The numbers and the dealer fee

Comparing numbers can be confusing.  You agree to a price and then the dealer tries to add charges called fees.  A dealer fee is a confusing item. Also known as a Documentary fee or an administrative fee. They are common in many states. More to read…….

The state of Florida says that a dealer must do the title and registration work for the customer.  That way it gets done properly…Theoretically.  A dealer fee can be as much as $899.00 for the $20 worth of administrative work they do.  The dealer should do it for free because you are buying a car from them.  Please realize that some dealers disquise their low price by tacking on a dealer fee after you have agreed on a price for the vehicle.  Motorcycle dealers often add a dealer fee and a prep fee to cover preparing the bike for delivery.  What a crock.  It is just another way to up the price and confuse the issue.  I believe prep fees and dealer fees are deceptive tricks to make up for poor salesmanship and poor explanations. 

The real question is how does a buyer keep track of the whole deal. dealer fees, trade , price, registration fees, etc.  One way to get past all of the rhetoric is to look at one thing…the final figure.  The “out the door” figure.  Out the door is just what it sounds like. How much does it take to get all the numbers handled and get out the door.   An example would be a dealer is charging you $800 less than another dealer for the same vehicle but this dealer also has $800 more in fees.  that mans it is the same final price, “out the door” at both dealers   Who cares how the dealer breaks down the numbers as long as everything is in there.   Why bother trying to figure out where the numbers are going.  If you have a trade it’s the same thing, again.  All that really matters is the total out the door figure.  Your lists should be simple.  One list of what the dealer offers as far as services, hours, loaner cars, days, service reputation, etc.  Another list with features if you are comparing different manufacturers or verification that you are pricing like cars if it is the same model at two different dealers.  Another list for interest rates and terms (years) if you are financing through the dealer.  The last listing is the “out the door” price.  You don’t need a break down if it is the entire bottom line figure. The only reason you might want a break down is to be sure they are including any pay off on your trade as well as the correct amount for that payoff.  ithout a trade you don’t even need a break down

That’s all the information you need.  The point of this blog is that although dealer fees are a crock, the only thing that matters is the “out the door” numbers.

About Geoffrey Jerome

I am a 35 year veteran of the automobile and motorcycle industry, author of seven books, soon to be nine, Both fiction and nonfiction. I have three super kids, actually adults, and a wonderful Jack Russell Terrier named Lucy Lynn. I am Formerly from upstate New York, Ithaca. I ride a Harley, like photography, technology and I know climate change is the worlds biggest problem.
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