Market research shows new car dealerships continue to raise prices an average of 10% above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, despite warnings from some automakers to limit it. But a new website is helping car buyers turn the tide.

When Charles Ray and his family learned that a new baby was on the way, they needed a bigger vehicle.

“It started to become a race against time. Who was going to come first, the baby or the van?” Ray laughs.

Ray says he went to a Kia dealership to see the Kia Carnival.

“We were like, ‘We’re ready to buy it right away.’ And the salesman comes in and says, ‘OK, that’s great, but I have to tell you something.’ He says, ‘We’re charging $15,000 more than MSRP for this thing,'” Ray recalled of the exchange.

He says another dealership offered him $8,000 more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a Kia Sorrento.

“It’s ridiculous,” Ray said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

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Ray did not purchase these vehicles. Instead, it began reporting dealer profit margins on

“We’ve seen crazy stories of people getting $50,000, $60,000, $75,000 profit margins in funding,” said Tiffany Soucie-Howren, vice president of

Soucie-Howren and her partner launched the site so that consumers could be heard.

“We just want to help bring that transparency, where consumers know before they spend their time, before they go out and have a horrible experience,” she said.

Dealers have the right to increase prices above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

But the CEOs of Ford and General Motors warned dealerships in February to cool high margins.

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An report shows this is continuing.

“The new side has been fairly consistent above 10% above MSRP for several months.

And sadly, with the latest global turmoil going on, there is unfortunately still a way out before we start to move away from those high numbers,” said Karl Brauer with

The highest averages?

iSeeCars reports that the average price of a Jeep Wrangler rose 26.7%, or $8,925 over MSRP, and a Porsche Macan rose 23.3%, $13,254 over MSRP.

Soucie-Howren says they ask consumers to show proof of their messages, and dealers can refute the messages. The goal, she says, is to create transparency in the marketplace.

“Obviously we’ve ruffled a few feathers. But hopefully it can be a useful tool, not just for consumers, but also for resellers,” Soucie-Howren said.

Ray says they ended up buying a Honda Odyssey for $1,000 over MSRP. And just in time. Baby Kaylee has arrived.


We asked six dealers named on and the National Auto Dealers Association and the Texas Auto Dealers Association to comment, but none responded.

To save money buying a new car, experts recommend being flexible about make and model, color, and amenities, and being prepared to drive to a dealership a few hours away if it matters. saves you a few thousand dollars.


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