Question on new car fees

I know that today it is a sellers’ market on cars. I just ordered a new RAV4 and pricing looks like MSRP + delivery fee + dealer fee. I know the last 2 are BS charges but today am I pretty much stuck paying them? And when I pick up the car I’ve decided that if they tack on added fees (like price = MSRP + $2000) beyond that that either they will take them off or I’m walking.

Delivery fee is not at all BS. In the past it could be negotiated away, but as you said it is a seller’s market. I think you are going to be stuck with both fees if you really want the car.

You can certainly try to negotiate them down, as they are almost undoubtedly just terms that the dealer is using to represent “more profit, because we can.”

But, as already noted, if cars are regularly leaving that lot, with the buyers having paid those “fees,” then the dealer may feel little need to negotiate with you, as the next guy will be willing to pay that price.

The problem with things like delivery fees and dealer fees is you don’t see them on most products. You don’t buy a TV and then at the register is an extra $20 charge for what it cost for them to get the TV into the store.

Normally this sort of BS would be negotiable, but in today’s car market you probably won’t be able to avoid them. You should still be able to avoid things like extended warranties and paint protection, which will get thrown at you by the finance guy after you already agree on a price.

When I helped my son buy his car, they put those in the contract (technically sales offer I guess) like its was a done deal and I suspect most people assume it is a mandatory part of the purchase. I simply put a line through them and said, “We decline those.”

Right, you can choose to pay those fees, or go to a different dealership and ask if they can beat that price. Then you can go back and forth. But nobody’s desperate to move cars right now so I wouldn’t expect much.

If you’re willing to travel you can save a lot. A one way ticket + a day of your life driving back to where you live can save you thousands. Find a dealer in a major metro area who survives on volume and doesn’t care about eking out as much profit on each car as they can. They’ll work with you.

Nope! No one gives a price until delivered. At that point if you go to another dealership it’s wait 4 - 6 months for no guarantee you’ll save money.

How much do you want this car? The Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular car models so I’m sure if you decide not to buy it, someone else will and they’ll be willing to pay these fees.

I have resigned that I’ll have to pay those fees. I’m just readying myself to walk away if they add more fees on top of those. Another wildcard is my trade-in. Broke-ass oil pump and leaks that they can fix for much cheaper than I can (no labor costs for them) and minor fixable body damage and $1200 in tires that can resell in a flash. That will give everyone room to play with the dollars for good or bad.

The Rav4 is the single best selling auto in the US after the Big 3 pickup trucks so they have that going for them. I leased my 2021 so not a direct comparison. I bought one off the lot, the base model. That said all I can see that they added was the deluxe floor mat set (already with the car). The mats are as good as the best aftermarket ones and we really like how easily they pull out and can be hosed off. And I had to pay for gap insurance but that was part of the lease and has a value to me anyway.

You may already be aware that the trade-in offers them another way to make money (i.e., screw you over). Here is a new story from Planet Money on NPR that goes into the economics of buying a car today, and the ways that dealers try to maximize revenues. One bit reads

One study found that dealerships tend to treat a buyer’s decision to trade in their used car like a neon sign on their foreheads, flashing, “Charge me more!” That’s because trading in your used car, while easier than selling it directly, also fetches less money. Dealerships apparently see this as an indicator that you’re either unsavvy or willing to burn cash — so they jack up the price of the car they sell to you. The type of car you trade in also offers a wealth of information on how much they can charge.

Like most higher dollar ticket items, the market determines the price for things and the ability to negotiate the price for those things changes. As has been indicated it is currently a sellers market for cars. Used cars hit a peak earlier this year and have stabilized some, but new cars are still in much demand and short supply and most dealers have most of the leverage as if you don’t accept their terms, then there will be another person really soon, that will and they will sell it to them.

It’s good to have a walk away price, but that may mean that you won’t get a new car for a while.

4 years ago, you could probably walk out and the dealer would call you a few hours later saying that they would negotiate…today…not so much.