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Any Questions for a Car Dealer?



  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    I wish people would focus on the value of the product rather than on trying to graciously "allow" the dealer what they happen to feel is a "fair" profit.

    Still, the "doc fees" in this case were ridiculous...we charge nothing for this as an example. Adding additional charges, forcing the buyer to buy unwanted products is another scam.

    This buyer should shop elsewhere.
  • chytraeuschytraeus Posts: 27
    Nice line. . . I am sure you have bilked hundreds, even thousands, more from unwitting customers who have fallen for that load of baloney. It is more than possible to "focus on value" and still drive a hard bargain and be very assertive in getting the best price possible. Isell and his salesmen buddies can't handle that and want to dupe consumers into thinking there is something wrong about price shopping.

    ONCE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND WHY YOU WANT IT . . . go for the best price possible. You don't need salesmen to "help" you "focus on value." You do that for yourself. That's why we have sites like this, reviews to read, other owners to talk to and a world of information. When you are ready to buy, just ignore the kind of salesmen who would lead you to believe there is something wrong about shopping price!

    Good luck. You can do it.
  • tank43tank43 Posts: 16
    I am 30 mo into a 48 mo lease thru AHFC . 99 CRV LX blk 4wd auto 19500 MILES.
    The Crv is in great condition no problems no paint work. Would like to trade up for better towing
    capacity. I am in Columbus OH and want to know if you think I will be able to get pay off 15249.00 Goal is to trade in on another lease with little to no out of pocket.
    What brand/dealership do I have a better chance at getting pay off?
    I am open to any suggestions as far as best bang for my buck. I want to be able to tow small
    pop-up camper 1500-2000 lbs . I'm thinking Ford or Chevy truck or SUV.
  • for your responses regarding my post #198. I've cooled off a little bit since I wrote it. ccotenj, I really wasn't that rude to the salesman when I responded to his dealer prep fee, but I certainly let him know in no uncertain terms that I was not about to pay it. You make an excellent point in saying not to "shoot the messenger" and I am certainly going to try to learn to hold my tongue and be as civil as possible in the future in dealing with floor salesmen. Also, when I mentioned "profit," of course I meant profit before expenses. My point was that when I agreed to accept the ridiculously high $349 doc fee, I was factoring in some additional profit for the freakin' dealer to cover his expenses. How much does he need??? Participation in the S plan is strictly voluntary, so the dealer knows up front exactly what the deal is. I almost felt sorry for the salesman, because I knew his commission probably wasn't going to be that much, and I guess I was hoping that by agreeing to that fee, he'd maybe get a little more as well. It's ironic as hell that the first visit I made to the dealership, the sales manager came and introduced himself to my wife and me, and stated that the owner of the dealership had all the money he'd ever need (Paul Miller Mazda in Lexington, KY), and that he wasn't about profit anymore--he was now more about having a good reputation, etc. This was, of course, well before I was told about the $349 doc fee and the $290 dealer prep charge. Puhleeeze!!! From now on, when I go to negotiate for a new car, the first thing we're going to get out of the way is to find out what the add on fees are and work from there. I really think that now that the internet has allowed more people to find out how to better negotiate for a car, they are relying on these fees more and more, and never mention them until asked. In Kentucky, you can go to the county clerk's office yourself and pay the license fee (just $15) and transfer fee ($8), and get the tags yourself. All you need to pay the dealer for is for having the title to the car made up, for which $25 should more than cover expenses. Am I right?

    Finally, get this--I have heard from a reliable source that Mazda dealers who participate in the S plan are not allowed by Mazda to even charge a doc fee!! I didn't find this out until after I talked to the salesman earlier today. I hope he calls back...
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    ok, i'll buy that. that sounds reasonable.


    ps. the part you are leaving out on the doc fee (and they probably should find another way to work that into overhead, anyway), is what they are paying the person to go to dmw to do the doc, their health insurance, and so on)...

    more ps. as people want to pay less and less for service, almost all service oriented businesses (not just car dealerships) have become more fee oriented. banking is the perfect example.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Hi hollenhorst2

    Your original post was deleted for violating our Terms of Use policy regarding masked profanity. Realizing that there are valid follow-up posts, we'd appreciate it if you could repost your original message (see your email) using calmer language, so that the responses won't be lost. Thanks!

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • toyotroytoyotroy Posts: 3
    When you deal with a sales person he or she has to abide by the rules and policies set forth by the Dealership Owner.

    At some dealerships customers can purchase vehicles for less that the sales person and when they do, they too have to pay any fees that the dealer charges without argument.

