Dodge Dealership Fees: Your Ultimate Guide to Avoid Overpaying

by AutoExpert   |  8 April, 2024

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Buying a car is expensive enough, right? Then the dealership hits you with all these random fees. It's enough to make you scream. So, let's break down what to watch for, so you don't walk out paying thousands more than you should.

How Bad Is It?

Fees can easily add THOUSANDS to your final price. Some are kinda legit, others are pure B.S. It really depends how hard the dealer tries to gouge you. We're not just talking pocket change here.

Dealership Fees

1. Destination Fee: Non-Negotiable (Ugh)

This is basically the cost of shipping the car to the dealership. It's gonna be on the sticker, but buried in the fine print. Think $1000 or more nowadays, which is insane. Dealers won't budge on this unless the car's been collecting dust for ages.

2. Dealer Prep: Scam Alert

They charge you for getting the car ready to sell. Like, washing it. Maybe a few hundred bucks, even though it takes them like an hour. Push back on this HARD, it's part of the cost of doing business!

Dealership Fees

3. Registration Fees: These Vary WILDLY

This is them doing the DMV paperwork for you. Should be under $100, but some places try to charge $600+. States are cracking down on this, thankfully, but watch out.

4. VIN Etching: Do It Yourself

This is supposed to deter theft. Maybe useful in some areas, but dealerships charge a fortune. You can buy a kit for $20 and do it in your driveway.

5. Advertising Fees: Are You Serious?

Yeah, some places try to bill you for their commercials. HELL NO. If the advertised price is low but then there's a huge 'marketing' fee, it's a bait-and-switch. Walk away.

Dealership Fees

6. Sneaky Upgrades: They Hope You Don't Notice

Some dealers pre-install tint, special tires... then charge you, without even asking if you want it. They'll overcharge, too – window tint should be like $150, not $400. Look over that paperwork carefully!

7. Sales Tax: The Big One

Okay, not the dealer's fault, but it stings. Usually around 7% on top of EVERYTHING else. BUT, a few states don't have this, and trade-ins can lower it. Worth researching if the tax is high where you live

8. Extended Warranties: Think Twice

They'll push these when you buy. They rarely make sense – you can probably get the same thing from the manufacturer later on, and use it at any of their shops, not just that one dealer.

Dealership Fees

9. Dealer Markups: When They Get Greedy

Hot cars? Limited stock? Some dealers add THOUSANDS because they know some poor sucker will pay it. Your only option is to either wait for the market to cool down or shop around like crazy.

10. Rebates: Not What They Seem

Manufacturers do these sometimes. THE CATCH: It's not a straight discount. This is all behind-the-scenes stuff with your down payment, and the full price might still get taxed. Don't let 'em sweet-talk you into thinking it's a better deal than it is

Dealership Fees

Extra Tips to Avoid Getting Fleeced

  • Used Cars: A lot of this BS gets worse with new cars. Consider something gently used, few years old – much cheaper, still got warranty left maybe.

  • Boring is Best: Flashy, loaded-up cars are harder to bargain down. That plain-Jane model sitting on the lot? Dealer probably wants it gone, so they'll be more flexible.

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