Beware of hidden charges before you sign on the dotted line


‘Delivery and related’ charges can come as a nasty shock to car buyers writes Suzanne Keane

Buying a new car can be a minefield. Choosing the right manufacturer, model, engine and specification is one thing but negotiating the right price while keeping within your budget can be a real headache. To avoid further uncertainty before you sign on the dotted line be sure to check out any additional charges which could be added onto the price of your new wheels.

When buying a new car you need to understand the difference between the  ‘ex-works’ price also known as the RRP (recommended retail price) is and that is what they call the ‘On The Road’ (OTR) price. Generally, the RRP is the cost of your car at the factory gate. The additional costs which can be added on will cover items such as transport to the dealership, removal of protective delivery materials and coatings, valeting both inside and out, fluid top-ups, any adjustments required and a general check-up. The charges will also include the cost of making and fitting number plates. Floor mats, mud flaps and other goodies will also often be added on at the dealership.

Certain manufacturers such as Suzuki, Renault and Dacia have a fixed delivery charge which is designed to cover all of the extras. Opel has their OTR listed alongside the RRP on their price lists. Kia, for example, have a fixed delivery charge and the dealerships set their own preparation charges. Other manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz and Volvo don’t have any set additional charges and allow dealers to arrange these to suit their own requirements. It’s also important to keep in mind that some dealers will discount or remove these charges completely along with cash discounts and other negotiating factors in order to guarantee a sale so be sure to shop around.

Don’t be caught out with hidden extras – make sure to confirm what these additional charges, if any, will be before agreeing to buy a car and ensure that you’ve enough room in your budget to cover them! As with any major purchase, it’s important to check the small print and be fully informed before driving away to avoid any nasty surprises.

Suzanne Keane

7th May 2019


Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for Retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @_suzannekeane

Share This Post On