Car Dealer Scams – The Dealer Prep Fee

If you’ve dealt with a car dealership, then you know about how many fees there are when buying a car.

Sometimes, there are so many fees that it can be confusing to know which ones are really legit.

One such fee is the dealer prep fee.

The dealer prep fee is a scam… plain and simple. Here’s why:

The dealer prep fee is supposed to cover the dealer’s time for things like removing the cardboard carpet covers… the plastic on the windows… and taking the car for a test drive.

And even though the dealer will charge you something like 400-500 bucks for this service, it seems pretty expected that they would want you to pay for their service, right?


The thing is, most manufacturers already pay the dealer for this service by including this service in the price of the vehicle!

So where is that extra 500 bucks going? Straight to the pockets of the car dealer.

The manufacturer wants the vehicles to be delivered in the same way for each customer. That’s why they include this service in the price, so that they can get the dealers to follow their steps correctly.

Though the dealer prep fee isn’t necessarily common practice, it is out there… and you should know about it.

If you do run into a situation where a dealer wants to charge you the dealer prep fee, tell them to remove it from the invoice. If they refuse, then you can let them know that you’ll find another dealer that wants your money. After all, just think about how many other scams this dealer is trying to push on you if they are willing to try and pull the dealer prep fee off on you?

If you’ve had any experience with a dealer prep fee, let us know in the comments below.

While you’re at the dealer, don’t forget to try and get as many car insurance discounts as possible too. Check out a few of the most common discounts here.

2 thoughts on “Car Dealer Scams – The Dealer Prep Fee

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