    Keep in mind that sometimes upwards of 90% of the gross profit that a dealer makes on the sale of vehicles, servicing vehicles, and financing vehicles ends up paying other overhead like payroll and payroll taxes, 401K plans, medical and insurance plans, advertising and local taxes, rents and mortgages, floor planning and insurance so that you will have a car to test drive.

    I'm not saying what's right or wrong. It's just that sometimes I don't think customers consider that a dealership is a business and someone in the equation has a great bit of risk involved, and it's neither the sales person nor the customer.

    Always be educated in what you are doing have fun!
  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
  • mney6mney6 Posts: 116
    Your not completely right. You got what the value of that Ford Escape really is.That is what the value you thought that vehicle was worth and what the dealer thought it was worth.You both won!
    Value might not mean anything to you with a car purchase but I bet something does.
    Everyone has a favorite eating place that might be higher than someone else but you go there for the service and value.
  • you were the one who made the excellent point regarding the floor salesman and his relative impotence in the chain of things, and, again, that point is taken.
  • I was not aware of the masked profanity prohibition. I'll not do it again. For those readers interested, following is a censored version of my earlier post (chronologically, it should be between what are now posts 197 and 198, and was formerly post 198), the amended title of which is "I Am Totally Urinated" (urinated being a synonym for a word that begins with "p" and ends with "d" and is slang for "urinate"-six letters long

    I just got off the phone from my local Mazda dealer. I'm hoping to get a 2001 Protege ES, Silver with auto and the Premium Pkg (Moonroof, ABS, and side airbags). They agreed that I could purchase it on the S-plan (1.5% below invoice), and I was going to use the $500 rebate instead of financing it. I understand Mazda reimburses the dealer at least that 1.5% ($255), plus they'll get all the holdback (2% of Base MSRP, or $311). I was even gonna give 'em $349 in Doc fees (which I know is way, way more than it costs to do the paperwork, but even with that, I was still coming out about $400 under invoice, which I can live with). Now, my salesman calls back and tells me that there is another $290 charge for dealer prep (scotchguarding, rustproofing, etc. ),which I know is also bullcrap. That snapped my string, and I chewed the salesman out a new anus (this is where the other word that got censored was-starts with "a and ends with "e", seven letters long), telling him that there was no way I'd even dream about paying a penny more than the $349. Without the $290 charge, the dealer is still making what I think is a very decent profit of $895: the reimbursed 1.5%, the holdback, and the $349 (minus about $20, which is my guess for their actual cost of doing the paperwork and tagging the car). Should I stick to my guns and not give in to the $290 charge?
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Who whoa whoa...

    Hold it. right there.

    First, if you are on a Ford Employee or Supplier program (X-Plan, S-Plan, X-Plan, Y-Plan, Boardroom, Z-Plan etc...)

    The dealer is not allowed to charge you any fees of any sort. This ought to be pretty simple. Generally you pay either the A-Plan price for Ford Motor Company employees (Called Z-Plan for retirees) which is printed on the invoice.

    If it's an X-Plan (Which I think S-Plan pretty much mimics) you pay 104% of the A-Plan price.

    Look at the invoice, the A-Plan price is on there. If you're at 104%... it's simple.

    Dont pay any doc or dealer prep fees. In fact, by charging those fees they're really asking for serious trouble. I ought to know. I am a dealer. One of our 10 unwritten commandments from the mfr is simple: Thou shalt not screw with employee or supplier purchases or thou will end up selling ice in Alaska". I'd seriously go to another dealer myself.

  • Thanks for clearing this issue up. I know I'll feel a lot more confident about things when I do go to another dealer.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    hey, look at it this way, selling ice in alaska is still better than selling chryslers... :)

  • navy4navy4 Posts: 44
    If you did sell ice in Alaska and was successful at it and made a good living. You sell anything!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,708
    Hey, what's with picking on Alaska?? I got some snow here in Alaska........any takers??
  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
    Do many models have unpublished options? The reason that I ask this has to do with the Base Model Suburban that I just ordered that I'm getting in a couple of weeks.
    I was not willing to purchase the LS package for $6K in order to get front and rear A/C. My salesman tried to find a way to get that but could not. Yesterday, I found a dealer a bit away from me that must have figured out how to order that option. He had Suburbans that were half way between Base model and LS. Base +cloth+two seats+power windows+F&R A/C. I like the one that I ordered, but I would have really liked if I could have gotten F&R A/C. (I'll just put in a couple of little fans in the back.)
    I would love to see web pages devoted to collecting order option goodies that are not mainstream. For example, a two battery setup on the Suburban from a diesel Silverado pickup. F&R A/C for a base model.
  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
    I work at a company that is a General Motors supplier. We get the GMS + 4% deal on GM cars I think. Do dealers get any help from GM on this kind of deal?
  • jocayabyabjocayabyab Posts: 8
    is it true that a dealership can save more money if you order you car from them rather than buy the car that's been sitting on the lot for a while?
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ........A consumer..and .. dealer save a lot more money ---- when a vehicle is sold out of stock...

