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Discussion Starter #1
Like many people, it's likely I end up paying a "market premium" dealer profit in addition to the MSRP for the car and options.

Has anyone explored the idea of paying this fee separately from the car sales contract? That is. "Here's a check for $2500. Now sell me the car for MSRP."

The reason I ask is that CA annual 'registration' includes a tax that is a percentage of the sales price of the car. This markup will actually increase my registration for the life the car -- and I intend to have it for a while.

Further, the sale of the car is taxable, of course. Maybe a separate "service fee" would not be a taxable event? Perhaps a very expensive "dealer prep service" visit or something creative..

If possible, I'd like to keep the car MSRP while still paying the dealership the profit they require. Any ideas? Any disadvantage to persuing this?
 

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A lot of people try a lot of tricks in this area, but I seriously doubt any dealer would consider any such scheme. The CA tax people are on a rampage looking for just this situation. They just raided Boyd Coddington's place looking for evidence that he was falsifying sales values.

I was once asked to do this for a private car sale to a guy in Texas. As I read the paperwork the word felony caught my eye and I decided not to do him the favor.
 

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offroadr35 said:
Basically the dealer has no incentive to help.
Basically, the dealer is already dicking you over. Why should he give a **** about saving you money? Pay up or move on and he'll sell it to your neighbor's 17 year old daughter who can't drive stick shift.
 

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Here is something you could try if you are trading in a car.

The dealer is selling the Elise for 50,000 which includes a $2500 markup. They are giving you $12,500 for your car, so you have to come up with $37,500 to pay for the car.

Instead have the dealer sell the Elise for $47,500 and give you only $10,000 for your trade in. You still have to come up with $37,500 but the sale price of the car is now at MSRP.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Trade-in on an Elise is almost absurd.

The dealer has no incentive to make an attractive offer, since you're buying the car regardless. You'll get wholesale blue-book at best, probably worse. You're just throwing more money at the dealer.

I think y'all are right -- there is no incentive for the dealer to help keep the registration value of the car down, and there may be legal reasons why it would look shady.

This all just drives me nuts.. I've never paid full list for a car, and sure as hell never paid a premium, so this scarcity is just working me over.
 

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One dealer was selling at MSRP, but added on an extra $2500 delivery fee on top of the Lotus delivery fee. I am assuming that was legal somehow. It does lower your tax and registration costs relative to a $2500 price markup.
 

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Ground Loop said:

This all just drives me nuts.. I've never paid full list for a car, and sure as hell never paid a premium, so this scarcity is just working me over.
During the mid-80s, we bought a couple of JP imports, and had to pay a premium. For my 2002 MR2, I wanted one of the 500 or so imported with Sequential Manual Transmission, and I really wanted the green/oak combo. When I finally found one, I had to pay a $500 premium. It's mildly irritating, but I resigned myself to the fact this this is just the law of supply and demand. I didn't let it detract one bit from the excitement of finding exactly what I wanted.

Just try to keep in mind that MSRP is really just a number, and there's nothing magic about it. And if you're getting what you really want, and you're lucky enough to be able to afford it, the pain of the premium will soon fade into history, while the fun will remain.

Having said that, I hope you find one at MSRP, of course!:D
 
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