Document fees


A document fee, sometimes called a doc fee or a documentation fee, is something that car dealerships will charge you for certain checks they carry out on your paperwork during the car buying process. Document fees can also be charged on finance agreements by the finance provider. They can also be labelled as administrative fees.


Why are document fees charged?

Document fees tend to be charged to help cover the cost of the back office staff at a car dealership. They will cover the paperwork and processing of your car buying, from the accounts department to those who will deal with registering your ownership with the DVLA. Sometimes there is a markup on these fees added by the dealership to help cover more of their costs. Document fees can also work to separate the genuine customers from those who aren’t as committed to buying the vehicle.


Do I have to pay a document fee? 

In order to process your car buying, the chances are that you will have to pay the fees charged by the seller or finance provider. You may question the fees and try to get more details, so that you have more information before deciding to go through with the transaction. You may be able to negotiate a different price for the document fees, but it is entirely at the dealer’s discretion.


What document fees are involved in a finance package?

The document fees charged on a finance package depend on the provider and the type of finance product you take out. All Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved finance providers must provide you with a clear breakdown of all the costs involved with a finance agreement. So you should be given an itemised list that will explain all the charges you will incur when you take out the finance agreement, including the document fees.

If you are financing a car from a dealership through a finance provider, there may be document fees charged by the dealership too. But your customer advisor will be able to explain any of the fees involved and answer questions you may have.


Can I get a refund for a document fee?

Document fees should only be charged at the completion stage of the car buying process, so you should be feeling confident about the car you’re buying or finance package you’ve applied for by this stage. If you are buying a car online, you have additional protections including a 14-day cooling off period where you can return the vehicle back to the seller without any issues. Whether or not the document fees are also refunded is based on the provider, so check the terms and conditions before you complete the process.

When you apply for car finance with Creditplus, your dedicated customer advisor will be able to answer any questions you have about document fees or the entire car buying process. As an FCA approved provider, we work hard to ensure all our customers are empowered to make the right decisions about their car finance packages at every step of the process. If in doubt, ask your customer advisor.

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