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Bryant Gibby

Bryant Gibby Used car manager

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Dealer fees

We are currently doing some mystery shopping to compare several things at our dealership to other dealerships. The main intent of the mystery shopping is to compare processes, level of training in sales people, and pricing. As we have done this we have found that, although we are really aggressive on pricing and trade allowances, we are definitely on the high side when it comes to fees.

 

     The 2 fees I'm referring to are probably standard fees at the majority of dealerships. We charge a documentation fee and an additional fee for vehicle theft registration (VTR) or "etching". I'm not going to tell you what we charge for those for the fact that I want to see where everyone else comes in at and I don't want anyone judging us :). We are a large Ford franchise, so I want to make sure we are comparing apples to apples. If you respond back to my post, let me know what you charge for both fees or if you even have both fees. Also, if you don't have VTR or etching, what do you charge and what is the product? It would be great if you mention the size of the store that you work at and whether or not it is a new franchise. Hope to hear some good feedback.......

Craig Waikem
I would be cautious for anyone to post on this without consent from your store's attorney/dealer principal. That being said...The State of Ohio allows up to $250 to be charged for Dealer Doc Fees, and most dealers charge the full amount. That is the only fee our dealership charges. The State charges title and plate fees up to $40.
Megan Barto
Pennsylvania law says we are permitted to charge up to $131 for a Documentation Fee. There are of course, other fees charged by the state (for example, there's a $5 tire tax on any new vehicle - unless it doesn't have a spare tire, then it's only $4). With all the fees, a typical fee total is between $180-$220 depending on if the customer needs a new license plate, if the customer is financing and if it's a new or a used car (the tire tax does not apply to used vehicles). To transfer an existing license plate, it's only $6, while if a customer needs to be issued a new plate, it's a $10 plate fee & a $36 registration fee. We don't put any kind of etch on our vehicles pre-purchase, rather that option is presented to the customer with our protection program during the F & I turn. I work for a dealer group which has 9 new car franchises - a few our our stores sell 100+ new a month, and some sell around 30 new.
Jay Lynch
I am no longer in retail; however I am in dealerships daily. In Florida I see dealer doc fees in the $599 range often. Having said that, It is not common to force a customer to purchase, in this case a hard add (line 1), a product in order to buy a car. I have worked for 2 large dealer groups and consulted with dealers over a 5 state area. I applaud your effort to understand your business and develop a plan.

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