Should You Pay the Dealer Advertising Fee?
Every dealer is required to participate in regional= association which buys advertising to promote all dealers within that region. Whenever you see a commercial inviting you to visit your "area" dealer, this is being funded by these regional groups.
This type of advertising costs dealers a good amount of money, sometimes adding $300 or $400 to the cost of each vehicle. Some manufacturers such as Honda include this cost within the invoice price so you never see the advertising fee.
However, some manufacturers don't include it, or they have it as an additional line item on the invoice. These advertising fees are usually listed as acronyms such as FDAF (Ford Dealer Advertising Fund) and TDA (Toyota Dealer Advertising Fee).
As a general rule, you will need to pay the advertising fee - most dealers will not negotiate on it. However, be aware that dealers try to pass off other fees by calling them advertising fees when they're really not.
If the advertising fee is not listed on the factory invoice, but the dealer is including it in the final price, this is where you will need to pay close attention.
The best way to limit any unscrupulous fees is to follow my car buying guide.
If it's a legitimate advertising fee, you will see similar fees from all dealers. If one really stands out for being too high, it's a good indication that dealer is trying to pad his profits with BS fees.
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid