Buyers need to be cautious about hidden fees and add-ons when purchasing a car, as these extra costs can significantly increase the final price.
"Dealer installed options" or add-ons can unexpectedly raise the cost of a vehicle by over $1,200 or $1,500, so it's essential to scrutinize these additional charges.
Dealerships often make more profits from used cars and maintenance, leading them to introduce lucrative dealer-installed add-on items that can impact the overall cost.
Many extra costs are negotiable and can be reduced or eliminated as part of the transaction, including dealer-installed options that may not be necessary.
Consumer watchdogs are advocating for the disclosure of all extra fees upfront to prevent surprises during the final paperwork.
Some dealerships add fees for items like paint protection or interior protection packages, which can be negotiated to lower the final price.
Consumers should compare different dealerships to see who charges what for dealer-installed options, as pricing can vary.
Some fees, like documentary preparation fees, may be regulated by state law and are unlikely to be reduced or eliminated.