The New Cars With the Highest and Lowest Inventory Today

The New Cars With the Highest and Lowest Inventory Today

new car inventory numbers 2023

Navigating the current car market can be a daunting task, with its varying inventory levels and volatile prices. In this context, knowledge truly is power. A critical piece of this knowledge is understanding the Market Day Supply (MDS). This is a measure of the number of days it would take to sell all of a particular model of car, based on the current sales rate, assuming no additional inventory is added. A high MDS suggests an oversupply, potentially giving buyers leverage for negotiation, while a low MDS might indicate a seller’s market, where negotiating could prove tougher.

Using CarEdge Data, we identified which new cars have the most and least inventory available today. What we found was shocking. In today’s new car market, inventory ranges from just a week’s supply, to a staggering two-year supply. Inventory weighs very heavily on negotiability. This valuable insight can give you an edge in your car buying journey, helping you save money and avoid the hassle.

The Top 10: New Cars With the Highest Inventory

When we analyzed new car inventory, we found a significant presence of American brands in the top 10. The reason? Oversupply, mainly driven by overpriced trucks and SUVs. It seems American automakers have been flooding the market with these models, leading to an inflated Market Day Supply. 

These are the 10 new cars with the most inventory right now:

MakeModelMarket Day SupplyTotal For SaleTotal Sold (45 Days)
ChevroletSilverado 4500 Medium Duty Chassis Cab4431171119
RAMRam 2500 Pickup403197102201
ChryslerPacifica Hybrid3555243664
RAMRam 1500 Classic3284340596

Yes, you read that right. There’s a two-year supply of the Jeep Renegade right now. At recent daily sales rates, it would take two whole years to sell the existing inventory of new Jeep Renegades. Other Jeeps make the top 10. The Jeep Cherokee (391 MDS), Compass (352 MDS) and Gladiator (283 MDS) are all sitting on dealer lots right now. There’s BIG potential for great deals on these Jeeps, with negotiation know-how.

The Bottom 10: New Cars With the Lowest Inventory

On the other side of the coin, Asian automakers have the lowest inventory. They were hit hard by the chip shortage of 2021-2022, and as of 2023, they’re still working through supply chain issues that are keeping inventory far below normal. Interestingly, these automakers discovered that profit margins remained high (and even increased) despite record low inventory, hinting at a possible shift in their business model. Inventory may never return to pre-pandemic levels for some of these brands.

If you’re shopping for any of these new cars in 2023, you’ll be up against stiff competition and in many cases, greedy dealers:

MakeModelMarket Day SupplyTotal For SaleTotal Sold (45 Days)
BMW4 Series176101620

At the very bottom of the list, the Kia Seltos and Lexus NX both have a market day supply (MDS) of just 9 days. This means that their current inventory could theoretically be sold out in a little over a week given the recent sales pace. The Kia Carnival and BMW X5 aren’t far behind, with an MDS of 13 and 14 respectively. Similarly, the Subaru Impreza and Kia Forte are also experiencing low inventory levels, boasting an MDS of 15 and 19 respectively.

These depleted stock levels reflect the ongoing supply chain struggles that these automakers are grappling with, making these models harder to come by and potentially more expensive due to high demand and low supply.

Save More With Free Car Buying Tools

To wrap things up, we’d like to share a powerful, 100% free resource: the Car Buying Cheat Sheet. This reader-favorite can give you an extra boost in your quest for the perfect car at the perfect price. For an even deeper dive into pricing insights, download your first CarEdge Report today. This comprehensive report breaks down the most important numbers in an easy-to-understand format, setting you up for success at the negotiating table.

Finally, if you’re looking for personalized guidance and expertise, CarEdge Coach is your key to savings. Our experienced car buyers can provide personalized advice and help you negotiate thousands off your next car. Don’t go into the car buying process alone; let CarEdge guide you every step of the way. You’ll be glad you did.

