Report: Car Dealerships Still Charging Unlawful Fees In Violation of FDUTPA & Buying Out Car Leases

Jun 5, 2020


Welcome to Baytowne Reporting, where we aim to shed light on the ongoing issue of car dealerships charging unlawful fees in violation of the FDUTPA (Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act). In this report, we will provide you with comprehensive information about these unlawful practices and empower you with the knowledge to protect yourself when buying out car leases.

The FDUTPA: Understanding Your Rights

The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a set of laws designed to protect consumers from deceptive and unfair trade practices. It covers various industries, including automotive sales. Under the FDUTPA, car dealerships are prohibited from charging consumers unlawful fees that are not clearly disclosed upfront or are excessive.

Uncovering Unlawful Fees

Car dealerships employ various tactics to charge consumers unlawful fees, often without their knowledge or understanding. Some common examples of these deceptive practices include:

  • Undisclosed dealership fees
  • Document processing fees
  • Advertising fees
  • Pre-delivery inspection fees
  • Dealer preparation fees
  • Administrative fees

These fees can add up to significant amounts and are often included in the final purchase price, leaving consumers with unexpected costs that they are unaware of until it is too late.

The Impact on Consumers

Unlawful fees imposed by car dealerships can lead to financial hardships and negatively impact consumers' overall car buying experience. Many individuals end up paying more than they anticipated, affecting their ability to afford the vehicle and potentially leading to financial strain.

How to Protect Yourself

Educate Yourself About the Law

Being aware of your rights as a consumer is crucial in protecting yourself from car dealerships charging unlawful fees. Familiarize yourself with the FDUTPA and other relevant laws governing automotive sales in your state. Knowledge is power, and understanding the legal framework will help you identify and challenge any unlawful practices.

Thoroughly Review Contracts and Paperwork

When buying or leasing a car, carefully review all contracts and paperwork provided by the dealership. Pay close attention to any additional fees or charges listed and inquire about their purpose and legality. If you spot any suspicious or unclear fees, seek clarification from the dealership before proceeding with the transaction. It is important to have a complete understanding of what you are being charged for.

Seek Legal Assistance if Necessary

If you believe that a car dealership has charged you unlawful fees in violation of the FDUTPA or other applicable laws, it may be necessary to seek legal assistance. By consulting with an experienced consumer protection attorney, you can explore your options, understand the potential legal remedies available to you, and take appropriate action to hold the dealership accountable.


Car dealerships charging unlawful fees is an ongoing issue that demands attention and awareness. By educating yourself about the FDUTPA and other relevant laws, thoroughly reviewing contracts, and seeking legal assistance when necessary, you can safeguard your rights as a consumer and ensure a fair and transparent car buying process.

Remember, at Baytowne Reporting, we are committed to providing you with the information you need to navigate the complex world of car buying and protect yourself from deceptive practices. Trust us to keep you informed and empowered.

Levi Rosenblum
Car dealerships must abide by the law and respect customers' rights. Knowledge is power!
Nov 11, 2023
Bernie Hsndon
Car dealerships must stop charging illegal fees! 😡 Buyers need to know their rights.
Oct 9, 2023