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Documentation Fees

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  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,001
    What? A dealer sneaking on an extra fee on top of an agreed upon price? Say it ain't so..... :surprise:
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Well, low and behold, they slipped the Dealer Fee past me

    Unless they were using invisible reappearing ink, not possible. Enjoy your Mazda 6 and don't worry abou [non-permissible content removed]..
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,408
    In the finality of the deal, how does sneaking in the fee contribute to referrals, repeat business, & positive feedback to the manufacturer? :mad:
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Sounds like you didn't read your contract before signing it to verify the agreed on price was actually the true bottom line price before state tax & title fees were added. Trust but verify. I'd kill em on the survey.
  • mikefm58 - you're right, I didn't read it carefully enough. I guess I'll learn from the experience and go in with a checklist over to the finance department next time so that I don't forget to double check all fees.
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 226
    I too have a problem with the Doc fee. Interestingly, some dealers in Virginia have a price list for the Doc fees. For people living in Virginia the fee is $399, for people coming from Delaware the fee is $299 and for people in Maryland the fee is $100. I wonder if people really pay $399! No way would I buy a car and pay that amount.

    When I negotiate, I negotiate a bottom line price. Usually the dealer will simply adjust the pricing structure to get to the bottom line price to include whatever Doc fee they choose. Since it does not impact the bottom line, makes no difference to me, other than the tax would be a bit less. It has to do with legal issues, appears the dealers must charge everyone the Doc fee or they could face legal troubles.

    For me, a Doc fee of $50 would be OK as they do provide a service in that I do not have to go to MVR. Too me that is worth a few bucks, but not $399.
  • jhs70jhs70 Posts: 213
    VA resident here. The car business must be booming here in NOVA. Based on my recent new car inquiries, dealers stop talking to me when I mention that i will drive to MD to buy a new car in order to escape the ridiculous, and I mean ridiculous, doc fees that some of them charge. I've even tried to keep my dollars in VA by going for an OTD price that reduces the doc fee, but they all balk. I guess there are more than enough people in the area willing to spend spend spend that they are disinterested in working with me. What other conclusion can I draw? I've purchased my last 3 or 4 vehicles in MD because of this. (I still think that MD charges too much, but 100 is a lot less than 399, 499, you get the drift.)
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Don't feel bad. I live in Florida and the dealers charge anywhere from 499.00 to $599.00 dealer fees. What I usually do (in fact always do) is wait to the final $$$ amount is given to me for my trade-in (and that is after MUCH back and forth negotiation) and than tell them I want either $500.00 or $600.00 more for my trade-in.
    It really all boils down to what you are willing to pay "BOTTOM LINE"!!!!
  • bocacoderbocacoder Posts: 3
    edited August 2010
    Thanks nortsr1, that's a great way to handle it. I'll keep that in mind next time.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    You are most welcome. It always has worked for me....and believe you me....they always come out ahead on your trade-in. I have walked out several times from dealerships) only to be called back (more than once)....and they will agree to what I have asked. Always remember...if you can't get the price you want...you can ALWAYS walk out. Yes, maybe you have asked too much...but it is your money that they want.
    If they let you walk out, then perhaps you have demanded too much...but...there is always another dealership somewhere.
    And remeber this...if you are satisfied with the deal you get...be HAPPY... not two days later kicking yourself in the [non-permissible content removed] thinking you could have done better.
    Since I purchase a new car (suv) every three years, beieve me, I have done a lot of purchasing and "negotiating" over the past years. I am 79 years old...so you know I have bought and negotiated a loy of new vehicles.
  • The situation in northern virginia is likely the result of it being a border area with several states, and the dealers responding to the dealer doc fee laws in those states.

    We don't have that 'problem' here in FL, because the appears to be no law or regulation and the doc fees have hit the stratosphere! $600 - probably more when i actually get to the dealership. Absolutely ludicrous. As northstar1 has stated, find out what it is, and account for that in your final price either on the car you're buying or trading.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,408
    DOC fee translates into "Additional Dealer Profit". An attempt to legitimize a rippoff. After we settled on the cash price, the paperwork listed a DOC fee. We walked out without saying a word. :surprise:
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    They always do that, then act surprised like "Gee how'd that get there" or make it sound like everybody does it that way. Most will adjust the trade-in or price to account for it when you point it out to them, but it is slimy the way they try to slide it in there, hoping you won't notice.
  • When its $699 it hard not to notice it! :mad:
  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    edited July 2013
    Its been quiet here on Doc fees.

    That's strange because here in FL they have broken the stratosphere and are halfway to Jupiter. The Cadillac dealers are at $600-700.

    But the absolute worst offenders are the kia dealers, they are at $700-800. I mean you have got to be kidding me, but they're not. I guess it's part of their plan the make the screamer ads touting "$3,000 minimum trade in" and still have a buyer walking out paying more than MSRP... WTF ???

    I actually went to several kia dealers last spring (looking for my nephew) and yup, they add on way more than $3,000 in Doc fees, advert, and etc., so that the $13,000 MSRP kia rio (or whatever)r costs $14,000 AFTER the $3,000 trade in.

