Car Dealer Invoice Price

The car dealer invoice price, also known as the dealer cost or wholesale price, refers to the amount that a car dealership pays to the manufacturer for a new vehicle. It is the price at which the manufacturer sells the car to the dealer before any additional costs, such as taxes, transportation fees, or dealership-specific charges, are included.


The car dealer invoice price serves as the foundation for pricing negotiations between car dealerships and potential buyers. Understanding this cost can empower consumers to make informed decisions during the car purchasing process, allowing them to navigate through the complexities of pricing strategies employed by dealerships.


The car dealer invoice price represents the specific amount that a dealership pays the manufacturer for each vehicle purchased. It is typically lower than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), which is the price suggested by the manufacturer for the vehicle sale to end consumers. The difference between the invoice price and the MSRP is the potential profit margin for the dealership.

When a dealership purchases vehicles from the manufacturer, they receive a detailed invoice that outlines the unit cost of each vehicle along with any additional options or accessories. This invoice price includes the base price of the vehicle itself, as well as any factory-installed features or packages that are part of the vehicle’s specification. It does not include any extras or dealership-specific costs that may be added in later stages of the selling process.

The car dealer invoice price is influenced by various factors, including production costs, economies of scale, manufacturing incentives, and dealership volume discounts. Manufacturers may offer different pricing structures to dealerships based on their sales performance or their geographic location, which can affect the final invoice price.

Potential buyers can use the car dealer invoice price as a starting point for negotiating a fair deal. By having knowledge of this cost, consumers can evaluate the potential profit margin for the dealership and negotiate a price closer to the invoice value. However, it’s important to consider that dealerships also incur overhead costs, such as advertising, employee salaries, and dealership maintenance, which contribute to their overall expenses.

In addition to helping consumers negotiate a fair purchase price, knowing the car dealer invoice price can be beneficial in comparing offers from different dealerships or when considering different vehicle models or trim levels. By understanding the underlying cost structure, buyers can make more informed decisions and potentially save money on their car purchase.


The car dealer invoice price is the specific amount that a dealership pays the manufacturer for a new vehicle. It serves as the foundation for pricing negotiations and enables buyers to evaluate dealership profit margins and make informed purchasing decisions. By understanding this cost and considering other factors related to dealership expenses, buyers can negotiate fair deals and potentially save money on their car purchases.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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