Forget These Fees

Car dealership fees you should avoid

Before shopping for a new or used car, you’ll want to get acquainted with fees. Why should you brother with the details of a charge here and a charge there? Because you can avoid a lot of them, and save hundreds and sometimes thousands in the process. Here are some dealership fees you should avoid.

  • Dealer Preparation Fee. This fee, charged for simply preparing the car to be sold, can run anywhere from $100 to $500. Get this dropped before agreeing to any deal.
  • Documentation fee. As the name implies, this is a charge for preparing the paperwork, like the title and registration. As US News reports, this charge can’t be completely eliminated, but it can be reduced. In fact, check your state’s policy on this, as many states limit the amount dealerships can charge for their Documentation Fee.
  • Protections. Sometimes dealerships will try to charge a fee for things like paint or upholstery protection. Don’t let this slip through the cracks. These charges are for services that your car doesn’t need.
  • The Obvious. One fee to keep an eye out for is typically listed as “ADM” and it stands for… “additional dealer markup.” Another similar one is listed as “ADP,” and that stands for “additional dealer profit.” Yes, really. They’re that obvious. It should be easy to get these charges eliminated.
  • Chris O'Shea

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