Does this situation sound familiar? You’ve been looking to purchase a vehicle, and you finally found the one you like at a price you can afford. You stop by your bank and get pre-approved for a car loan because you know that’s where you will get the best interest rates.
You head to the dealership, ready to make a deal. Suddenly you find yourself looking at a price that is way above what you expected. What happened? Where did all these new fees come from?
What is covered by these “hidden costs”?
There are several hidden costs associated with buying a car at a dealership, such as:
- Dealer markup, which is the extra amount that dealers add to the sticker price of a car
- Conveyance fees which can cover the registration fees and title transfer
- Extended warranty fees
- Rust-proofing, paint protection, and fabric protection
Finally, there’s the issue of financing. Car dealerships make a lot of money off the financing of vehicles, but it typically comes with higher interest rates and other terms that are less favorable than what you received from your bank.
The dealer must inform you of these fees; while they are legal, they are negotiable. If you believe that you have been the victim of a car dealership scam because the dealer added additional fees you weren’t expecting or the conveyance fee is excessive compared to what was actually done to prep the vehicle, there are a few options available to you.
You can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit organization that tracks customer complaints and provides businesses with ratings based on their complaint history. In some cases, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against the dealership to recover damages.