Some Car Dealerships Adding 1,000 Percent Markups to Security Products, Study Finds

Consumers are getting the short end of the stick.

National Consumer Law Center

It isn't exactly breaking news to hear that car dealers are occasionally scamming consumers through last-minute add-ons that cost little to the dealer—but a ton to the consumer. In order to hopefully combat this issue, the National Consumer Law Center did a study on this shady transaction and found several surprising details.

According to NCLC, Guaranteed Asset Protection (a.k.a. GAP) insurance and window etching are two of the most popular add-ons in which dealers jack up the prices. The study demonstrated that the the window etching product was costing one dealer in particular $16; that dealer was it then turning around and selling it to the consumer for $189. In other words, that's a 1,081 percent markup. 

The study went on to say that GAP was averaging a 300-percent markup across 38 dealers. 

Since add-on pricing is not listed on the window sticker—or really, anywhere in standard automobile pricing paperwork—dealers are able to price things as they please without being questioned too extensively. NCLC says it's hoping regulations can be passed by governments to require dealers to list out add-on costs right from the beginning, so no surprises would present themselves at any time.