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Thread: New car “ fees”. Yikes!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    New Jersey
    Blog Entries

    New car “ fees”. Yikes!

    Thinking about a new car, so I asked the dealer about any fees.
    His response was: our “ only” ( quotes are mine) fees are $1695 pre reconditioning fee and $799 documentation fee, the “ only”other fees are sales tax and DMV fee”
    He didn’t choose to tell me the last two fees and I can guess the sales tax would be about another $3,000 and DMV say $300.

    These fees ad up to $5,794…yikes!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKinney, TX
    I can relate. We had both our cars totaled last month so had to replace them. Won’t get my cargo van until Oct. or so.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKean, PA
    At least they didn't charge the ADP fee.

    ADP = Added Dealer Profit
    Lee Schierer
    USNA '71
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Why would a new car need reconditioning? That fee just seems like it goes straight to the dealer's bottom line. Documentation fees are another profit center. They used to be reasonable at $100 to $200. I highly doubt their costs have gone up that much to need an $799 doc fee.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Austin, TX
    Make sure you check the invoice also. I’ve seen charges for “nitrogen filled tires”, “custom window tint”, and “interior stain protectant” (they sprayed Scotchgard supposedly).

    If they want the sale, they’ll remove those charges. Otherwise go somewhere else.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Doylestown, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    At least they didn't charge the ADP fee.

    ADP = Added Dealer Profit
    Sure they did. They just didn't call it that.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    These fees ad up to $5,794…yikes!
    I strolled by a showroom Jeep Gladiator about 3-4 months ago. I didn't write it down, but I recall dealer wanted $19k for the lift/tires/wheel package and another $19k for 'market normalization'. ...Oh, you want the vehicle too?!

    But karma is a b!&#$... I am casually shopping and several seemingly credible sources are predicting a (car) market crash by year end. I can wait.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm waiting for a huge run to electric which may dump a lot of used gas vehicles on the market and, of course, I intend to fan the flames by telling everyone that gas is bad and to get rid of their car.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Be really careful about "fees" being added by dealers. Many of these are pure profit moves by the dealer that make up for the "discount" they said they would provide. Refuse to pay them and shop other dealers. You want the lowest "out the door" price for the vehicle. IE, call "bull-excrement" when it's justified.

    I recently ordered a new vehicle and because I actually read things before signing, I caught a $299 fee slipped in for "etching". It wasn't on the final version.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Kansas City
    Supply and demand - its a bear, and sometimes it eats you.

  11. #11
    Consider ordering car thru a third party (Costco, BJ's, etc.) or buy a used leased vehicle instead.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Anaheim, California
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    Documentation fees are another profit center. They used to be reasonable at $100 to $200. I highly doubt their costs have gone up that much to need an $799 doc fee.
    It did seem like the last car I bought required more paperwork than the first house I bought.

    There's also the expense of keeping that dot-matrix printer running to handle the standard multipart sales contract way that number will go anywhere but up.
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  13. #13
    I guess we are lucky up here in Ontario. We have something called OMVIC which states it's against the law to charge anything more than the advertised price except sales tax and license fee.

  14. #14
    Wanna have some fun at a dealership? Get all interested in some vehicle, work on getting the price down a bit, and when they get the point where the salesman sez "I'll go grab our finance guy/gal and be right back", hit 'em with this line:

    "Don't bother, I'm paying cash"...

    I didn't realize this was verboten when buying a car these days until last January when my trusty, no-problems-whatsoever-for-7-1/2 years '04 Chebby Venture Van I paid all of $1300 for at a dealership no less, suddenly developed a nasty electrical problem that will likely cost way more to fix than I paid for it...

    I've always had an affinity for Cadillac Escalade's, drove a couple in the past, so when the van died, I started looking-- and found this one:
    escaladeDealer.jpg --I found an ad for it online for $18,200. AWD Platinum version, only option available is a block heater. Always liked the pearl white too, so the wife and I went in to check it out...
    Saw it in the parking lot, looked pretty good to me. Went inside, found a salesman, took it for a test drive...

    When we got back inside, I asked if there was any wiggle room on the 18-2 price. Guy looked at me like I was speaking Swahili...

    "18-2?" he says, we're asking 22 for it!"--- then proceeds to show me this ad on his computer-
    Now, I can't find the other ad I found at the moment, but I DID print out a copy of it at the time and took it in. He takes it and says "I'll be right back"...

    Seems their ad guy didn't get around to raising the price on the AutoTrader or whoever-it-was's ad I found. I says 'so just pretend you sold it last week before you raised the price, no problem'... I don't think he found that very funny "Well, we're taking almost a $4000 hit as it is, so I don't think we'll be able to come down any"...

    Ok, so even though I think it's ridiculous for a dealership to whine about losing an 'invisible' 4 grand just because used car prices spiked a week before I got there, I explain that I like and want the Caddy, and I'm fine with 18-2.

    So then he asks the question:
    "How do you want to finance it?"

    "--I'm not. I'm just going to pay for it."
    His reaction was only slightly less dramatic as this avatar-> nilly.gif

    He left for a few minutes. Me and the wife discussed the situation, as we were both somewhat perplexed at the goings-on...

    He comes back with a question: "Is it possible you would consider financing, and making FOUR payments? If you make four payments, we can get our kickback from the finance company and make some money on this deal"...
    --I kept my mouth shut, but really wanted to remind him that if they'd sold it a week ago, 4 grand less money would've 'made some money', nothing had changed but market value...

    The wife gave me 'that look', she'd about had enough theatrics, but I wanted the Caddy, and gave in. And I made 4 payments, to MY credit union, and now I own it. AND our credit score hit 850 again I think the total interest was like $150, which I felt like I could live with.

    But I did expect much more from a dealership, especially a Cadillac dealer. But oh well, I DO like my new ride, and it's paid for!
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  15. #15
    I had to buy a new car recently after my Volvo tried to occupy the same space as a semi truck. The market is nuts- 2 year old vehicles w/ 10-20k miles are listed for as much as the msrp of new ones, the dealers feel entitled to an "addendum" of thousands of dollars, popular models are presold and often require a deposit and good luck finding a base model of anything. I did luck out and found a new Kia Niro hybrid on a dealer's lot.

    At first the sales person wanted a $3k upcharge, $2k worth of undercoating, floor mats and a lowjack system so they can track you down if you miss a payment, plus an $800 document fee including title, registration and an hour's worth of paperwork which she claimed was mandated by law and non-negotiable. I decided to let her win on the document fee but managed to get everything else removed after her manager talked to his manager and a series of revised invoices netted out at msrp plus $800 and sales tax. She complained that she would make only $100 on the sale (for an hour or so of her time, not terribly bad in my world) and intimated that her children would go hungry that day. After all that I had to go home and take a shower.

    Not a lot of fun, but as long as you are willing to walk you have the upper hand. The worst stories are about people who drive their new car off the lot before the financing is approved, then are rejected and have the new one repossessed after their old vehicle has been resold. They wind up walking too.

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