    And this is on kias. :sick:
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 226
    Kia dealers do seem a bit behind the times when it comes to selling. Any dealer which uses screamer ads are best avoided.

    Regarding doc fees, the best way to handle these fees would be for all buyers to walk out. If this were to happen, I doubt it would take the dealers very long to eliminate this charade. Sadly this will not happen, there are simply too many unsophisticated buyers.

    The most effective method a single buyer can use is to factor the amount into the purchase price, reduce the price to compensate for the doc fee. I recently bought a vehicle in Virginia. Dealer had a $499 doc fee. After we negotiated the bottom line, I told the sales person I would not pay the doc fee. The dealer quickly lowered the price by $250 and increased the trade value by $250. There was a guy at the next table who I heard take the same approach with similar success.

    Anyone interested in an insider's perspective on doc fees should google Earl Stewart on Cars. He has some very insightful comments on the Florida doc fee fiasco.
  • nortdnortd Posts: 13
    Cadillacmike....go to Hollywood Kia.com No dealer fees
  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    Thanks. I looked Earl up. Jeez, it's even worse on the gold coast than on the sun coast. I think my next war will have to be another 1996 Fleetwood, the new car market is just too screwed up.

    For those of you who do not know, Florida's "Gold coast" is the southern half of its Atlantic coast from approx West Palm on down, while the "Sun coast" is the gulf coast from approx Clearwater on down.
  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    Nort, I'm currently in the desert, and can't go to any dealer. My nephew ended up buying a Mitsubishi (I have another word for it that Kirstie will censor on me! :P ).

    Of course he was too stubborn to ask me or my wife for any assistance so he got taken to the cleaners..... :sick:

    As for cars for me & the misses, just look at my userid for what I buy.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,786
    Looking back to when I started this thread...doc fees haven't gone away, in fact they've increased everywhere. The first dealership I ever worked in charged $65 and that was normal...this is in Connecticut. Now I'm seeing upwards of $750! The place I work in now charges $379, but that's often included in the price quote if you're an online customer and I do recommend anyone find out what fees are during the negotiation, as with Ken's post above.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 35,119
    Yeah.. if you are in Florida or Georgia, it can go as high as $899.. Borderline criminal.

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  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 15,471
    kyfdx said:

    Yeah.. if you are in Florida or Georgia, it can go as high as $899.. Borderline criminal.

    Was $499 when we bought our Outback in February .. and that's about average here in Colorado. Have seen them as high as $699 at a Kia (!) dealer.

    There is one dealership group that doesn't charge any sort of dealer / documentation fee - BMW / MINI / Honda. However, they are a one price store, so it's 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

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  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,786
    Michaell said:

    kyfdx said:



    There is one dealership group that doesn't charge any sort of dealer / documentation fee - BMW / MINI / Honda. However, they are a one price store, so it's 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

    Which dealer group is that, Michaell? They deserve a mention. I know not all BMW, MINI and Honda dealers are in that class.

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 15,471
    raybear said:

    Michaell said:

    kyfdx said:



    There is one dealership group that doesn't charge any sort of dealer / documentation fee - BMW / MINI / Honda. However, they are a one price store, so it's 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

    Which dealer group is that, Michaell? They deserve a mention. I know not all BMW, MINI and Honda dealers are in that class.

    Ralph Schomp in Denver. They only have the three stores - daughter has bought both her MINIs from them. Consistently get excellent customer service ratings.

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    2013 Hyundai Elantra GT / 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

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  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 462
    Since most, actually I think all dealers in our area charge the Admin/Doc fee, before I even start negotiations I ask what fees they charge upfront. Often there is some him and hawing, but I persist. Gives a good starting point and reduces any confusion and unpleasant surprises.

    2010 Pilot EXL-RES, 2013 Accord EX

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,771
    edited April 24
    nortsr1 said:

    Don't feel bad. I live in Florida and the dealers charge anywhere from 499.00 to $599.00 dealer fees. What I usually do (in fact always do) is wait to the final $$$ amount is given to me for my trade-in (and that is after MUCH back and forth negotiation) and than tell them I want either $500.00 or $600.00 more for my trade-in.
    It really all boils down to what you are willing to pay "BOTTOM LINE"!!!!

    Try $699, $799, or even $895 some friendly Toyota outfits charge here in Tampa Bay. OTD is af course the way to go, but the whole approach by these guys is completely outrageous.
    It allows them to prey on uninformed and avertise fake prices. I'm big on free market, but it seems it's getting out completely if control to the point that perhaps the government needs to step in. 900 bucks is no longer a fee, it's basically a deception scheme. They clearly can't police themselves and have no internal brakes.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.
    Not a native speaker, but:
    it's = it is, its = possessive for it (this one drives me particularly crazy - why is it so hard for people who were born and raised in this language?) , they're = they are, their = possessive for they, here = not there, hear = receive and interpret sound waves

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