How Much Does a Car Salesman Get Paid?

A car salesperson's pay varies a great deal by dealer, location and the salesperson's overall sales ability. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average pay for car retail salespeople of £12.20 per hour, according to 2006 averages. In 2008, the Bureau reported an average of £395 per week for vehicle salespeople.


Many salespeople are paid a small salary. A £130 per week salary is common; the salesperson keeps the same salary regardless of weekly sales. Some are paid more, depending on time with the dealer. In many states, however, a salesperson is paid either minimum wage or draw, meaning his weekly pay is taken back once his vehicle sales are totalled. For example, a salesperson who is paid £130 draw per week (or even a state-required minimum wage amount) over a four-week period must exceed £390 in commission to receive additional payment when the commission payment is due (usually the following month). If he does not exceed the £390 amount already paid out, the salesperson will have money deducted out of his paycheck until the draw is paid back for the previous month.


Many dealerships offer a salesperson 20 to 35 per cent of vehicle's profit. Sometimes the percentage is paid on a sliding scale, meaning the salesperson will make 20 per cent of profit until he sells at least 12 cars, at which point she is paid 25 per cent of profit. For salespeople who sell new and used cars, the rule usually applies to both. Some new-car dealers offer "flats" for new car sales, meaning the dealer pays a set amount per sale, usually from £32 to £130 no matter how much profit is made.


Aside from commission, many dealerships offer bonuses. When a salesperson reaches a certain number of sales for the month, he makes a bonus payment. Amounts differ widely by dealer. For example, one dealer may pay £130 once eight cars are sold, while another may pay £325 at 15 sales. Usually the bonuses increase as the number of sales increases for the month. The salesperson who makes £325 for 15 sales, for example, may make an additional £325 at 20 sales (a total of £650) and for each five car increase, she'll continue making an extra £325.


Dealers may offer salespeople further incentive to sell certain vehicles. Some dealers may add an extra £130 or more in additional commission to aged inventory. The dealer manager will let the salespeople know which vehicles qualify and which don't. From time to time, a new car manufacturer may offer bonuses, known as "spins." In such an event, the manufacturer offers an extra £32 to £65 on certain model sales.


Manufacturer spins are paid out tax-free, meaning the salesperson must claim the additional income at the end of the year and pay taxes on it. Also, many dealers experience an off season, which differs by area. In areas that get snow, the winter is usually very slow, meaning the salesperson will often take home his draw or salary only, with proper taxes deducted. Also, salespeople often work about 55 hours per week or more, which should be considered despite the higher pay reported.

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About the Author

Shanan Miller covers automotive and insurance topics for various websites, blogs and dealerships. She has extensive automotive experience, including auction, insurance, finance, service and management positions. Miller has worked for dealer sales events around the United States and now stays local as a sales and leasing consultant for a dealership.

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