    A dealer can disconnect the floorplan...no more encured cost's ...and the consumer can make a better deal --- instead of waiting 6/8 weeks ...and hope the right vehicle was ordered.....

  • r40051r40051 Posts: 1
    Looking at purchasing a 2001 CL type S or 2002 TL type S. Any idea how reasonable the TMV is to actual purchase price?
  • gindiegindie Posts: 1
    I have a question that you don't hear everyday. I sent out a mass e-mail Monday to dealers asking for quotes on a RAV4. After not hearing back for a couple of days, I started following up by phone.

    One of my first follow-ups was to the dealer (and salesman) from which I had purchased a car 2 years earlier. We went down Wednesday and signed for a RAV4. Delivery will be Monday. We had told him that we made our first inquiry by e-mail.

    Much to my surprise, last night I finally get a response to my e-mail from a different salesman at the same dealership for a different RAV4, obviously not knowing that we had already purchased. But, in his repsponse, it stated that the prices he could offer would be less than the regular sales staff was "authorized" to sell at.

    My question, since my initial inquiry was via e-mail and I was unaware that they have special pricing through the Internet (they don't mention it anywhere on their website either), should I be entitled to a price adjustment to my yet-undelivered purchase? I have a call into the salesman, but I was curious about the opinions on this board.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    The "Internet Price" probably wouldn't have been any better than what you got.

  • toyotroytoyotroy Posts: 3
    Did the Internet Salesperson give you a price or did he just state that he could offer you a better price? Either way I would advise you to contact your salesperson and let him know what you were told and ask that he make sure that his deal is the best that the Dealership, not an individual salesperson, can give. You may get another small price concession for goodwill purposes.
  • Just a QUICK note about how doc fee's (admin) work. (At least in my dealership)


    Example #1, Sales Manager purchased Vehicle for invoice-still payed admin fee.

    Example #2, Child of owner purchased vehicle for personal use, Payed admin fee.

    In my store, Administration fee's cover all the people in the office that work on the paperwork to finalize the deal. This is part of your title fee's (which are included) This pays for the "person" to go to the courthouse/Dmv/etc to apply for a title, to acquire plates, to package them w/ registration, to mail out pay off checks, and countless other "essencials"

    If a customer makes too big of a fuss, and there is enough play in the deal, the amount of the fee will be subtracted from the price, but the admin fee will be itemized on the Purchase Order.

    WHY ?? In order to be fair, and to avoid any claims of discrimination, everyone will pay for that service. If you want to go to DMV on your own, you have that right, but there will still be a fee listed on your purchase order. NO exceptions,, NONE,,,

    Dealer Prep is a bunch of B...S...

    Most of the time the Dealer Prep is paid through the service dept as Warranty work. or the vehicle is prepped at the port, and the dealer prep is itemized in the invoice.

    ANY Dealer that charges for Scotchguard, Paint Sealent without the customer requesting it is not worthy of your money and go elsewhere,,

    Either offer it as an incentive to buy at your store, or offer it as an add-on like warranty, Gap, Credit life and disability ins... but NEVER charge without offering the option of saying NO...
  • Hmmmmm,

    As a car Salesperson, I will ALways get you a better price then any of my other salespersons. I am going to give you the BEST price you have ever seen...EVER...

    Don't buy from one of the "regular" sales people, Buy from me, Because, I'm "Special"

    This is yet more doo hickey,, If you follow up with this Internet salesperson, you'll find out that you'll have to come in, and he'll still negotiate out you a deal... If you're happy with the numbers you'll buy,,