The Used Car Shortage Is Worse Than We Thought

The Used Car Shortage Is Worse Than We Thought

Here’s a powerful and sobering statistic: In 2023, 30% of used cars have a price tag of under $20,000. Five years ago, 60% of used cars were below that price point. Where have all of the affordable used cars gone, and will they ever return to the market? We’ll take a look at the latest analysis from Edmunds, as well as the latest used car market data from CarEdge. Used car deals can still be had, if you know where to look, and how to negotiate.

The impact of the infamous chip shortage of 2021 and 2022 continues to be felt in the used car market. An astonishing 18 million new cars were never produced during this period, essentially erased from production schedules and not replaced. This production gap has created a ripple effect that will continue to influence the used car market for years to come, and this shift is just one of the significant changes the industry is undergoing.

used car price trends in 2023. Source: Edmunds

The latest data from Edmunds suggests that we might be facing a new normal rather than a temporary aberration. In terms of pricing, the average used car transaction price fell by 6.4% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Used car prices are still a staggering 44% higher than the average back in 2018. To put it in perspective, the average selling price for a used car in America in Q1 2023 was $28,381, a far cry from the $19,657 average seen five years ago.

used cars for under $20,000. Source: Edmunds

Cheap Cars Are Vanishing

Used cars with a price tag of under $20,000 are hard to come by. The Edmunds data suggests that consumers have to look towards used cars that are at least 8 years old and have over 70,000 miles on the clock before they can find sub-$20,000 prices. 

If you’re hoping for a used car that costs $15,000 or less, you’ll likely be considering vehicles that are a decade old or more. On top of that, there’s a huge mismatch in demand versus supply of cheap used cars. People want affordable transportation, but the new car market simply doesn’t offer it. The result is more competition for cheap used cars

Older vehicles are seeing a surge in popularity despite their age. The reason is simple: they’re the only affordable cars around. Nearly half of all used cars sold today are older models priced under $25,000. In the new car market, a mere 5% of cars are sold for less than that price.

It’s more important than ever for consumers to understand car market trends and adjust their expectations (and budget) when setting out to purchase a used vehicle.

New Data Shows a Tough Market For Affordable Car Buyers

Our team recently launched a new 100% free tool, CarEdge Data Explorer. For the first time ever, local market data is available for every used car model, all in one spot. Using CarEdge Data Explorer, we analyzed used car listings in the five biggest used car markets in the nation: California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. By comparing market days’ supply, an important car market negotiability factor, our team of Car Coaches identified a troubling trend among the most popular age class, used cars that are three years old.

Measure Market Health with Days’ Supply

Why should you care about the days’ supply of used cars? Days supply in the car market is calculated by dividing the current unsold inventory of a specific car model by its average daily sale rate, which indicates how many days it would take to sell all the existing inventory at the current sales pace. For example, if there’s a 200 day supply of the 2019 Toyota Camry, that means it would take over six months to sell the existing inventory at current buying rates. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking at a car with a 10, 20 or 30 day supply, all existing inventory is likely to be sold within the month. In other words, it’s in high demand. For reference, a typical days’ supply is about 60 days. 

Here’s a subset of what we found in Data Explorer:

MakeModelModel YearDays' SupplyAverage Price
TeslaModel 3202042$37,156
TeslaModel Y202091$46,295
JeepGrand Cherokee202086$34,133

The shortage of affordable used cars on the market is a severe issue that is negatively impacting consumers. High-demand vehicles in the lower price range have far less inventory available, making it increasingly difficult to find a reasonably priced used car, let alone negotiate for a better deal. This situation is the consequence of several economic and industry factors we’ve highlighted, with no quick fix in sight.

In contrast, the market for larger SUVs, and full-size trucks is relatively robust, but these come with a hefty price tag. Although this disparity in the market may provide a wider choice for those who can afford these more expensive models, it leaves budget-conscious consumers with limited options.

