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Documentation Fees

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  • hammuhhammuh Posts: 3
    Hello,

    I am going to purchase a 2007 Infiniti G35 Journey in Texas tomorrow. We negotiated the price, pre TTL, this afternoon. I am aware of the 6.25% sales tax, but would be grateful for any information regarding reasonable document, title and registration fees.

    Thanks!
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Title and registration usually around $50 total I believe. Doc. fees usually go from $0 to $599 (higher doc. fees in Florida)... depending on your negotiation skills. Doc fees are negotiable. I would try to get your title, registration and doc. fees for around $100-$150. Most dealership documentation fees are between $299 and $399... but again, this is their asking price.

    Some dealerships have their doc. fees pre-printed on their contracts though. So, they may say they can't do anything about it. If you feel it is too high, then say fine, I'll pay your doc. fee... but I want the difference off the price of the car.

    Of course you may have gotten a low price for your G35 because the dealership plans on springing a $499 doc. fee on you when you show up... to make up for any so called lost profit. Up to you to what you feel comfortable paying. Good luck with your G35. They are really nice cars.

    edited: I'm in Louisville, Kentucky. Texas may do things a bit differently with their doc. fees.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I like cars that are opted out like that... I would have bought had I been able to afford a brand new car like that while still in high school.... The 5 speed is what would have sold me too.

    One of my faovrote drives was my old 95 Sonoma - power everything, cruise, stereo, alloys, extended cab, fog lights, V6 and 5-speed... it was a lot more fun than the slush box S-10 I drive now, even though the motor is more powerful.
  • Hi. I am trying to buy a used Toyota. When I thought the price was final, they threw a $300 Doc fee on it, with no explanation. At the time I planned on financing part of it. If I pay cash and credit card for the vehicle and do not finance through them, can they legally still charge such a fee? If not, how do I go about proving this? THanks for any advice you can give.
    annmarie
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,375
    Some dealers try to add on large fees for extra profit trying to make the customer feel they are mandated. Some even say they're required by state law. IN the case of Ohio, the last I saw, the doc fee allowed by state law was raised a few years back to $250. It does not mean they HAVE to charge anything. It just says it can't be over $250.

    Just ignore the extra amount in your pricing. If you don't like the dealer pumping extra profit on you, find another dealer. There are lots of cars and lots of people can't get credit to buy them.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Tell the dealership you'll pay no more than $100 for the doc. fee... take it or leave it.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Here in Florida where the typical doc. fee can be in excess of $600, the dealer will always say, "If we don't charge everyone for it, we can get sued by some minority, it's even pre-printed on the invoice, see", and they are probably right. On the last vehicle I bought with a doc. fee, I asked what the fee was upfront and simply deducted that from my original offer.

    Tell them you'll pay the doc. fee but deduct that fee from the agreed on price since they were not upfront with it. Be ready to walk out though.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,338
    Just as you are not obligated to pay a "policy" fee on your car or home insurance, you are not legally obligated to pay a "documentation" fee on your new vehicle.

    "Oh, you have a "DOC"? See me walk!
  • I'm having a lot of problems with documentation fees in trying to buy a new Scion. It fact, it's been the deal breaker for at least three dealers already. I've already agreed to pay MSRP for the Scion, but the dealers in Massachusetts want an additional $300-600 in these fees. When I've balked at paying that they just say there's nothing they can do and decline to work with me. I've even been told it's a Scion fee!

    It's bad enough to buy at MSRP these days, but paying a doc. fee is just an insult.
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    Do yourself a favor and call these guys: www.fitzmall.com. These guys sell Scions at invoice and only $100 processing fee. It is only 9 hour drive from MD to MA. For $1000 in savings, I am sure it's worth it.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I thought all Scions were sold at list price, kind of like a Saturn, no negotiation? The fees are usually non-negotiable, though on other brands you can sometimes get them to deduct from the price or add to the trade in amount to negate the fees, but they're still written up in the contract.
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    I thought all Scions were sold at list price, kind of like a Saturn, no negotiation?

    That is incorrect. Scions have to be sold at a fixed price; however, dealer determines what that price is, as long as all customers get the same price. Most dealers choose to sell Scions at MSRP, fitzmall decided to sell them at invoice. CarMax discounts them $250 off MSRP.

