As a former “insider” in the car business, my inside joke about the infamous “Doc” fee tacked on to virtually every vehicle purchase in America began in 1997 when I was instructed to explain to clients that the documentation fee is to pay for the processing of the paperwork. I
never quite bought into the story since I knew that at most, the employees were paid $15.00/hour and it couldn’t take more than an hour to do the “documentation paperwork” for a car deal, yet the fees ranged from $99 – $699 depending on the area of the country where the vehicle is purchased.
Here’s my joke, which I shared at times with customers that seemed to have a sense of humor but still asked the question, as virtually all car buyer’s do, what the “Doc” fee was for: “The Doc fee is for the owner’s DOCK at his/her beach house,” I would say with a chuckle and sometimes a smirk. Why would paperwork processing ever cost $99.00, let alone $699? It just had to be for a dock, and not a ‘doc.’
One of the great joys of running a car buying service like Car Pal, is that we get to make sure that that documentation fee goes away. This is an extremely hard task for most lay people to attempt on their own, but Car Pal stives to exceed all expectations at all times. Sure, it might show up on the bill of sale (because they are pre-printed, and no dealer wants to open themselves up to a class action law suit if they charge one fee as standard to 90% of their clients and waive it for another 10% of their clients), but as a car buying service, and more importantly, a car buyer’s agent, Car Pal has to make every possible effort to have the amount deducted from the final price of the car, once we arrive at that price. Why? It is not because Car Pal believes that car dealers don’t deserve to make a profit, it’s just that we strive to significantly limit the amount of profit that a car dealer will make on our clients.
Car dealerships will make more than enough on the poor unsuspecting clients who don’t know how great and lucrative it can be to enlist the assistance of a knowledgeable and professional car buying service such as Car Pal.
Please feel free to tell all of your friends the true meaning of the Doc
fee, and we would be greatly obliged to hear your comments and or if you send others to read this blog.