RTO Officer confirms handling charges are illegal and dealers should be reported

Sanjay Raut is the Deputy Officer with the Regional Transport Office in Pune.

Time and again, multiple courts in India have stated that dealers charging handling charges is illegal. In spite of this, most dealers continue to charge handling charges. Now, apart from the court, RTO officers have also said the same thing.

Sanjay Raut, Deputy Officer with Regional Transport Offic, Pune, said, “It’s illegal to take handling charges from customers as it is the responsibility of dealers to provide a registered vehicle to the buyer. We have already sent out a communication to all dealers to stop collecting money as handling charges as it is illegal…On Tuesday (22nd May), a meeting with automobile dealers was also held, where strict instructions were given to dealers.”

There have been multiple cases where dealers charge anything from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000, depending on the car, in the name of handling charges. RTO officials came to know that many dealers are charging these fees from unsuspecting dealers by telling that this extra money is paid to the RTO for speedy clearance of the vehicle. To make the air clear, RTO has instructed all dealer to put a board in all showrooms, stating – “Handling Charges Are Illegal,” reveals The Indian Express.

These charges are illegal. Even when you argue, like a reader did recently, he was told on face that he can go away and buy the car from different dealer if he does not wish to pay handling charge. The dealer in question was a Tata dealer. The consumer went back home, and decided to take this up with Tata Motors. He wrote a mail to customer care, and marked the company’s CEO, Mr Guenter Butschek. To his surprise, he got a reply from them the same day. Next day, the dealer called the customer, and told him that the handling charges have been waived off.

This is what the reader told Rushlane – “Dealers still charging illegal handling or logistic charges. Booked a Nexon and found them to charge us handling charges and as far as my knowledge thats totally illegal to which i protested but they insisted me to pay if i have to buy the car. Wrote an email to customer care and the ceo of tata motors. And the very next day got a call from the dealer and are waived off the charges. So pls spread the news and create some awareness on this illegal way of making quick money by the dealers.”

This is not the only case. Recently, a Maruti customer won a court case against the dealer where the court not only waived off handling charges, but also fined the dealer and ordered him to pay Rs 1 lakh to the customer.