Invoice Price (or "Dealer Cost")
What is invoice price and where can I find more information about it?
Invoice price (sometimes referred to as "dealer cost") is the price that appears on the invoice that the manufacturer sends to the dealer when the dealer receives a car from the factory.
Please note, however, that this price is almost always higher than the amount the dealer actually ends up paying to the manufacturer. This results from a variety of discounts offered to the dealer that do not appear on the invoice. The two most common discounts are Dealer Holdback and Dealer Cash Incentives, and there are others that may be based on factors such as a dealer's sales volume for a particular month. Check out our article "Where Does the Car Dealer Make Money?" for more information about this.
Also note that the invoice price does not reflect any manufacturer-to-consumer rebates, the destination charge or the tax, title, license, advertising or registration fees. For more on such fees, please see our article "What Fees Should You Pay?"
Sometimes the amount quoted as the invoice price includes the destination charge and sometimes it does not, so look closely. On Edmunds.com, we always make that clear.
In the end, determining a dealer's actual net cost is difficult even for seasoned automotive insiders. This is why we developed the True Market Value® pricing system, which is our determination of what other consumers are actually paying for a vehicle. TMV® accounts for the effect of all of the manufacturer's extra charges as well as the dealer's hidden subsidies, and we believe it is the most important price to know when negotiating your purchase.
How to Find Invoice Prices
To find the invoice price for a vehicle, begin at our New Cars page and choose the Make, Model, and Style you're interested in. For example, if you select a Ford Escape S SUV, you arrive at this Price With Options page, which shows the vehicle's National MSRP and Invoice Price.
From there, you can further select the options, colors and location of the vehicle to arrive at a customized report of its MSRP, Invoice Price and True Market Value®.
For a more detailed explanation, please see How to Price a New Car on Edmunds.
Invoice Price Discrepancies
Invoice prices on our site always match the price listed in a booklet prepared by the vehicle manufacturer and distributed to its dealers commonly known as the "dealer order guide"; however, an individual dealer may add additional items such as advertising fees. (For more on dealer fees, see our article "What Fees Should You Pay?")
Please note when comparing invoice prices that it's important to ensure the vehicles' styles and options are an exact match. For example, the invoice price of a Ford Fusion SPORT FWD (front-wheel drive) will be slightly less than the Ford Fusion SPORT AWD (all-wheel drive).
Also, regional pricing differences can be the cause of a discrepancy. For example, in the South and Southeast, large independent distributors control the pricing of Toyota vehicles, and they may set prices at different levels than those established by Toyota for the rest of the country. Similarly, in the Northeast, an independent company distributes Subaru vehicles and can influence pricing in that region.
For more information on regional pricing differences, please see our Toyota Regional Differences FAQ.
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