WASHINGTON DC (WUSA) -- The Chevy Volt has been racking up industry awards such as Motor Trend Car of the Year, North American Car of the Year and this month, a highly coveted Consumer Reports recommendation. Arlington-Va. resident Jim Hock points out "DC is one of the first markets to get the Volt," and he was excited to step up and buy the electric car from Chevrolet. Hock even had a special 240-volt charger installed in his garage during a recent green renovation of his home.
But car shopping for his beloved Volt turned into a cautionary tale of "Buyer Beware."
Hock says he negotiated a deal with a local dealer online, placing a $2,000 refundable deposit for a black Chevy Volt. Then "we got to the dealer and the last thing the young guy said to us was, you're going to get a deal on the ... what I call the upcharge... they call it demand charge or something like that," says Hock. And what a charge it was.
Hock continues "instead of $8,000 or $10,000, we'll only charge you $5,000 above the sticker price." He was with his father-in-law, a car enthusiast, and "we both looked at each other like, huh? What?" says Hock.
Hock is not alone in his experience. Car shoppers across the country have been complaining online about these dealer upcharges of $5,000, $10,000, even $20,000.
Volt spokesperson Robert Peterson tells 9NewsNow "We've encouraged our Chevrolet dealerships to follow the manufacturer's suggested retail price (msrp), but they are independent franchises and free to set their own price. Even though inventories are low and demand is high, most of our dealers are selling Volt's at MSRP."
Hock turned to the Internet to find another local dealer who was not charging the extra dealer fee and he finally "bought it in Fredericksburg, because they had the exact model that I wanted. It worked out great. "