Lower Prices = Lower Inventory

A graph of data from Data Explorer of the five top-selling cars, trucks and SUVs shows that lower prices mean less inventory:

used car prices versus availability and inventory in 2023

Affordable models are harder to come by today. While this reality poses a challenge for buyers, it also emphasizes the need for prospective car owners to be savvy, strategic, and armed with the best information possible to navigate this changing landscape.

We’re on a mission to bring car buyers everywhere more resources and tools to level the playing field when negotiating car deals. Do your own research using the same tools our team uses with CarEdge Data Explorer. See used car inventory in your area, average prices, average mileage and more in all 50 states. Data Explorer is your jumping off point for understanding current market trends. In the face of a challenging market, knowledge and strategy are your best allies in the hunt for an affordable used car.

Dealers Send the Cheapest Cars Overseas

Used cars shipped overseas. Photo by Obinna Okerekeocha

You know what’s infuriating? The fact that dealers are increasingly shipping their most affordable used cars overseas. Yes, everyone should have access to transportation that’s at an attainable price point. That includes countries in Africa, Central America, and other regions where American used cars are heading. But let’s remember that supply is not meeting the demand for cheap used cars right here at home.

The global market for used light-duty vehicles grew by almost 20% between 2015 and 2019, resulting in over 4.8 million units being exported from the United States to developing countries. Following a slowdown during the pandemic, exports are skyrocketing in 2023.

Interestingly, the growing popularity of electric vehicles is contributing to an affordability crisis in the used car market. Dealers in states such as New York and Florida, where consumers are increasingly purchasing EVs, are turning to international markets to sell their older gas-powered models. Check out this intriguing piece by CNN to learn more about the lucrative international trade of used cars.

Here’s What It Will Take to Bring Back Used Car Deals

1. More Lease Returns

Firstly, a significant increase in the number of returned lease vehicles could lead to more affordable used cars. The volume of lease returns dropped from 6.2 million vehicles in 2018 to 5.5 million in 2022. Further, leasing has plummeted from 33% of the new car market in 2020 to only 17% today. This decline in leasing is starting to trickle down into the wider auto market, which affects the used car supply. For those nearing the end of their car lease, our guide spells out your options at the end of a lease.

2. More Trade-Ins

Secondly, encouraging more trade-ins could help make used cars more affordable. Drivers nowadays are holding on to their cars for longer and being more judicious when it’s time to sell, often opting to sell to private buyers instead of dealerships. Increasing the number of trade-ins could pump more used vehicles into the market, potentially helping to stabilize prices.

Always be sure to compare quotes from online car buyers here before trading in! You could get thousands more for your car.

3. Quicker Rental Fleet Turnover

Lastly, increasing turnover in rental car fleets could also contribute to a more balanced used car market. The average age of rental car fleets has risen from 1.9 years in 2019 to 3 years today. While older rental cars can provide a boost to used car inventory, exercise caution when considering these vehicles due to the potential for heavy use and lack of maintenance during their rental life. For a deeper dive into this topic, check out our guide to buying a rental vehicle.

Steering Through the Challenges, Guided by Data

Unlock used car deals with CarEdge Data

In summary, the used car market is presenting unprecedented challenges for budget-minded buyers. Today’s market conditions are driven by a confluence of factors. These include a shortage of new vehicles due to a chip crisis, a decline in leased vehicles and trade-ins, and an older rental car fleet. These changes have led to a significant increase in the average price of used cars. Affordable options under $20,000 are increasingly rare and more challenging to negotiate. 

Before you kick off car shopping, be sure to explore used car deals and inventory in your area with our newest free tool, CarEdge Data Explorer. We’ve also just launched our ultimate deal analysis tool, CarEdge Report, included with every Data and Coach plan. This tool equips you with comprehensive, up-to-date market insights to give you the upper hand in finding and negotiating the best deals on used cars. At CarEdge, we believe in demystifying car buying, once and for all. Knowledge is power!

