Most dealers know that they can only add tax, tag, and title to an advertised price. Just because a dealer down the street is breaking the rules, doesn’t mean you should too.
Watch this video for a reminder of the advertising rules.
Below is a transcript of the video:
Let’s talk about something I see all the time, and that’s an advertising violation. A lot of dealers know, but they don’t practice this: the only thing that can be added to an advertised price in Georgia is tax, tag, and title fees. Yet, I see over and over and over again dealers that add dealer fees to an advertised price. This is not limited to independent dealers.
I once almost purchased a car but didn’t because I was so disgusted by the advertising violation. My wife and I went and looked at a vehicle at a franchise dealer that added a dealer fee to an advertised price. When I said, “Hey, you can’t do this,” they said, “I’m sorry, we do it in every deal.” Well, it’s a good thing I’m not the State because if I was a State investigator and I was sitting there trying to make a deal and they said, we do this on every deal, you know what I would see? Dollar signs and I would see an investigation that I would probably open up the next day.
I’m not a state investigator, I’m an attorney, but I see it all the time and the investigations tend to follow. So here’s the deal with advertised prices: the only things that can be added are tax tag and title fees. That’s it. There’s an interesting nuance there, though. If the customer negotiates the dealer off of the advertised price, the dealer can add a dealer fee.
The prohibition only applies in an example like this: the customer comes into the dealer says, “hi, I found this car on Car Gurus, let’s say, and it’s listed as $19,995. I want to buy it. I’m ready to pay today.” The dealer cannot look at the customer and say, “OK, it’s $19,995 plus tax, tag, title, and a $599 dealer fee.”
That is not allowed. If the customer comes in and says “I’d like to buy this car for $18,995,” the dealer can then add a dealer fee because the customer is no longer paying the advertised price. Interesting nuance in the law, but the important thing to note is that for advertisements, and this is the most commonly seen violation when it comes to advertisements, the dealer cannot add a dealer fee to an advertised sale price.
For more videos on the Georgia Car Law Authority series, please visit www.georgiacarlaw.com.
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