BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm picking up a 428i tomorrow morning. I've already signed something to hold the vehicle a week ago, and noticed the dealer fees seemed high:
Clerical: $222
Documental Transmittal: $147

is this a little high?

I've been leasing for many years and found this to be odd.
I typically lease from NY dealerships, this is in NJ.

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,464 Posts
The "doc fee" is $75 in New York because it is regulated by law. In many states the "doc fee" is not regulated. It's not regulated in New Jersey.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
23,667 Posts
So the deaelr is screwing you out of $369.

Kinda late to catch it, no? If you have balls you line it out, threaten to walk if they balk- and walk. They employ people at the dealership to handle clerical tasks.... JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Some dealers in new jersey charge as much as 599 for dealer fees. This being in NJ seems on the lower side actually. It's also important to look at the whole deal: sale price of the car and MF. Many dealers charge high doc fees but then will discount the sale price to make up for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
Dealer Fees including Documentary Service Fees are regulated state-by-state. For some it's a fixed amount, others it's open ended. In Washington State it's a $150 doc service fee, but has to appear in most all advertising and all contracts as a negotiable fee.

I'm don't know the rules in all states. That's a buyer-beware (and buyer research) on the rule in your state.

Now this is just a pure assumption, by my guess is that if the fee is bigger than $100, it's probably negotiable.

~M~
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,464 Posts
Now this is just a pure assumption, by my guess is that if the fee is bigger than $100, it's probably negotiable.
Whether it is negotiable varies from state to state, regardless of the amount. In your state it is capped at $150 now and by law it must be negotiable but in practice it isn't: http://www.atg.wa.gov/dealer-advertising

In California, for example, it's capped at $80 but if the dealer chooses to charge a "doc fee," he must charge the same amount to every customer (cash, finance or lease) because that language is spelled out in the statute and class action lawsuits have forced certain dealers to refund the entire amount of the "doc fee" to every customer who was ever charged one since the statute was enacted once it was discovered that the dealer sold one or two cars for cash without charging a "doc fee."

About a dozen states regulate it and in most of those states it is capped at a certain amount -- sometimes under $100, sometimes over, and in states like that all of the dealers in the state end up charging the maximum allowed, even if that maximum is $250. In most states it is completely unregulated. In fact, hilariously, in one state the "doc fee" is capped by law at only $27 but the law allows dealers to charge "administrative fees" that are unregulated.

It's a mess and that's because in many ways we're a collection of states when it comes to laws and regulations, especially in the area of motor vehicle legislation and regulation. Our insurance laws vary from state to state and laws governing the sale of motor vehicles, registration requirements, insurance requirements, taxes, etc. are different from one state to the next.

In answer to the OP's situation, the usual "doc fee" in New Jersey is $349, or at least that's what I believe it usually is but your experience may vary since it's not regulated there.

The usual "doc fee" in Georgia is $599-$699 and in Florida it's $699-$899, but that's just for BMW dealers. I have seen Rolls-Royce dealers along the East Coast charging twice that amount as a "doc fee." The only way to deal with that is to just go with the flow and always ask for the total selling price including all dealer-imposed unofficial fees. If a salesperson lies and misrepresents any of those unofficial fees as an official fee, then the entire transaction could be in legal jeopardy, assuming you can prove you were told that. Official fees, such as taxes, license, title and registration fees cannot be overcharged by the dealer. Just remember that even in unregulated states, the salesperson's authority to lower his dealership's standard "doc fee" may be zero. The best you can do is argue with him over the total selling price, including "doc fee."

Just keep in mind that $1,000 over invoice in California means exactly $1,080 over invoice (including "doc fee") but in Florida it means at least $1,699 over invoice, maybe more.

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
Whether it is negotiable varies from state to state, regardless of the amount. In your state it is capped at $150 now and by law it must be negotiable but in practice it isn't.
I've heard of WA dealers letting clients leave over the doc fee. Some discount the vehicle not the fee. It varies.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top