The advisory from the Department of Motor Vehicles could not be clearer – even if it is ten years old. Motor vehicle dealers are prohibited from inserting into any of the purchase paperwork a fee for, “Title and Registration Fees (including a private tag agency fee of $____.__).” This violates Florida Statute 320.27(9)(b)3, which states that this fee is false, misleading, misrepresentative, and deceptive with regard to the sale and financing of motor vehicles. However, that’s not the only statute that’s violated by the addition of this fictional fee to your contract, order, or other purchasing documents.
The way that dealers insert this fraudulent car dealer fee also violates Florida Statute 501.976(11), which makes it an offense to add any fee or charge to the cash price of a motor vehicle under rule 69V-50.001 of the Florida Administrative code.
Finally, the cherry on top is the practice violates statutes 320-27(12), which govern the imposition of fees that lead the client to believe that such fees are mandatory fees being charged by the state.
If you are not familiar with the laws that govern these transactions, I urge you to read them all because what is happening here is essentially the same as condo boards fleecing applicants for extra money.
Furthermore, if you have purchased a car and find that these fees have been inserted into what you paid for that car, or any of the statutes were violated, you need to have a talk with the dealer. Some of the fees you could also see are detailed over at Carbuyingtips.com and include such pocket-liners as the dealer prep fee, and Bankrate.com has even more fees that can be buried in the boilerplate that you sign.
Putting it plainly, Florida car buyers are being taken for a very pricy ride.
I don’t blame people for not knowing the law. There are so many laws that apply to all of us every day. We simply don’t think about it and there’s an element of trust that allows that. We trust that car dealers, condo boards, and other institutions are dealing fairly and in good faith. It’s the bad actors who give institutions a bad name but unfortunately for those who do deal above-board, the bad actors’ actions get everyone dirty. The thing is, the bad actors prey on that trust and sometimes they think they aren’t doing anything wrong; yet they still feel compelled to hide and justify it. Then, when everything comes out, people lose trust and faith that they’re getting a fair shake.
Justice relies on the belief that the system works for everyone just the same way; everyone’s heard, everyone’s treated the same before the law, and that what can be made whole will be made whole. If a dealer has applied these fees to your motor vehicle purchase, please get in touch with us for a free consultation, and let’s make it right.