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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in MA, and the dealer fees seem to range from $250 - $550. The dealer that has a $550 fee is the one closest to me, and when I asked what the fee is for, they said "The documentation fee covers administration fees. For example, we need to store the paperwork for 10 years, etc."
My question - why is there such a big variation? Wouldn't all of the dealers need to store the paperwork and whatever else?
 

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I'm in MA, and the dealer fees seem to range from $250 - $550. The dealer that has a $550 fee is the one closest to me, and when I asked what the fee is for, they said "The documentation fee covers administration fees. For example, we need to store the paperwork for 10 years, etc."
My question - why is there such a big variation? Wouldn't all of the dealers need to store the paperwork and whatever else?
Where are you located !
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where are you located !
I'm in MA, north of Boston. I am seeing Clay Subaru with a dealer fee of $249. Then MetroWest, Wakefield, Ira Danvers, Prime Manchester, and Granite NH all with a fee of $495ish. The highest is AutoFair Subaru with a fee of $549. I couldn't find fees listed online for Melkonian in North Reading.

Why would AutoFair have a fee more than twice the fee at Clay? I would assume that they have the same requirements around paperwork archival.
 

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I'm in MA, north of Boston. I am seeing Clay Subaru with a dealer fee of $249. Then MetroWest, Wakefield, Ira Danvers, Prime Manchester, and Granite NH all with a fee of $495ish. The highest is AutoFair Subaru with a fee of $549. I couldn't find fees listed online for Melkonian in North Reading.

Why would AutoFair have a fee more than twice the fee at Clay? I would assume that they have the same requirements around paperwork archival.
I dealt with all those dealers before driving from Martha's Vineyard to Belknap Subaru in N.H - call and ask for Dave Elliott and tell him Jeff Brown sent you-you will be happy-let me know before before buy anything-they should be well under invoice-but don't buy a extended warranty from them-j
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I dealt with all those dealers before driving from Martha's Vineyard to Belknap Subaru in N.H - call and ask for Dave Elliott and tell him Jeff Brown sent you-you will be happy-let me know before before buy anything-they should be well under invoice-but don't buy a extended warranty from them-j
Thanks for the tip - I will look them up as I am not familiar with them. Would you expect them to be more than 2% under invoice? I have the I-2% VIP letter that lists AutoFair, so I guess that's where I'd have to go unless Belknap can beat their out-the-door price. I'm looking at either a Premium or Limited.
 

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Thanks for the tip - I will look them up as I am not familiar with them. Would you expect them to be more than 2% under invoice? I have the I-2% VIP letter that lists AutoFair, so I guess that's where I'd have to go unless Belknap can beat their out-the-door price. I'm looking at either a Premium or Limited.
Yes -they will beat the out door price 1-603-729-1300
 

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Thanks for the tip - I will look them up as I am not familiar with them. Would you expect them to be more than 2% under invoice? I have the I-2% VIP letter that lists AutoFair, so I guess that's where I'd have to go unless Belknap can beat their out-the-door price. I'm looking at either a Premium or Limited.
Hi everyone - wanted to share something I found that I hope may benefit everyone else. I have mostly been lurking in the forums and am grateful for the discussion and information I've learned so far. I took delivery of an Abyss Blue Pearl Ascent Touring tonight (love it!) and was able to use VIP pricing with my dealership - honestly one of the most stress-free car buying experiences I've ever had.

I learned about the VIP program through the forums and like many of you thought that the ASPCA membership was the best way to go in order to very quickly qualify for the VIP program without the 6+ month waiting period that so many other sites enforced. The ASPCA is a great site to support, but I found an alternative - the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society (PHS). They put on the Philadelphia Flower Show each year, and Subaru is a primary sponsor of this. Here's their site: https://phsonline.org/get-involved/m...p/new-members/

I reached out to them to ask how long the waiting period was to get a VIP letter once joining (and memberships start at an individual level for as low as $60) I heard back from Karla Siegal, one of the coordinators who told me it was only 24-48 hours after joining, Monday if you join on a weekend. I went ahead and completed my membership request online, paid $60 for the individual membership and the next morning was able to request my VIP letter here: https://flowerblog.survey.fm/subaru-...m-request-form. It was seamless and significantly cheaper than the next best option. And to confirm it's invoice -2%.

