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Volt Price Gouging?

This one shouldn't come as a surprise. There are reports surfacing around the country of Chevy dealers asking for thousands of dollars more than the MSRP. How much more? According to Ward's Auto, there's a Chevy dealer in Florida asking $65,590 for a brand new Chevy Volt (MSRP $41,000).

2011 Chevy Volt
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2011 Chevy Volt

Is it price gouging? That's a charge often hard to prove because it varies from state to state.

Is it ridiculous for dealers to be charging thousands more than the Volt's MSRP? Yes and no. Listen, if a Chevy dealer says they are going to charge a few grand more than the Volt's MSRP I can't blame them for looking to make profit. But for someone to ask $24,000 more than the list price is a joke.

Is it surprising to hear of Chevy dealers asking for more than the suggested price for a new Volt? Not at all. This happens when you have a new model that's in demand. Remember when the Toyota Prius exploded in popularity? I do. Back then, when there were 6 month waiting lists for the gas-electric hybrid, it was not uncommon to see people paying several thousand dollars over the MSRP. And when you asked people if they paid over sticker, they gladly admitted they did. In fact, when gas prices started surging, I talked with many Prius buyers who said it was worth a few grand more to get a car that would wind up saving them more at the pump.

By the way, there's not much GM can do about dealers charging more then the MSRP. Once the dealer buys the car from GM, they are free to set the price for the car. GM has warned its dealers not to sell the Volt for more than the asking price, but beyond that, there's not a whole lot GM can do to stop dealers from instituting big mark-ups.

If you're interested in buying the Volt, keep in mind the supply hitting showrooms will be ramping up over the next couple of years. And as more roll into showrooms, those dealers looking for big mark-ups will find it tougher and tougher to charge more than the MSRP.

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