Consumer Reports tips on car destination fees

Consumer Reports

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)–Do you pay an extra fee for those eggs you bought to cover costs for transportation from the farmer to the grocery store? Of course not. But you likely paid a similar fee the last time you bought a car. It’s called a destination fee.

These non-negotiable fees appear as a line item on car window stickers. They’re rarely disclosed in ads or on automaker websites, and because of that, these hefty fees can take unsuspecting buyers by surprise.

“The lack of transparency about how destination charges are derived, and the rate

they’ve been increasing, deserves a second look,” said Mike Monticello, Consumer Reports Car Expert. “Many consumer advocates suspect these fees are just a way for automakers to boost the bottom line without officially raising prices.”

So what can you do about these ever-rising fees? Consumer Reports says to negotiate the bottom line for the vehicle, not the destination fees since the dealer won’t budge on those. Insist on discussing your “out the door” all-in price, and don’t be shy about asking for a reduction. 

If you don’t get it, consider walking away. Car dealers expect you to haggle and they just might match your price to make the sale.

What to buy in April: Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports also says the best way to haggle for a car is over email. Not only is it COVID-compliant, but it’s also a great way to get the deal in writing before you even step foot in the dealership.

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