I hope someone can benefit from this and I'm excited to keep learning and sharing with you all as I break in my new Ascent!

Good luck!
I used this to buy another Subaru
 

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Thanks for the tip - I will look them up as I am not familiar with them. Would you expect them to be more than 2% under invoice? I have the I-2% VIP letter that lists AutoFair, so I guess that's where I'd have to go unless Belknap can beat their out-the-door price. I'm looking at either a Premium or Limited.
He is awaiting your call said he would beat any price get a Premium Package 12-best deal going-jeff
 

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It is very simple. The dealer with higher fess wants to earn a higher profit partly through those fees. You of course have the power to purchase the vehicle from any dealer you wish. I would however urge you to look at the bottom line price. The dealer with the higher fees may or may not have the lowest bottom line price regardless of how they got to that price. Just ask for the out the door price for the vehicle you provided the specs for (a fair comparison will price out the same spec vehicle). I could not care less what their dealer fees are. Suppose they discount the retail price more than others sufficient to more than offset the higher dealer fees?
 

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AutoFair is a pretty high volume dealer and when I bought last summer they were more aggressive in their discounting on the Ascent than other dealers in the area. I ended up buying from a dealer in Concord, NH, but they did grumble about AutoFair discounting so much so early into the release. The sales help is hit or miss there; I was not happy with the service I received there. However my mother bought a Crosstrek a few months later and received great service. But as packout mentioned you should just worry about the final price and not necesarilly the fees.
 

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My question - why is there such a big variation? Wouldn't all of the dealers need to store the paperwork and whatever else?
In most states, the dealer fees (aka doc fees) are state regulated. Note I said regulated, NOT mandated. What that really means is that if we charge person A $475 for doc fees, we have to charge person B the same fee. That also means that I have to pay that fee as well, even though I work for the dealership.

As for what they're used for ... honestly, typically half of it actually IS used to pay for the accounting department and all the people who aren't directly involved in the sale of the car. The other half of it is normally dealership profit. But that's not a bad thing - that's how we get to make donations to the community, or pay the fixed operations costs of the dealership (electric, gas, etc.).
 

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When I bought my Ascent last June, the dealer charged $75 doc fee plus the state registration fee, another $75 because I was transferring the old plates and continuing the registration from the old car. When my son bought a new car from a different manufacturer, the dealer there only charged $75 doc fee plus registration of $210 for new plates and 2 year registration. I'm not opposed to people getting paid for work they do, but I don't see how some places can get away with charging hundreds of dollars and others charge less than a hundred for the same work.
 

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When I bought mine in southern New England, I gave the dealership I ultimately purchased from an out-the-door price I wanted them to meet (based off a nearby competitor's verified price, who had a great price but the salesman was a jerk). I actually even told them I didn't want to buy it from the other place because the salesperson was rude, and I liked their salesperson much better.

Two test drives, couple of emails, and it was done. The dealership I bought from sold me a car with even more options than the other dealership had, for an even lower price, and threw in some extras (I paid mid ~$41k for a car listed at over $47k).

It seems like it's easier to take control of the situation and set where you want to be, than it is to try to haggle back and forth. But always, be polite and fair about it. The dealership does need to make a profit. And ultimately it's the out-the-door price, not the difference in fees between dealers, that matters.

And, don't spend more time and money haggling over $100, or a couple hundred bucks, than it's worth.... I'm retired, and I wouldn't have spent more than 20 minutes haggling over the stuff. It's just not worth the stress. If a couple hundred bucks is that critical, then you should probably reconsider how much you're spending on a car.
 
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