What’s the most ridiculous dealer fee you’ve ever encountered while buying a car?

What's the most ridiculous dealer fee you've ever encountered while buying a car?

In the US, car dealers have a lot of power. They get to decide the final price of the vehicles they sell, and sometimes they will jack that price way above MSRP. Even with the extra profit, some dealers will add ridiculous dealer fees. Which is the wildest you’ve met?

Dealer markups, sometimes called market adjustments, are clearly the most expensive add-on out there, but they’re far from the sneakiest. Some dealers will take on an arbitrary “Dealer Fee” of hundreds of dollars. Others have a “Document Fee” that can similarly add hundreds. The last time I shopped for a car, these two fees added about $1,400 to the out-door price of a vehicle I was interested in.

Sometimes dealers are far bolder and will list very expensive add-ons that are “mandatory” as they say. For example, take a look at this window sticker from a dealer in New Jersey. It has an $895 trim package and $595 for nitrogen-filled tires.

Read more: Lincoln has no plans to buy out dealers who don’t want to switch to electric cars

To be very clear on the former, the air you are breathing right now is about 78 percent nitrogen. Filling car tires with nitrogen, as most race teams do, is intended to prevent pressure changes in the tire due to the water vapor found in normal everyday air. The same vapor is not found in pure nitrogen-filled tires, so the pressure inside the tire does not change as drastically based on temperature. On a Nissan Titan it probably isn’t as important.

Many believe that these add-ons and additional dealer fees are created to make up for the low sticker price that gets customers in the door. Regardless of their purpose, they must soon be in clear writing at every retailer across the country if the FTC has anything to say about it.

The ultimate truth is that the out-door price is really the most important factor. As long as you can buy the vehicle you want at a total price you’re happy with, it’s not that important to haggle over small fees. That doesn’t change the fact that you’ve probably seen some wild ones out there. Tell us about them in the comments below!

Image credit: klonk on Reddit

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