Yes, there are fees you have to pay when buying or leasing a new car. Your objective is to pay only the necessary fees. Some fees are negotiable and others are not. You can roll fees into your financing, thereby increasing your monthly payment, or pay them up front.

Acquisition Fee

The leasing company sets the lease acquisiiton fee, not the dealer. So it isn’t negotiable. But you want to make sure the dealer isn’t artificallly inflating the fee. Do your homework online. If you’re using the manufacturer’s leasing company, you can find what they charge for lease acquisition fee in the fine print of their lease offers on their websites.

If you’re buying the vehicle, this fee doesn’t apply.

Documentation Fee

Dealers are going to charge a documentation fee. They just are. In theory it’s for doing the paperwork (eyes rolling). They’ll say it’s non-negotiable. And in the overall scheme of the deal, your energy is better focused on negotiating purchase price. But make sure they don’t charge an excessive amount. Anything more than about $400 should be challenged.

Registration / Motor Vehicle

This is for motor vehicle and other governnment fees (tire disposal fee, etc.) The dealer charges estimated motor vehicle fees. The BOSS recommends paying motor vehicle fees up front rather than rolling into the deal. This way if the dealer inflates the motor vehicle fees, you’re entitled to a refund after the fact. If you roll these fees into your deal, the dealer pockets the overage themselves. And you'll be paying sales tax and interest on your motor vehicle fees.

Other Fees

This entry should be blank for most of us, especially if you're buying a vehicle that’s already on the lot. Don't let the dealer trick you into other fees like dealer prep, advertising, delivery, etc. Consider any fee entered here to be highly negotiable.