Are reconditioning charges legal?
Although reconditioning fees may be legal, that does not mean you have to pay them. Dealers have the right to charge any fee they wish for a reconditioning service. It’s not unusual to see them range from hundreds of dollars to thousands.
Good news! Reconditioning fees are negotiable, just like other dealer extras. Ask your dealer to provide a breakdown of the fee for reconditioning the car to determine the extent of the work required to prepare it for sale. If the fee was not excessive but was minimal, such as if they asked for $1,995 to replace the floor mats, it is a sign that the charge is bogus.
While there are many fees you can negotiate with dealers, some nonnegotiables such as taxes and title fees, registration fees, and title fees, are not.
When it comes to negotiation, you should not just bargain down the reconditioning fee and other fees. Focusing on the out-the door price is the best way to negotiate. This is the total amount that you are paying for the car. This will make it easier to negotiate and keep you focused on the real price of the car.
Why do dealers charge reconditioning fees?
Reconditioning costs are a cost that all dealers have to incur. However, they’re usually included in the asking price of a vehicle.
Dealers may add a reconditioning charge to their bill to allow them to post a lower asking price online. This is not an additional fee. This is a way to lure you into their showroom, as the asking price is lower that other dealers.
But, you might find that the price you pay at the door is higher than what the other dealers are charging.
Experts in car buying recommend that you avoid dealerships that charge reconditioning fees. Remember that the final price at the door is the most important. It’s worth looking at prices from multiple dealers to get the best deal.