Used EV Tax Incentive in Florida

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Active member
Nov 7, 2021
So my wife's SUV died a few days ago, and looking at the $4000, we thought, "We can use a 3rd i3 in the house". So I started looking for one. To maximize the savings, you need to look at a $13,400 and you get a full $4000 benefit.
Now, in Florida, most dealerships don't want to deal with EVs, and by definition, they hate EV drivers. I started going around and found a 2015 nicely equipped for $4999. I called and they explained that it was really $8999, but you take $4000 from the EV tax incentive and it goes down to $4999. I explained to them that it was 30% up to $4000, and they told me, "Well, that's your problem". I asked for an "Out the door price", they told me to go to the store. After a lot of convincing, they sent me the out-the-door estimate: $14999!!!!!!!!!!!! Fees, warranty, LoJack, Ceramic coating, Inspection...
We argued until I got them to $1K on fees, $500 on filing fees, $500 on document fees, and $1000 on the warranty that was advertised as "free of charge," but you had to pay a "warranty fee" (this way is not false advertising).
I started reading the warranty and suddenly I read the small print: Excluded: All electric vehicles, all Hybrid Vehicles, all vehicles with Cylinder deactivation, all vehicles with particle filters, all vehicles used for towing, and then they started listing exclusions by brand and model.
Of course, these were ridiculous, but all the dealers who knew about the EV tax incentive charged fees to keep that money to themselves.
Is it like this everywhere or just around here? Am I missing something? I know Florida is the worst place in the world when it comes to regulations on car sales (they always charge a minimum of $1000 in fees), but now it's a joke.
Was that a BMW dealership? I'd be surprised that they would be so bait/switch/sleazy.

People hate CarMax because they "overcharge." To me, that's a premium you pay for no hidden fees, no hidden defects, and a car that you can return no-questions-asked within 30 days. I think it's worth it. And CarMax lets you shop the entire USA, since they will ship cars to your local CarMax for a pretty reasonable fee, no obligation to purchase.

I got my i3 that way and couldn't be happier with the purchase.
That does sound sleazy but it's a negotiation, and once you establish yourself in their eyes as a serious customer it can work like this: I'm willing to pay you $X (plus obviously tax title license) so if you want to sell it to me for $X give me a call. This is how I ran two recent used car purchases and both took a few weeks of cat & mouse, but both resulted in the dealership calling me and agreeing to my price.

If they're asking too much, the car is going to sit. My first i3, a 2017 off-lease, I felt was $2,500 too high, I offered $24 and the sales manager says "we don't negotiate here." That's fine, if you change your mind call me. They would call me, I would call them ("ready to sell me my car?"), and twice their lowered their published asking price. Eventually — like I said around week 3 — I got the call, "we'll sell it for $24 if you buy it today." Just stand firm on what you think is a fair price and if nobody else swoops in and grabs it, there's a good chance they'll eventually relent.

Something that kills me is the east coast doc fees seem insane, and I don't really have a good handle on how to negotiate with those in play. I could work on a bottom line price that's sale price + doc, and let the dealership figure out the numbers. But it's been simpler and less conflicted for me to buy from states with tighter reins on fees and not reward that sort of profit-taking.
Was that a BMW dealership? I'd be surprised that they would be so bait/switch/sleazy.
I'm in the process of buying from a BMW dealer a 2021 i3 whose listed price was $25,676. I offered $24,999 so that the sale might qualify for the $4,000 federal tax credit. The sales manager wouldn't drop his price telling me that actually, there was an additional sleazy $995 charge for a dealer-applied ceramic coating that was not listed on the dealer's Website or anywhere else, so the sale still wouldn't qualify for the tax credit. So a BMW dealer can be sleazy as well.
Florida has the worst regulations on fees: No regulations at all. It is even illegal (per state law) to negotiate warranty prices (an old law that established that you could not negotiate a lower warranty than the value needed and some dealers use it to say "By state law I can't negotiate the warranty price")
I understand the negotiating price, I am not that naive. And I have seen the "special coating" "GPS upgrade for safety reasons" and all of that. But when they triple the cost with fees is just absurd.
Now, the illegal one: You MUST pay for the warranty fee, advertised at no cost, on a car excluded from it. Triple whammy...
No, not a BMW dealer. Dealer in northern Miami. And I don't want to speak ill of all big city dealers, some of the Miami dealers told me flat out "Dude, I have no idea on the tax credit" or "Look, I just sell $5k cars, nothing electric, so I don't know".
Most of the times I end up buying my cars out of state. Let me explain: You see a car, advertised for $20k. The price should be $19k. Now, you have to negotiate to lower the price $1k, avoid a dealer fee of $998 (which gives you nothing), lower a document fee of $799 to $199, ask why they charge $499 electronic filing fee, drop the $1200 GPS that you don't want, and tell them that you did not ask for the $999 "Ceramic Coating". It is a NIGHTMARE.
And yes, most dealers are like that...