What Is the Average Mark Up on a Used Car?

by Elizabeth Punke
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Barry Austin Photography/Photodisc/Getty Images

The mark up on a used vehicle is the difference between what it is sold for and what the dealer paid for it. A typical mark up is between 25 and 45 percent, which may or may not include repairs and processing fees.

Repair Considerations

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One example, given by Youngmoney.com, states that a General Motors vehicle was bought and then repaired for $400. That repair cost will factor into the mark up. Some cars do not need pricey repairs; however, some do. The more extensive a repair, the higher a mark up will become.


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Vehicles are priced higher in larger markets than in smaller ones. For example, labor costs in Los Angeles are higher than they are in Peoria, IL. therefore the cost of a vehicle to begin with is higher. After repairs and the profit of the dealership factored in, the mark up is much higher in the large city.

Actual Mark Up

Kelley Blue Book, a trusted source for car buyers, lists a 2000 Chevy Lumina at just under $7,900. Based on Youngmoney.com's analysis of the GM vehicle mentioned above, the Lumina will obtain a mark up of around $3,555. This puts the total price at $11,499, which is the average 45 percent mark up (based on research by Youngmoney.com) including an average repair cost of $400.

Average Mark Up

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Mdwholesale.com states that "as a rule of thumb, every $10,000 has a $2,000 mark up included." That amounts to a 26 percent mark up. It explains a processing fee is often included to the amount of $300 to $600, although it all depends upon the dealer. This means that a vehicle with a base, not retail, price of $13,000 (like one listed through Kelley Blue Book) could end up costng $16,380.

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