When the clock ran out on the Connecticut General Assembly's 2015 legislative session on June 3, many high-priority bills had not received final votes. A special session was called to consider revising the state budget and to address other issues. The legislature approved, and Governor Malloy signed, a massive "Implementer Bill" on June 30, 2015. The new law includes provisions that will dramatically change the way that car dealers charge consumers for dealer conveyance fees.
One of the biggest tricks in the car business is the "dealer conveyance fee," which is supposed to compensate the dealership for its costs in processing the paperwork, taking care of the registration, and closing the deal. About 20 years ago, dealer conveyance fees were modest, with most dealerships charging less than $100. But, starting around the late 1990's, a few dealerships started to charge more. Others followed, and before long, many were charging $299 or more. The dealerships that kept their rates reasonable suffered from unfair competition, because other dealerships advertised cars at lower prices, only to make up the difference by charging a higher conveyance fee. So, more dealerships increased their fees to match their competitors. Soon, other dealerships raised their prices even higher. Today, we have some dealerships charging as much as $799, or about 10X the amount charged by many dealerships as recently as 15 years ago!