    oh yeah, you already did that :),, and you'll find that everyone in the car industry will tell you THEY could have done better for you,, Because you JUST bought, They know this, and they want you to think of THEM the next time you want to buy, and EVERYONE of them secretly hope that you'll say,, "Really? ok, well Let me back out of the contract and come see YOU!"
  • first, I'm glad you come clean with dealer prep fees being a "bunch of b.s." Regarding doc fees, I don't think many would argue that they shouldn't be charged, but the burning question is, how much should it be? In Kentucky (and I called the county clerk's office on this), it costs $15 to tag your car and $8 for a title transfer fee. The clerk told me I could bring (or have it mailed) the certificate of origin and the window sticker, and pay the state sales tax myself at the clerk's office. Now, assuming that you go ahead and pay the dealer the $23 for tags and transfer fee, the only other expense would be having an employee take the paperwork to the clerk's office herself. Assuming the employee takes paperwork for several other purchases at the same time, I would certainly think that an additional $27 would cover things with a little more profit left over. That's a $50 doc charge. I would have absolutely no problem paying that. However, last week I was interested in buying a car from an area dealer. After the initial negotiations, during which we settled on a purchase price for the car, I casually asked what the doc fees would be. $349!!! Ridiculous! Stupid me, I even initially agreed to pay it because I was getting the car under a special discount plan the dealer was voluntarily participating in, and even with that markup, I still felt I was getting a pretty good deal. However, after they tried to add the $290 dealer prep fee, I said no way. I talked to another dealer about purchasing the same car, and he said he would mail the clerk the certificate of origin, and let me go to the clerk's office myself, and pay the state sales tax, tag and transfer fee myself, and not charge me anything for the doc fee.

    Let me give you an analogy. Say you called an eye doctor's office, and asked what the charge for an eye exam was. You were told $75. You made an appointment, went in and had your eyes checked. Just a routine exam, no additional or specialized testing. You go to the checkout window, and your bill is $125! You say to the cashier, "I was told the charge would be $75!" She says, "That's correct. The additional fee (PREPRINTED on your statement below the exam fee) of $50 is for the paperwork involved in your registration, the paperwork involved in filing your insurance claim, the employees' 401k plans, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum..." What would your reaction be?

    Again, I've got no problem with a REASONABLE doc fee, but this business of outrageously inflated fees is ridiculous, and I think all carbuyers should take a stand against it!! This business of having the fee preprinted on the sales contract and saying it is non-negotiable is baloney. It is printed on there because the dealership wants it to be and it can just as easily be removed or adjusted. Let's just call it what it is--another pack to boost the dealer's bottom line.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    As a GM Employee buyer. And i have been
    shopping for a new GM truck in the Syracuse
    NY area...Doc fee $20.00 NYS inspection
    $10.00 .And a few bucks more for the difference
    in the vehicle weight if any. Plus 7% sales tax
    And BEST of all no dealer advertising fee either.
    ..Thats it no HOCUS POKUS !!!
    Sorta get just above wholesale on trade though.
    Guess I can't have it all.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    And I just had a Nevada dealer quote $588 for a doc fee! Just over the California line it's $45. You have to shop the doc fee almost as much as the car in some places.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    $588 is an outrage. I bet he advertises all his cars at $500 under invoice with loud and colorful ads...

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    South Florida Lexus dealers get $599.

    Sick, huh? One thing to cover the office... another to be outright greedy.

  • One thing that most people don't realize,

    Every dealership charges a doc/admin fee. This is NOT Negotiable. I Have lost deals because the customer refused to pay the fee, We offered to discount the car the $$, but it was principle, they went to another dealer who didn't contract the doc fee. Fine for this customer, Now this dealer is facing a class action law suit for discrimination (you have to charge everyone doc/admin if you're going to charge for it)

    I think that anything over 300 is just a bunch of doohickey.. There's a lot that goes into our doc fee, We do a lot with the money, (it covers the people who work in the office, not just the title clerk) but charging that much is just highway robbery.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    Not *every* dealer charges a "doc" fee.

    we don't.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Brentwoodvolvo just reminded me of the time I was handling our Florida territory for the internet company I work for.

    A dealer called in and claimed an acceptance for my customer's bid on an Escort. I said great, and tagged the sale for him.

    When his offer arrived, it was at the customer's price but had a $399 "Admin." fee attached to it.

    Outraged, I called the dealer and told him no way.

    Then I called the customer. The gentleman explained to me that he had expected a fee for even more than that because his local dealer charged $450 and he was delighted that his offer had been met!

    This man had simply incorporated the fee into his expectations. It wouldn't hurt if people polled a few dealers to find out what to expect fees to run and then consider it a part of dealer profit.
  • tronsr1tronsr1 Posts: 149
    Thank God I bought my Ford with the X-Plan...Dealer is not allowed to add ANY FEES, except tax,tags and title. Before the time of the internet, I was one of those "uninformed buyers"....NO MORE...
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    Virginia code that dealerships here must prominently display the documentation fee in the dealership.

    Personally, I don't buy the argument that this is in any way a legitimate fee. If it is, why aren't there fees for the janitor, the nightwatchman, the window washer, the porter, etc. etc. etc.

