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Buyer Beware! Demystifying Dealership Fees in Wisconsin

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Jun 26, 2024

Congratulations, you've found your dream car in Wisconsin! But before you zoom off the lot, there's one more hurdle: dealership fees. These seemingly mysterious charges can add a significant amount to the sticker price. Here's a breakdown of dealership fees in Wisconsin to help you navigate the car buying process with confidence.

Understanding Dealership Fees

Unlike taxes and title fees, dealership fees are not regulated by the state. This means dealerships have some flexibility in what they charge and how they disclose them. Here are some common dealership fees you might encounter:

  • Doc Fees: This covers the cost of processing paperwork, titling, and registering your new vehicle.
  • Delivery Fees: If the car is being delivered from another location, you might be charged a delivery fee.
  • Prep Fees: These fees cover cleaning, detailing, and preparing the car for sale.
  • Admin Fees: Some dealerships have a blanket administrative fee to cover various costs associated with the sale.

Negotiating Dealership Fees

The good news? Dealership fees are often negotiable! Here are some tips:

  • Research Average Fees: Get an idea of typical dealership fees in your area for similar vehicles. This gives you a baseline for negotiation.
  • Ask for a Breakdown: Request a detailed breakdown of all fees included in the final price. Don't be afraid to question any fees you don't understand.
  • Negotiate as a Package: Instead of focusing on individual fees, negotiate the overall price of the car, including the fees.
  • Compare Offers: Get quotes from multiple dealerships to compare not just the car's price but also the associated fees.

Alternatives to Dealership Fees

  • Financing: If you're financing your car purchase, the lender might originate some fees. However, these are separate from dealership fees and are typically unavoidable.
  • Extended Warranties: These are optional add-on products that dealerships often try to sell. Carefully consider the need for an extended warranty before you agree to purchase one.

Remember: Knowledge is power! By understanding dealership fees and utilizing negotiation tactics, you can potentially save money on your car purchase in Wisconsin. Don't be afraid to ask questions, compare offers, and negotiate to get the best possible deal. Happy car buying!

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


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