, know what MSRP, invoice and available incentives are, scour the forums to see what people are paying pre-incentives, and skip the add-ons in the Finance office.  You do all that and you're going to get a decent deal.

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5 hours ago, CTSoxFan said:

Someone is always going to get a better deal if you look hard enough.  The problem is there are dealership dynamics in play which no one can control and can mean the difference in a dealer going deeper into a discount, even the same dealership on the exact same car.

 

For example, most (maybe even all) dealers have incentives to sell a certain amount of cars in a month.  If you get near month end and they need one or two units to hit those targets, they may be willing to discount the car further to hit the incentives.  There is no way the customer (absent insider info) would know that, and that alone may mean the difference between your deal and the one someone else got.

 

A wise person on another car forum said "you drive the car, not the deal".  If you are comfortable with the deal you got, and you're happy with the car you picked, don't kill yourself over someone else paying something different. (especially because someone may look at your deal with envy because they're paying more).  Do you research, know what MSRP, invoice and available incentives are, scour the forums to see what people are paying pre-incentives, and skip the add-ons in the Finance office.  You do all that and you're going to get a decent deal.

Could you recommend some car forums? For instance, if I was interested in a Subaru, would I research their forums? I have researched mechanical issues in the past on Nissan.

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3 hours ago, StarkRaven$ said:

Could you recommend some car forums? For instance, if I was interested in a Subaru, would I research their forums? I have researched mechanical issues in the past on Nissan.

Sure, I would suggest the following:

 - Google the make/model to find model specific forums.  You can usually get a lot of good info there on pricing/incentives as well as things to watch out for, recalls/issues, upgrades & accessories and dealer recommendations.  Many popular models have multiple forums, so I would find one that has a lot of recent traffic.

 - Edmunds forums:  Good source for pricing, current incentives and lease rates.  Almost every make/model has a specific forum on pricing (actual prices quotes/paid not MSRP/invoice) and leasing info.

 - Leasehackr - good forum if you are looking to evaluate lease quotes, or to find lease brokers if you prefer someone else do the negotiating for you.

 - KBB - usually up to date on latest incentives and promo rates.  Would not use as a source for trade in values (they're too high).  Instant cash offer isn't a bad idea if trading in to have a cash quote in hand to compare to dealer.

 - Carvana (or locally at CarMax) - Similar to KBB instant cash offer.

 - Manufacturer's websites - good for checking local inventories or building one to spec.  I wouldn't look too much into their "specials" (the ones quoted in monthly payment terms) as they are usually not all that special.

 

I would avoid any of the car buying services like true car, Penfed, Costco etc.  They are just a lead generation service for the dealers and their "deals" are typically not anything special.  You can do better on your own.

 

I am sure I have forgotten some, and there are certainly others...

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1 hour ago, CTSoxFan said:

Sure, I would suggest the following:

 - Google the make/model to find model specific forums.  You can usually get a lot of good info there on pricing/incentives as well as things to watch out for, recalls/issues, upgrades & accessories and dealer recommendations.  Many popular models have multiple forums, so I would find one that has a lot of recent traffic.

 - Edmunds forums:  Good source for pricing, current incentives and lease rates.  Almost every make/model has a specific forum on pricing (actual prices quotes/paid not MSRP/invoice) and leasing info.

 - Leasehackr - good forum if you are looking to evaluate lease quotes, or to find lease brokers if you prefer someone else do the negotiating for you.

 - KBB - usually up to date on latest incentives and promo rates.  Would not use as a source for trade in values (they're too high).  Instant cash offer isn't a bad idea if trading in to have a cash quote in hand to compare to dealer.

 - Carvana (or locally at CarMax) - Similar to KBB instant cash offer.

 - Manufacturer's websites - good for checking local inventories or building one to spec.  I wouldn't look too much into their "specials" (the ones quoted in monthly payment terms) as they are usually not all that special.

 

I would avoid any of the car buying services like true car, Penfed, Costco etc.  They are just a lead generation service for the dealers and their "deals" are typically not anything special.  You can do better on your own.

 

I am sure I have forgotten some, and there are certainly others...

Thank you so much. I do not need a new car but one day I will and this is valuable information.

 

When I bought my little car, I had to get one quickly due to our only vehicle stolen in broad daylight right in front of our house. I got a good deal but ended up getting gap insurance through the credit union when I didn't need it. CV pointed that out. Love the threads here on cars.

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