    The reason is that these are all simply costs of doing business. As such, they should be incorporated into the selling price of the vehicle, not added on at the last minute after a price has been agreed upon.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    I wasn't "blowing my own horn". A previous poster stated that EVERY dealer charges doc fees.

    Not every dealer does. We don't and there are many others.

    Nowhere in my profile does the name of my dealership appear and that's the way I like it.

    I have NEVER used these forums in an attempt to promote business.

    And, yes, we install wheel lip mouldings and door edge guards on most of our cars. These are 119.00 and 99.00. They help protect the car.

    You may feel they are a ripoff, other people think they are a good investment. Let's not debate this.

    And...If you don't want them, I'll be happy to find a car without them already installed.

    And..they aren't "5.00" worth of plastic but they do provide profit.

    Whatever happened to the pleasant chats we used to have, neighbor?
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Which city is your dealership located in? I know it's near Seattle...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    I'll tell you elsewhere...

    And, I sure hope I don't come off sounding like I'm trying to promote myself here because I'm not.

    And this bothers me since ctic and I used to get along pretty well.

    You should have stopped by when you were in the area, I would have bought you a beer.

    Heck, ctic IS in the area! I'll buy him a beer too! Anytime!
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Thanks. Next time I'm out in the Seattle area, I will. I suspect it won't be too long into the future.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    Hey any Gm salespeople out there know the
    scoop on those $1000 settlement certficates ?
    I am a GMS employee buyer. I got one from a
    buddy for free...Mr. dealer sez it's only
    worth $250 Because I am GMS and I am taking
    the rebate and interest rates and also a 3rd
    party buyer..I thought he was stroking me.
    But he showed me the offical GM papers on it.
    I did call the GM employee hotline and they
    really were clueless..But somebody will call
    me back today (i hope )..But it did say IF
    you were related or lived at the same address
    as the person on the cert. you CAN get the
    $1000 bucks..
    If you have the slant or they are pulling my
    leg let me know here. Won't sign anything untill
    Friday.............Thanks Geo.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    Are you lurking out there ?? I know you sell
    GMC. Do you know the deal on them GM exploder
    certs. ??? Sorry I can"t buy from you. You
    don't have any 2500 x-cab 4x4..Maybe next
  • rbrenton88rbrenton88 Posts: 186
    I don't believe that is the old ctic. It doesn't sound like him at all.
  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
    What would be a typical demo mileage deduction on a $30K vehicle? $0.30 per mile? $0.40 per mile? For, say, 7000 miles.
    Is this a good place to ask this?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    Ctic is really a good guy. We go back a long time here. We don't always agree but generally get along in the end.

    It was probaby my tone that provoked him. He came back and apologized which wasn't necessary.

    I'll buy him a beer anytime and I hope he takes me up one of these days. He knows where to find me.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    I wouldnt ever buy one. Its like buying a low milage used former daily rental, without the large discount you would expect.

    Don't count on a huge discount. You won't be getting one. You would be surprised how many people would buy that demo with 7000 miles with very little discounting at all.

    When a dealer wants a demo to go away they will advertise it below cost in the paper or put a spiff on it for the sales force.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
    I already have my Suburban on order. I saw an LS model on gmbuypower.com over in Fort Worth. It was listed as new, but 6980 miles on it. I was just curious about mileage allowances.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    As long as the Vehicle is on the MSO (Untitled) it can be sold as a new car.

    Over 3,000 or 4,000 miles (I think) and you have to put an FTC Used car buyer's guide in it tho (I.E. a demo).

    My demonstrator is untitled and has a dealer plate on it for example.

    Oddly enough, in Flroida we have to sell ANY new car as "Titled as new but defined as used by CFR xxx" In Florida, if the car has ANYTHING over "0" miles on the odometer, it's considered used.

  • anna12anna12 Posts: 10
    I want to buy a new toyota celica gts in the next couple weeks but live in a small city-2 dealerships, same owner, in a rural state, so the "walk" option is limited. There are no gts celicas listed in the dealers' inventories, never mind I'd like a particular color and certain options! So, am I better off negotiating with the
    local dealer, or using a credit union, costco, or internet dealer, under these circumstances? I've always done my own negotiating, but in a bigger city with more options. As a last resort, I could go back to the big city, where I retain ties, but it's 1000 miles away and I'd rather drive my new car there! Thanks. Anna
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Your dealer may be willing to give you a worthwhile price. Compare to carsdirect or other sites that will give quotes. That will tell you if you need to go any further.
This discussion has been closed.