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Don’t Sweat the Fees!

Expectations of Buying

Whether you are buying a new car or a new-to-you car, negotiating can seem overwhelming. The price that you settle on will not be the end price, but don’t feel blindsided! We’ve listed all the fees you should expect when purchasing a new vehicle.


Preliminary check

First of all, make sure that you thoroughly inspect the paperwork associated with buying your vehicle before you sign anything. Sometimes there are hidden costs you do not actually have to pay, and you can negotiate for them to be lowered or removed altogether. Some of those fees include: destination charge, title and registration, documentation fee, state sales tax and an advertising fee.

Destination Charge

This is a fee that covers delivering the vehicle to the dealership from the factory. It is usually shown on the sticker price on the window and is set by the automaker. It is usually the same for each make and model. This fee is of course passed along to you and you have to pay it. However, some dealerships may add to that cost and include a dealer prep, delivery, pre-delivery inspection, etc. If this fee exists it will be found on a separate sticker with an itemized list associated with the destination charge. These extra fees can be negotiated or removed.

Title and Registration

Title and registration fees are fixed by your DMV. The dealership will usually issue you a temporary or permanent tag, depending on which state you are in. You will have to pay these fees, but one thing you should look out for is a markup. Transferring plates over from one vehicle to another can often be significantly cheaper. Watch out that you are not paying for new plates if you don’t need or receive them.

Documentation Fee

This fee can sometimes be labeled as a “doc fee” or a “convenience fee”. It is usually limited by the state how much a dealership can charge, but sometimes it can still cost anywhere between $100 - $500. This fee is pre-printed on the sales contract.

State Sales Tax

Everyone has to pay a state sales tax when they purchase a vehicle. But, be mindful that you are not overpaying or paying for multiple states. You only have to pay the sales tax for the state you live in, so if you purchase in another state or you relocate soon after purchase you can get a state refund for the first state by sending in proof of new issue.


The manufacturer passes on added costs to the dealership. Those costs sometimes then get passed on to the consumer. This fee pays for nationwide advertising and if it is passed on to you, it will be found in your contract. This is a fee that you can negotiate or eliminate altogether.


When you are buying a vehicle it is best to come prepared. Do your research and you'll walk onto to the lot with confidence to negotiate your way to your next ride!

Collierville Auto Car Experts
Collierville Auto Car Experts
At Collierille Auto, we are true car experts with decades of knowledge and experience. Let us guide you through the ins and outs of the car buying journey. Your ride is waiting, and we're here to help you find it!

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