Smart Car Buyers Are Proving You Can Negotiate More Than Expected At the Dealership

Smart Car Buyers Are Proving You Can Negotiate More Than Expected At the Dealership

The art of negotiation is pivotal when it comes to car buying. It’s a game where information is your strongest weapon, and CarEdge is your best ally. Today, we bring you five triumphant tales from the CarEdge Community, each of them a testament to the power of knowledge and the importance of negotiation in the car buying journey. If you’re skeptical about negotiating in today’s car market, these success stories will change your mind!

Timing and Market Knowledge = Truck-Sized Savings

negotiate truck prices in 2023

Joey’s story is one of patience, timing, and understanding the market. He had his eye on a new truck and, armed with insights from CarEdge, he waited for just the right moment to make his move.

“I used CarEdge to check for used deals around me,” Joey recalls, “and negotiated a killer deal. The truck had been on the lot for over 70 days and the dealer was motivated. I waited until the last day of the month and negotiated down to my asking price. I also negotiated GAP down almost 50%. You guys are a wealth of information. If it’s taxable it’s negotiable!”

In fact, timing plays into negotiability in a big way. Savvy car buyers know that dealerships often have monthly, quarterly, and yearly sales targets. At the end of these periods, they are more likely to negotiate to hit their goals. 

In addition, the length of time a car sits on a dealer’s lot impacts its price. The longer it stays, the more motivated a dealer becomes to sell, offering a ripe opportunity for negotiation. Understanding these dynamics and the concept of supply and demand in the car market can greatly influence the outcome of your negotiation and lead to BIG savings. 

The Dealer Was Not Prepared For This!

Jon’s negotiation journey led him to an unexpected place: a job offer. Working with CarEdge Finance and Insurance Specialist Kimberly Kline, Jon confidently navigated through the dealership’s pitch.

“When I first arrived, the salesman brought out the offer sheet with three different down payment amounts and three different costs per month,” Jon recounts. “He wanted my initials. I declined. The sales manager then came out asking what I wanted. I said that I wasn’t looking at monthly costs but total out-the-door costs.” That simple, informed request set the tone for the rest of the negotiation.

Jon ended up getting the new truck he wanted with an out-the-door price UNDER MSRP. The Sales Manager was so impressed that Jon says he offered to hire him to sell cars. Was it a serious offer? We wouldn’t be surprised if it was with how skillfully Jon stayed in control of his deal!

Playing Hardball

Toyota Avalon price deals

In Tampa, Marcus was eager to get his hands on a low-mileage Toyota Avalon Hybrid. He played hardball with several dealerships until he found one ready to play his game. He secured his dream car for an incredible $8,000 below sticker price and also secured a great deal on his trade-in.

“My advice is don’t fall in love with the car ONLY, also fall in love with the deal! You really have to just stick to it and use what you learn from CarEdge,” Marcus advises. His determination, coupled with CarEdge’s resources, brought him the deal he was after.

Check out Marcus’ full breakdown of his deal here.

Schooling the Salesman

Knowledge is power, as Navnit demonstrated. When shopping for a 2023 Mazda 3, the best deal he could initially find was $28,500. After using CarEdge’s tools and Deal School, he was sure he could negotiate a better out-the-door price. His thorough understanding of pricing, taxes, and fees flipped the script, with Navnit explaining to the dealer how THEY could meet HIS terms.

Here’s how he says the deal went down.

Dealer: The best I can do is $27,000 plus taxes and title

Me: No, I am looking for $27,000 out-the-door

Dealer: How is that possible?

Me: Well, you can knock off the $800 in dealer-installed accessories, I don’t need the $700 GAP insurance, I can get deals with a doc fee that is $600 lower than yours, and title and then I know I can get a $1500 discount. If not from you, I could from the 3 others that I have emails from. 

Dealer: Let me talk to my manager….  ….. The best I can do is $27,500.

Me: Well thank you but that doesn’t work for me. Tell me you can do 27 and we sign today.

Dealer: Well in that case you need to finance through us.