    As far as the processing fee, all dealers in MD are caped at $100.
  • travist4travist4 Posts: 1
    The amount of Documentation Fee, set by a state, is pointless (gov't pretending to protect its sheep). Truth is: A dealer will determine what his/her profit will be or what profit and/or loss he/she is willing to take or endure. Let's say a dealer has 10k actual cost in a vehicle and a customer offers 10k - the dealer may think, hmm well at least I'll get my documentation fee, electronic filing fee and so forth - Whereas, if such fees did not exist - your offer would be rejected.. So what? You could just offer 10,500 (500 being the same as all the fees combined) - presto that should do it, right? Wrong! You see, 'evil salespeople' are not paid commission on doc fees, etc.. In larger Franchise dealers the profit decision process is worse.. for example, the 'main boss' may require all deals have a min profit of 1500 per copy.. So, the manager creates 500 in fees and (tells the salesperson the vehicle cost 1,000 more than it actually does - to avoid paying commission on 1k) - now the manager can cover what the Boss wants... so everything else is profit: the customer and salesperson sacrifice in order to pay the boss... The manager discounts the true value of your trade and so forth in order to make a profit (so he/she can get paid - more importantly so he/she doesn't get fired)... in short, "We don't Charge a Documentation FEE" - may sound great; but in truth it really doesn't matter if a Doc fee is charged or not.. Squeeze the balloon on one end and the air simply moves to the other end - all said and done! FEE or no Fee, retail cost or wholesale cost - none of it matters - What truly matters to you is where you will be squeezed; understand? Price doesn't matter to you, as much as how much you get for your trade right? (i raise the price and show it in your trade) - you refuse to pay a doc fee ( i devalue your trade or raise my price ) - All you care about is payment - hey, no problem = I'll stretch your term.. and so on.. happy motoring!
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,338
    Can you list the states that by law require the dealer to charge a doc fee & if so what is it? I'm particularly focused on TX.

    Thank you.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,850
    I don't think any states require that a dealer charge a document fee.. Quite a few states cap the amount a dealer can charge... Many times, the dealer will intimate that the amount is required, but that simply isn't so..

    Texas, California, Ohio, NY, all cap the document fee (at varying levels). I'm sure there are others..

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  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,689
    "...Texas, California, Ohio, NY all cap the document fee..."

    NY has a cap of $45. They make up for this by charging a higher price for the car. :(

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,338
    a DOC fee was listed in the paperwork. They still have the vehicle and I still have the money.

    The ST rate in my county is 7.7% & their rate was 9.7% which I was willing to pay, but the listed DOC fee was the straw. :mad:
  • alamocityalamocity Posts: 680
    State law in Texas`limits the doc fee at $50.00.
  • jb_turnerjb_turner Posts: 702
    So what if the total OTD price is lower from the dealer with the DOC fee? Do you still purchase from the dealer without the doc fee even if their total OTD is higher?
    Just go with the best OTD price... we all have to pay it.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    A dealer will determine what his/her profit will be or what profit and/or loss he/she is willing to take or endure

    That is all you really need to say. It's a business, not a charity or an exercise in building friendships.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    So what if the total OTD price is lower from the dealer with the DOC fee? Do you still purchase from the dealer without the doc fee even if their total OTD is higher?
    Just go with the best OTD price... we all have to pay it.


    Good advice. Bottom line is all that matters.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,338
    The DOC fee cheats the commissioned salesman as it is not a "commission income" item. Having always been a commission only businessman, I don't like policy fees and DOC fees. I also don't like the surprise of it appearing at the close.

    Have you ever seen a dealer advertise, "We have the lowest DOC fees."?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The DOC fee cheats the commissioned salesman as it is not a "commission income" item.

    IF a salesperson was paid 100% commision I would agree. However, the vast majority of salespeople aren't just paid on commission. There are flat's,unit bonuses, CSI bonuses, demo allowances, all kinds of other ways for salespeople to get paid.
    That money has to come from somewhere.
  • lrguy44lrguy44 Posts: 2,197
    The Doc fee has absolutely nothing to do with the sales dept profit on a car deal. The dealer principal sets the fee and all customers are charged the same fee. If you negotiate the fee, they will deduct it from the price of the car (sales profit) and still show the fee on the paperwork. This is to avoid a class action law suit (i.e. charge one-charge all). In my state most Doc fees vary from dealer to dealer from about $149-$499. If I or any employee including the GM, etc. buys a car, they too will be charged the Doc fee.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,338
    DOC fee, Environmental fee, Tire disposal fee, Service fee, Policy fees are paid by the insecure, meek, & pushovers who haven't the testicular fortitude to object.

    Extracurricular charges are not defensible by threats of avoiding a class action lawsuit. All fees like the above are imposed, but not enforced by any statuate. :P
  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    I don't even want to THINK about what the local Cadillac dealers (FL) will be charging as DOC fees when i get home... :sick:
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Extracurricular charges are not defensible by threats of avoiding a class action lawsuit. All fees like the above are imposed, but not enforced by any statuate

    Tell that to the dealers in Georgia who a few years ago had the FTC come in there dealerships, do a full audit and required them to send checks for the DOC amount to every customer they ever charged it to for (I belive) the last 3 years.. They found a paper trail of some paying and some not. As was said earlier, we may have to bend on it occasionaly but every deal you pull in our building will show we charged it.

    Also how can you say they are not enforced when most states have a law stating what they can be?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,338
    What they can be and what they have to be are not the same.
  • jb_turnerjb_turner Posts: 702
    OTD is what matters.... we all pay it.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,338
    True, but when the dealer itemizes it, the message is, "Here is how much more you are being charged."

    I don't honor "Additional Dealer Profit" statements either.
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