The car sales invoice is a document listing all the features and costs that come with buying a vehicle. It allows the buyer and seller to both get a clear view of each item included with the vehicle as well as total fees and taxes added on to the final price.
A car sales invoice typically includes two prices. The first is the Standard Vehicle Price, which is always the cheapest price for which a car will sell. The second is the Vehicle Price with Optional Equipment (heated and leather seats, GPS, etc.), which includes additional costs. Other fees commonly seen on car sales invoices are:
- List Price – Usually a number that is negotiable, sometimes referred to as the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), which is the recommended price that the manufacturer tells the dealership to price the vehicle. Because dealerships often pay much less than what is seen on the sticker, buyers have the power to negotiate the list price of the car.
- Doc (documentation) Fee – A fee a dealership charges for drafting up the paperwork and prepping the car for final delivery. Check with your state to see the maximum amount allowed that can be charged for a doc fee.
- State Taxes – A percentage of the list price. Some states like Florida do not have a vehicle sales tax, but most do.
- Registration Fee – This should only be listed if the dealership plans on registering the car for the buyer.
- Car Details – It’s important to check that the basic details match with the car. Be sure the following is noted on the invoice: Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), engine number, make, color, and any other pertinent identifiers.
A car sales invoice is not to be confused with a car invoice. Car invoices are invoices used when a manufacturer sells a car to a dealership and are different than the invoice used when selling a vehicle to an everyday customer. Such a document will include the price of rebates, dealer incentives, and dealer holdback.
Vehicle Bill of Sale – To be used as a contract between the buyer and seller for a motor vehicle.