Me: Well I already have a loan quote from my credit union at 4.75%. can you do better?

Dealer: Hold on….. We can do 4.3%

And just like that, Navnit showed the dealer who was in control. He ended up getting exactly what he wanted, at the price he had in mind.

“I had to be so vigilant,” says Navnit. “I was asking for printed deposit receipts, previewing buyers’ orders, pointing out the rebates they had added and so much more. But the bottom line, buying a car is so damn hard.”

Print Off This Car Buying Cheat Sheet and Take It With You!

The Email Worth $1,700

car dealer fees

Never Pay These Fake Dealer Fees!

In the world of car buying, sometimes an email can save you thousands. Jonathan worked with CarEdge Car Coach Jerry to draft an email to his dealer, transforming the trade-in valuation of his 2015 Crosstrek from $10,290 to $12,000.

Jonathan shared, “The salesperson called me right away the next morning, and said, ‘What number could you do for your car?’ Instinctively I said, ‘How about $12,000?’ and they agreed. If I had it to do over again, I realize there would have been no harm in replying with $12,500 or even $13,000. Big picture, I’m very happy with the deal. Nothing’s perfect, and I take it as a learning experience for next time.”

Jonathan’s email showcased how thorough research and confidence in your offer can lead to significant savings. He credits his success to the knowledge and support provided by CarEdge: “It was great to have someone in my corner. That night I wrote the salesperson an email.”

His story, along with the others, is a testament to how well-informed car buyers can change the dynamic of a negotiation, flipping it in their favor. Check out Jonathan’s full story for more.

See HUNDREDS more success stories at the CarEdge Community

Power to the Car Buyer: ALWAYS Negotiate

These success stories reveal how CarEdge’s wealth of information and team of Car Coaches can empower car buyers, flipping the traditional power dynamic and creating a new one where the consumer has the upper hand. These car buyers took control of their purchase experiences, negotiated with confidence, and walked away with deals that made them proud.

From waiting for the right time to strike, to firmly and confidently advocating for fair prices, these empowered car buyers show that, armed with the right tools and knowledge, you too can come out on top in the car buying game.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate on your next car purchase. Remember: If it’s taxable, it’s negotiable. Leverage CarEdge Data and our all-new CarEdge Report to understand local market negotiability like never before. Ready to work 1:1 with a car buying expert? CarEdge Coach is the perfect path to big-time savings.  

Get started on your car buying journey with CarEdge today. We look forward to helping you find your success story. 

Your Knowledge Is Your Power!

Search hundreds of 100% FREE car buying guides and begin your path to savings

Is It Better to Buy New or Used in 2023? Here’s What the Data Says

Is It Better to Buy New or Used in 2023? Here’s What the Data Says

In 2023, the automotive market continues to navigate the unpredictable seas of supply and demand. A lingering used car shortage from previous years is causing 2-3-year-old in-demand models to skyrocket in price, while new car inventories are bloating due to overproduction. What does this mean for you, the savvy car shopper? Let’s dive in.

New and Used Car Inventories Are Headed in Opposite Directions

used vehicle inventory - Cox Automotive

The latest data from Cox Automotive shows that in many cases, there’s a shortage of 2-3 year old used cars. For in-demand models that are just a few years old, demand far exceeds supply. Dealers are using this to their advantage (to the surprise of no one…) and are marking them up severely. For the brands we’ll talk about below, 2-3 year-old used cars often cost nearly the same as a brand-new car. There’s a totally opposite situation for NEW cars. For many makes and models, there’s now an oversupply of new cars in 2023, just two years after the car shortages of 2021.

new vehicle inventory - Cox Automotive

New car available supply (total vehicles on the lot) is up 71% since last year, and dealerships are finding their lots chock-full of shiny new cars.

In terms of days’ supply, today’s market is up 47% since spring 2022. Days’ supply is a common auto industry metric that is calculated by dividing the total number of available vehicles by the average daily sales number from the last 45 days. It’s one of many available insights for every new and used listing with CarEdge Data.

