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I have a bone to pick with destination charges: automakers should roll them into each vehicle’s MSRP. Folks browse advertised prices, then drive all the way to the dealership only to find out there are literally thousands more in fees. This is seriously not cool. It’s so uncool that the Federal Trade Commission is trying to force dealerships to advertise their final out-the-door price. Spoiler: that’s been an uphill legal battle, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.

I’ll admit, it takes a ton of money to ship a truck from a Detroit factory out to a dealership in Oregon or Florida. And automakers have surprisingly small margins. Obviously customers must pay something towards shipping. And I’ll also admit that if these “destination charges” were different for every state–based on shipping distances, fuel prices, etc–I could see tagging them on after the MSRP. But here’s the kicker: they’re the same from River Rouge (home to the F-150 assembly plant) to Reno, Nevada (2,180 miles away).

Man finishes a car financing contract on a desk, the keys nearby.
Car salesman | Tero Vesalainen via iStockPhoto

Folks in Michigan might say that averaging delivery costs across all fifty states is unfair. Meanwhile, buyers in Nevada probably love the idea. But that’s not what we’re debating today. My argument is that if destination charges are: ONE set by the manufacturer and non-negotiable (which they are) and, TWO, decided by model not by location (which is also true), than they should be rolled into the advertised MSRP for each model. Obviously, manufacturers and dealers would like to keep advertised prices lower, but I think it would be better to be transparent.

To make matters worse, destination fees have been rising every year. They were averaging just over $800 in 2011, but many have doubled in the past decade. Automakers seem to be at a $2,000 stalemate for full-size trucks and their corresponding SUVs. But the midsize trucks and SUVs are catching up fast.

I’ll step off my soapbox now for the list of the highest destination charges in 2024. They tend to be higher for SUVs and trucks. And this tracks, heavy vehicles are more expensive to ship.

  1. Jeep’s Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer – $2,000
  2. Ram’s 1500/2500/Classic – $1,995
  3. Cadillac Escalade – $1,995
  4. Chevrolet Silverado 1500/2500 – $1,995
  5. Chevrolet Suburban/Tahoe – $1,995
  6. GMC Sierra 1500/2500 – $1,995
  7. GMC Yukon – $1,995
  8. Ford F-150/Super Duty – $1,995
  9. Ford Expedition – $1,995
  10. Lincoln Navigator – $1,995
  11. Jeep Wrangler – $1,895
  12. Nissan Titan/Armada – $1,895
  13. Toyota Tundra/Sequoia – $1,850
  14. Jeep Grand Cherokee – $1,795
  15. Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon – $1,595
  16. Ford Ranger – $1,595
  17. Toyota Tacoma – $1,495
  18. Toyota 4Runner – $1,395
  19. Lexus LX 600 – $1,345

Next, read how the dealerships successfully petitioned the feds to continue charging thousands in hidden fees, or learn about the history of destination charges and possible alternatives in the video below: