INDIANAPOLIS — Low supply and high demand continue challenging both car dealerships and their customers. It’s important that consumers know which fees they must pay and which ones are avoidable.

“Research the vehicle, definitely,” Jon Linkov, Deputy Auto Editor at Consumer Reports, said. “Narrow it down to the vehicle that you want, narrow it down to the trim that you want.”

Linkov said one fee that is not avoidable is the destination charge.

“Generally, it covers the transportation of the vehicle from factory to the dealership,” Linkov explains. “It’s a set fee because they basically equal it out across the entire brand. They just average it out and everyone basically pays the same.”

Some dealers are adding a marketplace adjustment to the vehicles, which Linkov said is the additional money a dealer charges above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price – and goes to the dealer and not the manufacturer.

Linkov said the market price adjustment does discourage some buyers from purchasing these vehicles.

“You can put in an inquiry,” Linkov explained. “You can go and kick the tires and talk to the dealer and the salesperson and you can say look, if you ever knock the market adjustment off, I’m willing to buy it.”

Experts added that drivers should not wait until their old vehicle breaks down to buy a new car.

“You’re stranded, now you’re desperate,” Linkov said. “It may be still worthwhile for you to fix the current car, make it last another six months, make it last another year hopefully.”

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