STD67

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I clipped this off the internet. What is the amount that is acceptable and obviously input on what is excessive.

Article:

What, exactly, is a document fee?
First off, let's get the wording down, because a document fee can go by many different names. Sometimes they're called a processing or paperwork fees, or they might simply be referred to as "doc fees." No matter the label, they all mean the same thing.

This fee covers the back-office work a dealership does with any car purchase. Basically, you're paying for paperwork. This can include vehicle registration, license plates, checking a trade-in value, making certain a trade-in is free from recalls, and other administrative functions that come with buying or leasing a car.

While they sound legitimate, these charges have bad habit of showing up at the tail-end of the transaction, which is basically the worst possible time. Typically ranging from $100 to $400, these seemingly out-of-the-blue charges cause many car shoppers to think they're being scammed at the last moment.

So, should you have to pay for these charges in the first place?
The short answer is, yes. The additional bad news is that the vast majority of states don't regulate document fees. Several do, and cap these fees, so be sure to ask about this. Otherwise, a dealership is left to determine what's appropriate, then pass this cost onto the consumer. After all, no one's forcing you to buy the car from this particular dealership. You could, perhaps, find a dealership that charges a less exorbitant fee. But there's an end run around the document fee entirely that savvy car buyers, like you, can take advantage of.

For one, now that you've read this sage piece of advice and are prepared to see a document fee on the final sales agreement, you won't be caught off guard. And more importantly, the only thing that really matters is the bottom line: the price of the car inclusive of all fees, taxes, and surcharges. If you're prepared for the document fee to add a few hundred dollars to the bottom line, you can account for that in your negotiation strategy. It really doesn't matter if one particular fee seems unreasonable if you've negotiated a fair bottom line price.

How do I know what all the fees and taxes will add to the bottom line?
It's not that easy to calculate what all these fees and taxes will be from home to the penny, but it's possible to get a sense of what you might expect. Taxes are calculated as a percentage of the sales price. Registration fees might be calculated by weight. It's too much to get into in this article, but you can call or speak to the dealer where the car you're interested in is, and ask about what the fees will probably be using the car's MSRP as a starting point. There's no good reason why a dealer would refuse to run those numbers for you.

And remember, you can negotiate about more than just raw dollar figures. If the dealer won't budge on price, or negotiable fees, try to get an accessory or option thrown in. After all, why expend all your energy researching cars and comparing costs, only to let a few hundred dollars drive you crazy once the deal is at the finish line?
 

jnsplace

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I figure, we're getting fee'd to death by little bites in just about everything we do.

Hotels
Rental cars
Housing

You name it. I agree with the last paragraph. Can choose to manage your response to the fees. Negotiate, accept or move on. ;)
 

Scott2373

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I don't know about other states, but New York caps a doc fee at $75. AFAIC, it's just another BS dealer fee, but it was never worth my time trying to haggle it down considering how much I always got off the MSRP in the first place. I've heard about some dealers charging upwards of $700 here in Arizona, which I will not pay. I'm quite certain that once a fair deal is established, If one threatens to walk away because they want to charge some exorbitant document fee, they'll be willing to work with you or waive it entirely, aka, take it off the sale price of the vehicle.
 

Mrknowitall

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Unless doc fees include tax/title/license, I say no to anything over an hour of clerical work. Even then, every other business pays their costs out of their margin.
 
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STD67

STD67

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I'm just wondering how some places are getting $700 or more for doc fees. Crazy
 

Scott2373

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Because people are uneducated when it comes to car buying, and assume this is a mandatory fee that the dealer charges. It's the exact same reason why dealers charge markups over MSRP. People assume they have to pay it.
 
 
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