What are Dealer Doc Fees?

What are Dealer Doc Fees?

Chances are, if you’ve ever purchased or leased a vehicle from a dealer, you’ve encountered - and paid - doc fees.  

Doc fees go by a lot of names:  

  • Document Fees
  • Documentation Fees
  • Paperwork Fees
  • Conveyance Fees
  • Processing Fees
  • Service and Handling Fees

But all are names given for the same administrative costs associated with the purchase or lease of a (new or used) vehicle. In essence, you’re paying for the paperwork associated with the transaction. All states charge a doc fee, but not all states are created equal. Only 10 of the 50 US states have instigated a cap on doc fees, meaning that the remaining 40 states and the District of Columbia have license to charge the customer an often wide-ranging and arbitrarily high fee. And this is just one of many hidden costs you as the buyer/lessor may encounter.

States With Capped Doc Fee:

  • Arkansas - $129
  • California - $65 to $80
  • Illinois - $179.81
  • Louisiana - $200
  • Maryland - $300
  • Michigan - $200 or 5% of the price of the car, whichever is less
  • Minnesota - $75
  • New York - $75
  • Ohio - $250 or 10% of the price of the car, whichever is less
  • Oregon - $75 to $100
  • Washington - $150

States With The Highest Reported Doc Fees (2018 estimates):

  • Alabama - $485
  • Arizona - $410
  • Colorado - $490
  • Connecticut - $415
  • Florida - $670
  • Georgia - $545
  • Maine - $410
  • Nevada - $440
  • North Carolina - $550
  • Tennessee - $495
  • Virginia - $490
  • Wyoming - $495

Runner Ups (2018 estimates):

  • District of Columbia - $300
  • Kentucky - $315
  • Massachusetts - $340
  • New Hampshire - $315
  • New Jersey 7% - $335
  • New Mexico - $330
  • South Carolina - $305
  • Utah - $305

Many of these fees are mandatory i.e. non negotiable, but you’re not out of options! When in doubt, always negotiate on the “out the door” price for the purchase or lease. This price is inclusive of all “hidden” fees and associated taxes, and while many of the hidden costs cannot be negotiated, the overall price of the vehicle can be and may absorb these unexpected charges. AutoCheatSheet.com has pulled together a handy Fee & Tax Chart outlining associated costs when leasing or purchasing a vehicle. For a more detailed breakdown of state and local taxes, Sales Tax Institute has compiled a chart separately breaking down state and local taxes by each state.

For the best leasing experience with NO hidden fees, work with Carlease. We combine extensive research, personal support, and easy vehicle selection help you make an informed decision - all from the comfort of your home or office. With fleet pricing on all of our vehicles, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the best deal on your next lease. Visit Carlease.com today to view hundreds of makes and models, and when you’re ready, reach out to our leasing experts who will help you find the right car for you.

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