October 1, 2022

Car Dealers Are Selling More Vehicles Above the Sticker Price

The sticker price on cars isn’t sticking. In some cases, it’s going up.

Auto makers typically set what is known as the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP, a figure that appears on the window sticker of a new model. But with inventory tight and customers clamoring for cars and trucks, auto dealers are charging more, increasing the price above sticker and in some cases requiring customers buy certain add-ons, such as protective coatings and accessories, as part of the increase.

Some buyers say they have encountered dealerships asking for thousands of dollars above MSRP. And analysts and dealers say the practice is becoming more widespread and occurring on a wider range of vehicles, including more mainstream models that typically wouldn’t be targeted for such price increases.

“I was shocked,” said Ken Baird, a 61-year-old Boca Raton, Fla., resident who was recently shopping for a Kia Telluride. The window sticker on the particular model he was looking at read $45,000, and he said he offered to pay $3,000 over that knowing the vehicle was in high demand.

But the dealership wanted $10,000 above the original sticker. “They said, ‘I’ll get the $55,000 from someone else,’” Mr. Baird said.

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