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Discussion Starter #1
I have been lurking here for a few weeks and I've picked up a lot of valuable info.
We put down a deposit for a sage green touring with nav/dvd and were quoted a price of 42,500. When the dealer faxed us the invoice he had added a documentation fee of $199 and registration fee of $125 as well as anti theft window etching fee of $199.
Do all dealers charge this or are these fees negotiable?
 

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I don't know specifically about NJ, but in some states the documentation fee is fixed by law.

When I did my deal, we worked out the price to the penny, so there were no surprises at deal closing.

Maybe some of your neighbors from Jersey can chime in with their specific experiences and fees.
 

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I also asked for the breakdown of costs prior to purchasing where they listed all "extra fees" for me to review. I was originally charged the registration fees (actual costs for them to register the vehicle as a new vehicle w/ the State DMV). I actually made out a separte check for the DMV which they in turn sent in. So, these charges are set by the State and are obviously legitimate. I was also charged a "documentation fee" of $ 50 to cover the cost of their paperwork, etc. The States vary as to whether they have a set fee allowed per State, or the dealers may charge whatever they think they can get. In the State of Oregon, the dealers are allowed to charge up to $ 50 as a legitimate business expense. However, I disagreed with this "surcharge" in principal, and said I will not pay the fee, but will instead agree to pay it if you lower the price of the vehicle by $ 50. They agreed to do this. In an earlier car purchase in Oregon, a Lincoln dealership tried to add a $ 150 documentation fee at closing. I told him I would not pay this fee, and would only pay it if they lowered the car price by $ 150. They agreed to lower the price. As far as the window etching fee, I have never heard of this.
as an add-on fee?
 

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sarha said:
When the dealer faxed us the invoice he had added a documentation fee of $199 and registration fee of $125 as well as anti theft window etching fee of $199.
Yes some fees are common and fixed by law according to the state; e.g. origination fees, registration fees, filing fees, etc.

However window etching is NOT a fee and that should certainly be negotiable - good luck.
 

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I just wanted to say why I disagree w/ the "documentation fee" in principle. I figure they are making around $ 3,000 + in profit on a new vehicle sale, and I see no reason for them to keep digging for more $. They have to be there to run the business, and should be happy to do whatever documentation
and paper work is required to sell a vehicle. Their time for doing this should come out of the general overhead for having people perform this work. In any event, fees ( or total cost to purchase) can be negotiated by negotiating on the price you agree to pay for the vehicle.
 

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In NJ, there is no regulation on the documentation fees. There is a fee for their services. The actual fees are $78.50 (I think, but not much more or less) for registration, plus a title fee of around $125. Since there is no regulation, the dealers can really charge anything they want. You can try to negotiate them, but most likely you'll be denied. I've paid very close to those fees before, and on other deals, have to pay higher. The VIN etching, I would think would be negotiable, since it's an extra.
 

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JimH said:
As far as the window etching fee, I have never heard of this.
as an add-on fee?
This is something that many dealers offer in TX, and some insurance companies provide a discount if you have it. ( State Farm treats it as an anti-thift device) I have the VIN etching on my MDX, but I didn't pay for it. The dealer did it without asking me & I told them too bad, so they didn't charge me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks so much for your answers. I spoke with the salesman and he agreed to drop the window etching fee(it's for some sort of vehicle i.d.),and while he wouldn't negotiate the registration fee, he did throw in a wooden knob that I had asked about.
I feel better knowing that these are standard charges and not just a way to bump up the price.
 

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sarha said:
Thanks so much for your answers. I spoke with the salesman and he agreed to drop the window etching fee(it's for some sort of vehicle i.d.),and while he wouldn't negotiate the registration fee, he did throw in a wooden knob that I had asked about.
I feel better knowing that these are standard charges and not just a way to bump up the price.
Good going sarha! I like the fact that you 'stuck to your guns' and 'persuaded' the salesman to drop the etching fee, while throwing in the wood knob. Well done...:29:
 

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$199 for vin etching is outrageous! :3:
Local police do it for free in some countys. You can do it yourself for about $20 - $30. Here is one such site that sells these DIY kits.
Check it out - www.caretch.com

I really recommend this site if you are in the market for a new car - has lots of very useful information about dealer scams including the etching scam
http://www.carbuyingtips.com/
 

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When we got my wife's CR-V the dealer said the car already had the etching on it and tried charging me $500. I told him that's great... but I'm not paying for it. Same with the pin-striping. I removed the dealer sticker as soon as I got home with a hair dryer and a soft touch.

I'm gonna look into etching my windows on my own if it cuts some off insurance.
 

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Sarha,
I picked up my X from Montclair Acura in Verona, NJ. They also charged me with a $159 MVID fee (which includes window etching, and a certificate saying that if my X is stolen and not retrieved within 30 days, they will give me $5000). Incidentally this charge was pre printed on the invoice, and i never paid any attention to it till the time they actually charged for it. It was too late to argue about it so I let it go. They also had wheel locks for $89 on it, but the dealership gave them to me for free.

So yes, there are special feels...i think in total I paid about $275 for title/registration and documentatin fees, and $159 for the MVID...over and above the $42,500 + tax....but all that money is worth it, and you realize it the moment you start driving your new X :) :D

Hope this helps !
 
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