Dealership Deals

How to avoid common fees at car dealerships

Shopping for a new car can be exciting — as long as you’re not taken for a ride. Car dealership sales people typically want to squeeze every dollar out of you that they can, and one way they do this is by tacking on fees. There’s a charge here and a charge there. Suddenly that $18,000 car you bought now costs $19,500. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by knowing the common car dealership fees and how to avoid them.

  • Processing Fee. One charge that’s bound to be mentioned during your transaction is the processing fee. This is nothing more than making you pay for the salesperson filling out paperwork. The fee can range anywhere from $100 to $500, so be sure to make a counteroffer when they mention it.
  • Delivery Charge. As US News reports, car manufacturers charge dealerships to have their vehicles shipped to their lots. That price is passed on to you. This is often non-negotiable, but just be sure there aren’t two delivery charges listed. If there is, demand to have one removed.
  • VIN Etching Fee. Many dealerships offer to have your vehicle identification (VIN) etched into the window’s as an anti-theft measure. While it might be a good idea, it’s not necessary, as every car has a VIN inside. This process can also cost hundreds of dollars. Consider if you want the etching, and then make a counteroffer. You can also check with your local police department, as many times they offer the service at a cheaper price than dealerships.
  • Paint Protector Charge. You love the way a new car’s paint shines, right? Well, dealerships know that and will charge you a “paint protector” fee. There’s really no need for this, as car paints are typically extremely durable. Do your best to get them to remove this charge.
  • Chris O'Shea

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