In the United States, automotive dealers hold a lot of power. They get to decide the final price on the vehicles that they sell and sometimes they’ll jack that price way above MSRP. Even with that extra profit, some dealers will then add on ridiculous dealer fees. Which one is the wildest you’ve encountered?
Dealer markups, sometimes called market adjustments, are clearly the most expensive add-on out there but they’re far from the sneakiest. Some dealers will tack on an arbitrary “Dealer Fee” of hundreds of dollars. Others have a “Document Fee” that can likewise add hundreds. The last time I was shopping for a car these two fees added some $1,400 to the out-the-door price of a vehicle I was interested in.
Sometimes, dealers are far bolder and they’ll list very expensive add-ons that are “mandatory” as they put it. For example, take a look at this window sticker from a dealer in New Jersey. It has an $895 ‘Decor Package” and $595 for nitrogen-filled tires.
To be very clear about the former, the air you’re breathing right now is some 78 percent nitrogen. Filling automotive tires with nitrogen, like most race teams do, is meant to prevent pressure changes within the tire due to the water vapor found in normal everyday air. That same vapor doesn’t exist in purely nitrogen-filled tires so the pressure inside the tire doesn’t change as drastically based on temperature. On a stock Nissan Titan though, it’s probably not as vital.
Many believe that these add-ons and additional dealer fees are created to make up for the low sticker price that gets customers in the door. Regardless of their purpose, they might soon have to be in clear writing at every dealer across the nation if the FTC has anything to say about it.
The ultimate truth is that the out-the-door price is really the most important factor. So long as you can buy the vehicle you want at a total price that you’re happy with, haggling over tiny fees isn’t all that important. That doesn’t change the fact that you’ve probably seen some wild ones out there. Tell us about them in the comments below!
Image Credit: klonk on Reddit