I negotiated my price, net, with the doc fee because I have seen fees anywhere from about $250-$875. After we settled on a price, my dealer just discounted the price of the car by the “ dealer doc fee” and added it back on in the purchase contract. I think it was about $375 in my case. Second car I have bought from this dealer the same way. They really don’t want to discount the dealer fee but prefer to discount the car price.
Ours is $399 and it's non negotiable... At Audi we charged $800, so $400 seems reasonable. Plus, they are processing all the documents for the transaction (title, registration, warranty and/or PPF, etc...). Someone has to get paid for processing the docs.
I always ask for how much the check needs to be. Then I go from there with my target number in mind. Much easier and less stress to negotiate one number and one number only. How they then split this number on the contract I don't care as long as it adds up correctly. That being said I believe my dealer charges around $600 doc fee - I think.
Thank you for the link to the chart. That answers my question. For California, the Doc Fee is limited to $80.
I was also wondering if you get a credit on your sales tax when trading in your car. I suspected the answer would be "no" in California. Also interesting that California taxes sales incentives, so a $100 incentive is only worth say $90!