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It is convenient for us to be able to buy a new car from a dealer far away and have it delivered to a dealer close to us who is willing to take the delivery and prep it for us.

Why do we have cars drop-shipped? Because it is usually much cheaper and easier on the car than travelling to the selling dealer to pick up and drive home; especially in inclement weather and/or for long distances, which frequently are from one coast to the other, saving several thousand dollars in shipping fees after it lands at the selling dealer.

Some dealers may be upset we did not buy from them for one reason or other (usually they could not or would not meet the price of the dealer we ultimately bought from) and be somewhat antagonistic towards us. My question is: "Why should be have to pay a prep fee, usually $300-$500, to a dealer who accepts the drop-ship when a dealer-direct order does not cost us any additional money?

My particular drop-ship dealer told me that I should not have to pay anything, because the dealer prep charge is built into the sales price, so if the selling dealer does not credit us or the drop-ship dealer with the allowed prep price, we are essentially paying for the same service twice. Anyone have a car drop-shipped and NOT have to pay additional dealer prep fee?

Keep in mind that you will most likely be using your hometown dealer for any work you may have done on your cars for which they will make $$ and possibly earn your goodwill so you will buy from them next time you are in the market for a new vehicle. Does it seem fair that we get charged twice for this service??? Maybe this can be negotiated at point of sale...or not ...any experiences in this area?
 
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You are absolutely correct.

The cost for the PDI is already included in the profit that the selling dealer makes. If a selling dealer does not have to do the PDI, then they are pocketing the extra.

In a perfect world, the selling dealership would pay your courtesy delivery charge to the courtesy delivering dealership for you.

Although I will not be doing a courtesy delivery, a related topic did come up when talking to my local salesman.

I told him that I did not want the dealership washing and buffing the car. He said that is great, because then his department does not have to pay the other department for that service. I told him I do want the car aligned tighter than the standard "in the green" as it comes from Bowling Green, as even the slightest deviation is a pet peeve of mine. He said okay, that is where your extra PDI dollars will go that you saved from the "no wash/buffing."

Whether each dealership handles this type of PDI money formally or informally will depend on the dealership, I am sure, but, one way or the other, PDI money should come out of the sales department profit.
 
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