Car Prep Fee Scams

This car dealership scam lets a dealer pick up a quick profit from consumers in the range of anywhere from $500 – $2000.

This car dealership scam lets a dealer pick up a quick profit from consumers in the range of anywhere from $500 – $2000. It all depends on how much a customer is willing to spend. It’s perfectly legal and we only consider it a scam because, even though many car dealerships are up front about the charges, they are often able to recover these prep fees from the manufacturer. They will claim that they are trying to recover their losses when they discount the car off MSRP retail price.

So after you have negotiated the price down and feel that you are getting a good price the dealer throws it all back on at the end And even tells you they are doing it! If you’ve paid the full price the dealership was asking and the fees are there you are really being ripped off.

You are paying just about the highest price anyone would eve pay for a certain model plus $500 in “pre-delivery service fees” that they will recover from the manufacturer anyway.

Just what do these Prep Fees cover?

If you are upset about this now wait until you here what the prep service fees cover! You’d think that for $500 you new car would be thoroughly tested by a certified mechanic and perhaps even spend some time in a wind tunnel to ensure you car is performing at its aerodynamic best. What you get for your money is, in actuality, far, far less. While some work is done on your car it’s probably limited to peeling plastic off of seats, adding fluids, vacuuming the interior followed by a wash and wax of the exterior of the car. We’re talking about 2 or maybe 3 hours of work here. You may be informed that you’re paying a fee for this but if you put your foot down you won’t have to because it’s already paid for and listed on the MSRP sticker. When you are paying for something that’s already pay for it’s called Double Collecting. This practice of collecting fees twice is common at car dealerships and you want to avoid these pitfalls at every opportunity.

How do I get out of paying a car dealership prep fee?

If you don’t want to pay for a perp fee there’s one simple thing you can do. Tell the car dealership to credit you the amount of the prep service fees on your contract. Simply refuse to pay it. If they don’t just get up and walk out. It won’t have cost you anything more than a little bit of you time and if the prep fee is $500 you will have to work many hours just to cover it. Remember, it’s completely legal for a car dealership to add these prep fees to your final bill but if you go into the dealership fore-warned you can save yourself some money.

What to do if you think you’ve been the victim of this scam:

If you think that you’ve been the victim of an excessive fee scam you really can’t report it to the authorities since it’s not illegal. You can contact the Better Business Bureau to report a dishonest dealership. Doing this at least gets the fact that the dealership does this on record and maybe someone else can profit from your experience.

More Car Dealership Scam Information

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Mike Elmore
7 years ago

I’ve read this and am confused with the use of two terms. Are pre-delivery fees and Prep Fees the same thing???? Or are we going back and forth talking about two different things. I just bought a car and have a Predelivery Service Charge of 699.00