790,000 more vehicles on sale today compared to May 2022 means dealers are more motivated than ever to cut deals and move inventory. However, despite this surge in supply, the average listing price for a new car is still 5% higher than last year.

On the flip side, used car inventory is 13% lower compared to last year. High prices have led buyers to say NO to used cars, resulting in a 4% drop in sales rates and listing prices. However, these prices remain stubbornly above 2021 levels.

New Car Inventory By Brand

Honda new car inventory in 2023

With brands like Toyota, Lexus, Kia, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, BMW, and Land Rover, new car supply shortages are making used models a more attractive option than their new counterparts. How so? Dealers continue to markup these cars in many markets.

On the other hand, brands like Ford, Lincoln, Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Jeep, and Buick are dealing with a glut of new cars, making new vehicles especially negotiable today, and offering more value than used inventory at nearly the same price AFTER negotiation.

Based on the latest new car inventory, these brands are most negotiable in 2023:

  • Buick
  • Jaguar
  • Jeep
  • Chrysler
  • Infiniti
  • Ram
  • Lincoln
  • Ford
  • MINI
  • Mitsubishi
  • Genesis
  • Acura
  • Audi
  • GMC

Nationally, these automakers all have current new car inventory well above the historical norm of 60 days’ supply. See local days’ supply for models you’re interested in with CarEdge Data on Car Search.

Using the tools available through CarEdge Data, we analyzed new car inventory by brand in the three largest markets across the nation. Some notable differences are seen across California, Texas, and Florida.

BrandDays' Supply (CA)Days' Supply (TX)Days' Supply (FL)
Land Rover706564

Hyundai, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Audi have much higher inventory on the West Coast, while Toyota, Kia and Honda have higher new car inventory in Texas. Be sure to check local market supply in your area to get the best sense of negotiability.

New Car Inventory By Segment

new and used car inventory - Cox Automotive

In terms of segments, compact cars, midsize cars, subcompact cars, compact crossover/SUVs, minivans, and full-size crossover/SUVs are experiencing a supply shortage

Conversely, full-size pickup trucks, high-end luxury cars, electric vehicles, full-size cars, and uber luxury vehicles are enjoying a much higher days’ supply than average.

New car segments like vans, mid-size SUVs, most luxury cars and traditional hybrids have roughly average inventory right now.

It’s a Great Time to Go Electric

Right now is a great time to be in the market for a new EV. Across all brands, there’s a nearly 90-day supply of new electric vehicles. This can be seen in models such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which now has over 150 days’ supply. That’s up over 100% since last year.

Tesla keeps lowering prices, and with the Model Y, has severely undercut prices for the following popular competitors:

  • Hyundai IONIQ 5
  • Kia EV6
  • Genesis GV60
  • Audi Q4 e-tron
  • Nissan Ariya
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E

In other words, there’s finally serious competition in the EV landscape. Is it a price war? So far, Tesla’s competitors have not fired back with steep price cuts of their own. We’ll see if that changes this summer. However, used Tesla prices have fallen drastically this year.

Remember, the EV tax credit landscape has changed in the past several months. Popular EVs from Hyundai, Kia, Audi and others no longer qualify due to made-in-America requirements. However the most popular electric vehicles in America, which are of course those bearing the Tesla badge, once again do qualify for the first time since 2019. Here’s an updated summary of where things stand with the EV tax credits.

New Cars Are Looking Better Than They Have in a While

Whether it’s better to buy new or used in 2023 largely depends on the brand and type of car you’re interested in. Industry-wide, new cars are looking better than they have in years. Popular brands are facing an oversupply, and with that comes greater negotiation power. 

With fluctuating inventories and prices, it’s crucial to stay informed and flexible. Use CarEdge Car Search to check the local days’ supply of the makes and models you’re interested in, and make sure to stay updated with the latest market trends to snag the best deal.

