/ Motoring, Shopping

Ask Which? – Why the extra charge when buying a used car?

Credit card with wheels

You ask: I’m about to buy a used car from a Ford main dealer. On the order is a charge of £89 for ‘Documentation and Taxation’. This charge does not include Road Fund Licence which is listed separately.

It is a few years since I bought a used car – is this type of charge normal?

When I questioned it they said it was to cover admin costs etc – should I try and get them to waive it?

Which? Car editor, Richard Headland, responds:

I don’t blame you for querying this £89 charge, especially as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED car tax) is covered elsewhere on the invoice. It sounds as though it is an admin fee for processing the paperwork to transfer ownership of the car, and possibly for buying a tax disc on your behalf.

In our opinion, these tasks are part and parcel of a dealership’s professional duty to its customers, and should be included in the agree price of the car – not bolted on afterwards.

While such admin fee add-ons are quite common at car supermarkets, we wouldn’t expect to pay similar charges at a Ford franchised dealer. You will probably find that the dealer will waive this charge if you put them under pressure. Good luck!

Have you experienced mysterious charges when buying a car? Do you have any experience of haggling to get the price down? Share your experiences below.



Am I loosing the thread here?

I bought a used car about three months ago. If my invoice had included a charge of £89 for ‘Documentation and Taxation’ I would have politely asked the salesman to delete it. Or increase my trade-in allowance by £89. Or reduce the car price by £89.

And if the salesman hadn’t done this within, say, three minutes, I would have politely said “Thank you and goodbye”. And walked out of the dealership. For ever.

Isn’t that the obvious thing to do?

Audrey Greig says:
20 November 2014

as a buyer from a dealer of a used car should I be expected to pay for the transportation costs of the vehicle from England to Scotland which is around a couple of hundred pounds?

I would think this quite reasonable, unless the price they quoted included delivery in the first place. You couldn’t collect it and drive it back for that sort of money.

Mary Riotto says:
19 December 2015

They just tried 2015 December at big dealership and got short shrift from me
Hello !! U retail cars ! Thats what u do !! They waived after said pressure !

Tim Sibley says:
16 April 2017

I have just been into Kings Lynn, When the salesman (we will call him Lee) mentioned about the admin fee I said “It wont happen” just before I was about to put my card in the machine and pay, i saw the £49 fee on the invoice. I said knock that off somewhere, he said they could not so i walk out. It cost them a £10499 sale, gave them option to phone me, they have not. I wont go there again, cheeky buggers.
Price should be as advertised. lets face it, you dont get to the check out at Tesco and have to pay for the till roll !

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Yes, funny lot in King’s Lynn. They’re all called Lee.

You wouldn’t get that in Norwich but that’s a 90 mile round trip away and they know it. Peterborough’s slightly less but I wouldn’t go there.

Colin says:
3 November 2018

Yes you would. Try NMG £39.99

If these “Admin” costs were legitimate they would be prominently displayed of the windscreen price. What would be the result of a Private seller on, for example Ebay classifieds, advertising a vehicle for a fixed price and when the buyer turned up to pay for and collect the vehicle add a charge of £100 for a quick vallet and delivering the necessary paperwork?

Leo says:
24 March 2018

I have never or ever would I pay anyone an admin fee to take my money.
(Would sooner spit in my hat and wear it)