Even if you've already arranged financing, you'll want to prepare for a few last things in the dealer's finance and insurance office, where you'll finalize the deal.
First, know which fees are legitimate and which are bogus. Common fees in a sales contract include:
- Sales tax: Different for each state and can vary by county
- Documentation fees: Dealerships charge for preparing your documents. Some states limit this fee, but if your state doesn't, research the average fees in your area and make sure your dealership isn't grossly overcharging. If the dealership's cost is above average, you can leave or ask the staff to lower the price of the car to offset the fees.
- Registration: Dealerships charge to register your car through the Department of Motor Vehicles. This varies by the price and type of car.
- Delivery charge or factory destination charge: Typically required, but beware. Sometimes dealers try to add their own dealership delivery charge; don't pay that one.
Common add-ons, such as 'dealer fees,' 'vehicle acquisition fees' or 'advertising fees,' can be negotiated.
Any other fees, such as "dealer fees," "vehicle acquisition fees" or "advertising fees," are common add-ons that you can negotiate.
Second, you may be pushed to buy an extended warranty. New cars come with a factory-included bumper-to-bumper warranty, usually for three years and 36,000 miles, and possibly a powertrain warranty for up to 60,000 miles. Extended warranties provide coverage past the basic warranties and come in varying lengths and mileages.
Most likely, the factory-included warranty will serve you just fine. Plus, you can always buy an extended warranty at the end of your standard coverage, so why rush?