Whatever your choice, remember that data is your best friend when navigating the complex landscape of car buying. Your team of CarEdge Car Coaches is here to help! Happy car shopping!

Never Pay These Fake Dealership Fees

Never Pay These Fake Dealership Fees

Dealership fees add up to hundreds and even thousands of dollars. However, that doesn’t mean you are required to pay them. Unsurprisingly, customer satisfaction with the vehicle purchase experience is declining. Forced add-ons and dealer markups are ruining car buying. In fact, several car dealership fees are outright anti-consumer tactics to squeeze a few extra dollars out of you. With negotiation know-how, car buyers should push back against fake dealership fees, and stay in control of their deal. Let’s take a look at the legitimate fees you can expect, and the fees and add-ons to never pay a car dealership.

Legitimate Dealership Fees and Taxes

negotiate the out the door price

When purchasing a vehicle, it’s essential to be aware of the legitimate fees and taxes that make up the out-the-door price. These fees are typically imposed by the government and vary by state or local jurisdiction. 

These fees make up the out-the-door price. Find out how much your next car will REALLY cost with this free out-the-door price calculator

Here’s a closer look at some of the most common legitimate fees and taxes associated with buying a car.

State & Local Taxes

Buying a car comes with various taxes, including city, state, and county sales tax, personal property tax, and often a vehicle license tax, which has to be paid annually. These taxes can vary greatly depending on your location, so it’s crucial to research and understand the tax rates specific to your state and local jurisdiction when budgeting for a vehicle purchase.

Title Fee

The title fee is charged as a cost for the documents required to transfer the title from the seller to the buyer. This fee can range from as low as $4 up to $150, depending on the state you’re in. The title fee is non-negotiable and must be paid to properly transfer ownership of the vehicle.

Tags and Registration Fees

Tags and registration fees are also imposed by your local government and are non-negotiable. These fees cover the cost of registering the vehicle under the buyer’s name and providing the physical license plates for the car.

Registration fees can vary widely among states. Some states charge a flat fee, while others base their fees on the vehicle’s weight or age. It’s essential to research your state’s registration fees to have an accurate estimate of the overall cost of purchasing a car.

Tag fees relate to the physical plates required for your vehicle. The cost for these plates varies from state to state, so make sure you’re aware of your specific state’s tag fees when budgeting for your car purchase.

Doc Fee

Doc fees straddle the line of legitimate and illegitimate. While dealerships may charge a doc fee to offset the cost of non-revenue producing employees, you should always negotiate this fee. Doc fees vary widely from state to state and dealer to dealer, so it’s crucial to research the average doc fee in your area. 

Note that the dealer will never actually remove the fee from your buyer’s order, instead they will reduce the selling price of the vehicle by the same amount as the doc fee.

Car Dealer Doc Fee by State in 2023

Now, onto the negotiable dealer fees you should never pay when buying a car.

Dealership Fees to Avoid

Don't pay these car dealership fees!

Some dealership fees add no value to your car and should be included with every new and used car at no additional cost. These are essentially fake fees that solely exist to make the dealership more money. Always avoid these fees:

  • Vehicle Prep Fee
  • Dealer Prep for Delivery Fee
  • Pre-Delivery Service Fee
  • Pre-Delivery Inspection Fee
  • Reconditioning Fee

It’s very important to remember that these fees add no value at all to your car, whether new or used. All of these so-called services should be included in the selling price of the vehicle, no ifs, ands or buts. Having trouble negotiating fake fees? Our CarEdge Car Coaches are always here to assist. 

‘Almost’ Fake Fees

These car dealer fees add little value despite potentially costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you don’t want the product, these fees or ‘add-ons’ are always negotiable:

  • Etching – You can find it elsewhere for significantly less.
  • Nitrogen-inflated tires – The benefits are minimal, and air inflation works just as well.
  • Pinstripes – These are often overpriced and can be done cheaper elsewhere.
  • Paint protection – A wax job at a local shop will likely be more cost-effective.
  • Additional dealer add-ons – Beware of dealers trying to upsell you on unnecessary extras.

