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Dealer fees: What to know and how to avoid them Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make better financial decisions by providing you with interactive financial calculators and tools that provide objective and original content. This allows users to conduct research and analyze information for free – so that you can make decisions about your finances with confidence. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are displayed on this site come from companies that compensate us. This compensation could affect how and where products appear on this site, including for instance, the order in which they may appear in the listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home loan products. However, this compensation will have no impact on the information we provide, or the reviews you read on this site. We do not cover the universe of companies or financial deals that could be open to you. SHARE: Images

3 min read published July 14 2022

Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to purchase a car. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances by providing precise, well-studied facts that break down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee

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They ensure that what we write ensures that everything we publish is accurate, objective and trustworthy. The loans reporters and editors are focused on the areas that consumers are concerned about most — the different kinds of loans available, the best rates, the best lenders, ways to pay off debt and many more. This means you’ll be able to feel secure when making a decision about your investment. Editorial integrity

Bankrate follows a strict and rigorous policy, so you can rest assured that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors produce honest and reliable information to aid you in making the best financial decisions. Our main principles are that we respect your confidence. Our mission is to provide our readers with truthful and impartial information, and we have established editorial standards to ensure this happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly check the accuracy of editorial content to ensure that the information you’re reading is accurate. We have a strict separation between advertisers as well as our editorial staff. The editorial team of Editorial Independence Bankrate does not receive any direct payment through our sponsors. Editorial Independence Bankrate’s editorial staff writes in the name of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to provide you the best advice that will aid you in making informed personal financial decisions. We follow strict guidelines for ensuring that editorial content isn’t influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no any compensation directly from advertisers and all of our content is fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or reviewing you can be sure that you’re getting reliable and dependable information. What we do to earn money

If you have questions about money. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four years. We are constantly striving to provide our readers with the professional guidance and the tools necessary to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict , so you can trust that our content is honest and precise. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors produce honest and reliable information to assist you in making the right financial decisions. The content we create by our editorial team is objective, truthful and is not influenced from our advertising. We’re open about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates and helpful tools to you , by describing how we earn money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products or services, or through you clicking certain links posted on our website. So, this compensation can affect the way, location and in what order products appear within listing categories and categories, unless it is prohibited by law. This is the case for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other products for home loans. Other factors, such as our own rules for our website and whether the product is available in the area you reside in or is within your self-selected credit score range may also influence the manner in which products appear on this site. Although we try to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about every credit or financial product or service. When you’ve negotiated the price of your new car, you could be shocked to find a final sales figure of hundreds or even thousands of dollars higher than the price you initially agreed to. A majority of these additional charges, or charges imposed by dealers, are mandated by law, like title, tax and licensing fees. However, there are some fees that are entirely dependent on the particular dealer and are negotiated . Dealer fees you can avoid and negotiate Not every fee the dealer can throw at you is mandatory or non-negotiable. Be prepared to reject any unnecessary options and bargain the costs of the items you’re looking for. Dealer or vehicle preparation fees Dealer or vehicle preparation fees are additional charges that the dealer adds to get the car ready to be delivered. They include washing the car, removing all “bump protectors” off the doors, and getting rid of the protective covers for the floor or the seats. These can be costly in extra dollars, so it’s important to be aware of. How to avoid: U nless the dealer has gone above and beyond basic preparation, refuse to pay these dealer fees. Extended warranties and accessories installed by the dealer. These extra items are purchased at the time of sale, but only if you requested these items and were able to prove that you’re being charged a fair price for the item or service. This could be a stolen vehicle recovery devicesuch as LoJack — paint sealant or an aftermarket system for sound or wheels . How to avoid If a seller tries in requesting payment for any of these products and you did not ask for these items, you should not pay the cost. If you did ask the items, you should shop around to make sure you’re receiving a fair price since you could purchase the items once you own the vehicle. VIN etching The VIN, also known as a vehicle’s identification code is the collection of 17 characters that identify your car. The procedure of VIN etching is done for security purposes. It etchs the number on the car’s windows. The cost can range from $150 and $300, so it is recommended to avoid this additional cost and tackle the issue on your own. This is one of the easiest charges to avoid, so make sure to be prepared to ensure that it doesn’t slip through the paperwork cracks . Tips to avoid it: S ay no to this additional fee and cut costs by going directly to the body shop to purchase this service. You can also find DIY kits online for around $20 to $40 . Extended warranty An is an additional cost that covers potential vehicle repairs when the manufacturer’s warranty on the vehicle expires. But they aren’t necessary for everyone. If you are worried about the cost of repairs to your vehicle, it might be wise to rethink the you’ve chosen to purchase. And if it is worth the cost, consider other options instead of relying on the dealership’s offer. Avoid: be sure to compare the price of this charge against the likelihood that it will be utilized prior to signing on it . Insurance for gap gaps Guaranteed Asset Protection or , is an extra cost you might encounter if you are leasing a vehicle. It covers the difference between the price of the vehicle and the loan payments if the vehicle is stolen or totaled . What to do: nless you have a long loan duration and you do not put money down, this cost is one you must avoid. Make sure you pay at least 20% on your down payment to ensure that it is unlikely that you end up financially liable for the loan. Unavoidable dealer fees There are other dealer fees that you won’t be in a position to avoid, however you can plan for these . Tax as well as title and license costs The title and license fees are the cost for the process is required to obtain a vehicle title and the license plate. The cost of the tax amount will be based on the state’s sales tax rate and cannot be negotiated . Learn more: To understand the procedures in your state, visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website. Documentation fee The documentation fee covers the cost of processing all the paperwork associated with the purchase of a car and is something you will have to pay. Certain states have the fee in one lump item that is typically well under $100. Some states do not have any specific requirements, so a dealer is free to charge whatever they want. Remember that the amount you pay will vary based on your state and the dealer you work with. To get an idea of what’s typical, look up local laws. Destination fee This fee covers the cost it costs the dealer to get the car directly from its factory. Kelley Blue Book notes that these charges can cost up to $1700. According to Edmunds the process of taking your vehicle to the factory won’t help you pay the cost of delivery as you’ll have to pay the entire amount. Takeaway: This fee cannot be reduced and is an expensive portion of your bill. The bottom line: While there are some dealership charges that are necessary, knowing which can be negotiated or removed altogether is the key to saving money on the next time you buy a car. And before you enter a showroom , conduct some investigation and calculate before you go to understand .


This article is written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers in navigating the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to buy a car. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to control their finances with precise, well-researched and reliable information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.

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