To the Editor:
I recently shopped for a car and learned that documentation or “doc” fees charged by Oklahoma dealerships to process paperwork for the title and registration vary widely — from $299 to $475 to $700, and that some dealerships arbitrarily will waive, lower or “work with you” on the fee, while others won’t budge.
Moreover, based on calls made by myself and a male friend, men seem to have significantly more success negotiating a compromise.
My friend called a Fort Smith, Ark., dealer about a truck in which he was interested and asked upfront about any fees over and above the sales price listed on their website. The dealer revealed a $129 doc fee, and when he asked about waiving it, said the fee could be deducted from the price of the car. Another Fort Smith dealer doesn’t charge doc fees; the list price is the total price.
Turns out, Arkansas and 14 other states have laws that limit doc fees, including New York and Texas, whose doc fees are capped at $70 and $150, respectively. You can see a state-by-state listing at http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/car-dealer-fees-by-state/.
I believe Oklahoma needs the same consumer protections. We all need to lobby our state legislators, as I have, about capping doc fees charged by car dealerships in our state.