The Complete List of Dealership Fees

All of these add-ons and dealer fees are negotiable. Not a single one of them is required, no matter what a salesperson tells you. They’re not like the taxes, title and registration fees that you should expect to pay.

Fee or Add-onCategory
Wheel LocksAccessory
Spash GuardsAccessory
Mud GuardsAccessory
Exhaust TipAccessory
Sun ShadeAccessory
Floor MatsAccessory
Connectivity KitAccessory
SAVY DriverAccessory
Trunk TrayAccessory
Pro PackAccessory Packages
KARR Security SystemCar Alarm Products
Fusion Security SystemCar Alarm Products
Diamond CeramicPaint Protection
Zaktek UltimatePaint Protection
Zurich ShieldPaint Protection
Nano ProtectionPaint Protection
CilajetPaint Protection
ClearshieldPaint Protection
Premium Exterior FinishPaint Protection
Advanced Ceramic TechPaint Protection
Enviromental Protection PackagePaint Protection
Carefree Paint ProtectionPaint Protection
Ziebart Diamond GlossPaint Protection
Door Edge GuardPaint Protection
Clear Door ProtectionPaint Protection
Clear Shield PackagePaint Protection
3M Protection PackagePaint Protection
Clear BraPaint Protection
Paint Pro FilmPaint Protection
Invisa ShieldPaint Protection
Key Care/Key ReplacementLost/Stolen Key replacement
Vehicle PrepDealer Fee
Dealer Prep for DeliveryDealer Fee
Pre-Delivery ServiceDealer Fee
Pre-Delivery InspectionDealer Fee
Reconditioning FeeDealer Fee
VIN EtchEtch Theft Deterrent
VTREtch Theft Deterrent
Theft Code ProtectionEtch Theft Deterrent
Courtesy GuardEtch Theft Deterrent
Express CodeEtch Theft Deterrent
Phantom FootprintEtch Theft Deterrent
Dent ProtectionExterior Protection
Ding DefenderExterior Protection
Appearance ProtectionExterior Protection
ELO-GPSGPS Theft Deterrent
Spartan GPSGPS Theft Deterrent
SWAT GPSGPS Theft Deterrent
LoJackGPS Theft Deterrent
Theft PatrolGPS Theft Deterrent
Fabric DefenseInterior Protection Products
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Examples of Dealer Fees to Avoid

Our CarEdge Car Coaches help thousands of drivers negotiate better deals on their car purchases every month. We’ve seen it all! Here are three examples of ridiculous dealer add-ons and B.S. fees that we’ve helped to negotiate off of the out-the-door price. 

Examples of dealership add-ons

Who on Earth would agree to pay $3,000 for a protection package when you could apply those same products for a few hundred dollars elsewhere? Overpriced paint and protection fees are always negotiable.

Examples of dealership fees

Some dealers seem to think that if you can afford a new truck, you won’t mind paying a thousand dollars extra for unwanted dealer add-ons. Always negotiate these fees.

negotiate this dealership fee

Two grand for a safety and security package? Nope, nope and nope.

And then you have this… a whole slew of dealership fees and add-ons that are VERY hard to justify.

negotiate these dealer add ons

Don’t Pay Fake Fees!

When purchasing a vehicle, it’s crucial to stay in control of your deal and be aware of the various fees you may encounter. By understanding the legitimate fees, being cautious of questionable ones, and avoiding unnecessary dealership fees and add-ons, you’ll ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible on your next car.

Ready to take control of your car buying experience? Let CarEdge Coach guide you through the process, ensuring you avoid unnecessary fees and get the best deal possible, all with three months of 1:1 expert help. If you prefer a DIY approach, CarEdge Data is the perfect tool to help you make informed decisions and secure a great deal on your own terms. Why do we do it? We simply want to change car buying for the better. It’s about time!