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How much should the dealer charge to go get a car?

Hi everyone. I’m looking for a new car, a base Ford Fusion with a manual transmission. Unfortunately, the '09’s in that version are really scarce at this point. The only local dealer with what I’m looking for has one, but it’s tan, which I can’t do.

I live in southern MA. and the dealer found one in northern Maine. In your opinion, what’s a reasonable cost for them to go get it? Should I worry about how it’s going to be driven on the way back from Maine? I’ve offered them the same price for the Silver on in Maine as they were going to give me for the tan one. ($15,100 include tax, title and all fees). Today they said the silver one would be $750 more and so far haven’t budged. I’d be willing to meet them half way. What’s really a fair price to drive to Maine and back?

You could always fly to Maine and drive it back yourself…

Wow, that was quick. Flying there would negate much of the savings. Plus, even if they gave me the name of the dealer, I wouldn’t have time to go get it. I need to have a deal done by Friday, when Ford’s Advantage Plan expires.

I just got some quotes on shipping a car from CA to PA that ranged from $800 to 1,000. It does cost something for a man drive a car from Maine to MA. I’d say $300 over the price of the car on the lot is fair and probably doesn’t cover the dealer’s costs. Figure the costs of fuel and number of hours the trip will take you can guess the costs. What do you pay a driver per hour? I wouldn’t worry about who drives the car or the mileage put on for the trip.

Can you take a bus to Maine?

Back when I sold cars (circa 2001-2004) During lean monthes salespeople would ferry cars from one dealership to another to make a couple extra bucks. I did this a number of times since it was easy money and most of the time I could drop off a car and be back home in 10 hours or so. I was paid $300 (in cash) a trip. Which adds up if you do say one trip a week.

So I would guess that most places will charge $300-$400 to get a car from another dealership.

$750 sounds like the car will be fetched with a flatbed truck. Otherwise dealers use retired people who don’t need much money; just ferry cars for a little fun. Ask which method the dealer will use. They do have a way of deactivating the electric speedometer to skip the ferrying mileage. The retired person method cost should mostly or all be eaten by the dealer.

They can charge what they want to and if you’re told up front what that charge is then you have no complaint.
You’ve negotiated and they won’t budge so it’s up to you to take it or leave it.

There are different methods of car deliveries and it’s possible the amount in question is entirely fair.

A dealer I worked for had to acquire a car for a customer from another state. This car was located about 500 miles away and the expense tab went like this.
Gasoline one-way for 500 miles.
Meals for the employee who drove the car up.
Airfare for the employee to get back home that day.
Hourly wages and incidentals from approx. 6 in the morning until approx. 9 that night for the employee who had a long car drive and about 4-5 hours of flight time, airport transfers, and general loitering at the gate.

It adds up and the bottom line is that it’s business. It’s not meant to be “fair”.

When I got my 2005 Legacy GT wagon the dealer had an automatic in stock they offered for invoice. My wife wanted the ultra rare 5 speed manual(found out latter only 1300 produced total in wagon).

The dealer located one over 200 miles away(one way) in upstate NY from NH and charged me not a dime extra. I believe their profit was the 4% holdback or something they get or a possibly a some manufacturer incentive(no idea).

Well first the delivery cost you are looking at is not related to the delivery cost on the invoice, nor it is really part of the overall deal, but you or the dealer may make it part of the overall deal, which is what I recommend. In reality it is a part of the cost to you and do you really care what mix of cost goes into the final cost? You just want a low final cost.

As for driving it back, well I would prefer that it not be driven back by someone who does not really care what happens to it five years from now and may not follow the break in recommendations, but I have had a car delivered to me a couple of times and I have never had any indication that there was any break in problems.

Disabling the odometer would be highly illegal. I have never heard of it being done before.

Back in '74, no local Volvo dealers had the model that I wanted (240GL in an unusual blue metallic), but one was available in Connecticut–about 200 miles away.

The good news was that I was charged a very nominal sum for someone from the dealership to fetch it.

The bad news was that, despite excellent maintenance, the car began burning oil at a very high rate (1 qt every 600 miles) shortly after the expiration of the warranty, and the transmission had a persistent leak. While I could never prove my theory, I have always suspected that the car was driven flat-out for much of its 200 mile journey from CT, and that damage to both the brand-new engine and transmission resulted from not observing proper break-in procedure.

New vehicles are much less prone to “break-in” problems than older cars like this Volvo with its tractor engine, but I would never again allow anyone other than myself to drive my new new car for any significant distance prior to break-in. On the other hand, if they can assure you that it will be flat-bedded, then you should give their plan some consideration.

Come On, Man! These Are Car Salesmen!

They want to unload that tan car. They know you don’t want it. Of course the only cool color is $750 dollars away. They figure you won’t spend that much. They could be “blowing smoke!”

I’ve never done it, but I know people who search new cars themselves and even get bidding wars going. I think you’re going to have to do some of your own searching here, or see if other dealers you contact, locate a car you want that is not $750 away from you. See if the only one is in Maine.

It’s not that I don’t trust car sales people, I mean almost everybody does, but I’d get a second or third or fourth . . . opinion. We don’t want to see you in a tan car or wasting your money. Right?


P.S. Personally, I wouldn’t pay them a cent more to get the car I want. I’d give them my number and tell them if they figure out a way to cover it, call me. I never pay sales tax when I buy cars, either. I usually have to wait a couple days for a call, though.

You already answered your own question: “Flying there would negate much of the savings.”

It would cost YOU much of the $750 just to get to Maine to get the car. Surely it would cost the Dealer the same amount to send a driver there. If going to Maine is not worth $750 to you, why should it be worth less to the dealer?

In the end, the other comments here are spot on: The Dealer is going to charge what it’s worth to him (maybe he figures he can sell the tan one easily enough to a different customer). You know (intuitively, at least) what it’s worth to you. Either you have a deal, or you don’t.

See if the Dealer will come down to what you think is reasonable. Consider your other options, and make a decision without anger or regret.

hey do have a way of deactivating the electric speedometer to skip the ferrying mileage.

That is definitely against the law…What Scum dealership does this???

I remember going to Ricart just outside of Columbus, Ohio. Salesman told me that there were no v8 limited Sport Tracs in Ohio. Went to a couple others, Gramm(w. Broad st.) and Germain(Dublin) and found one, but not with the options I was wanting. One of the salesmen from the other 2 places told me that they don’t deal with Ricart because he doesn’t deal with them too well.

Very Typical! None Of That Is Surprising. They’re Car Salesmen!

Thanks for the anecdote.


No problem, this kinda stuff probably happens everyday.
The OP’s best bet would be to go to Ford’s website and search for dealerships in their local area.

I used Boston as a point of reference since I’m not sure the exact city the OP is from

Thanks very much everyone for all of the replies. I ended up getting a dark blue SE with a manual transmission for $17,200 out the door. It has some additional options over the S and I like the color.

Thanks again.

Rock Star, You’re Welcome! Sounds Great! Thanks For Telling Us! Enjoy It!


Kudo’s to Ford for still offering a manual transmission. I will not buy a car that is automatic unless no alternative exists. Makes car shopping easier as choices are narrowed quite quickly.