How Much Commission Does a Car Salesman Make? Discover the Earning Potential

How Much Commission Does a Car Salesman Make

Car salesmen play an important role in the automotive industry. They are responsible for selling new and used cars to customers who visit the dealership. One of the questions that frequently comes up when considering a career as a car salesman is how much commission they can make.

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The commission structure for car salesmen can vary depending on the dealership and the level of experience. Generally, car salesmen earn a percentage of the profit made on each vehicle they sell. This means that their commission is directly tied to the selling price and the profit margins of the dealership.

Types of Commission Structures

There are different types of commission structures that car salesmen may encounter. The most common are:

  1. Percentage of Gross Profit: In this structure, the car salesman is paid a percentage of the gross profit made on each vehicle sale. The gross profit is the difference between the selling price and the dealer’s actual cost.
  2. Percentage of Front-End Profit: This structure focuses on the gross profit made on the selling price of the vehicle. It does not take into account additional profits made on financing, warranties, or accessories.
  3. Unit Bonus: Some dealerships offer bonuses based on the number of vehicles sold. These bonuses are typically in addition to the regular commission structure.

Each dealership will have its own commission structure that car salesmen must adhere to. It’s important to understand the specific details of the commission plan before accepting a position as a car salesman.

Factors That Determine Commission

The amount of commission a car salesman can make is influenced by several factors:

  • Type of Vehicles: The type and price range of the vehicles being sold can impact the commission. Selling luxury or high-priced vehicles often leads to higher commissions.
  • Experience: More experienced salesmen tend to have a higher base commission and may have access to additional bonuses and incentives.
  • Performance and Sales Volume: Car salesmen who consistently meet or exceed their sales targets are often rewarded with higher commissions or bonuses.
  • Time on the Job: Some commission plans may have tiers that increase the percentage of commission earned based on the length of time a salesman has been with the dealership.

It’s worth noting that while commission is a significant component of a car salesman’s income, it is not usually the sole source. Many dealerships also provide a base salary or a draw against future commissions, ensuring that salesmen have a steady income.

Industry Averages

Since dealership commission structures can vary, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact average amount that car salesmen earn. However, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has reported that the average commission for car salesmen in the United States is around 25% of the gross profit on each vehicle sold.

This means that if a car salesman sells a vehicle with a gross profit of $2,000, their commission would typically be $500. However, it’s important to note that this figure can be higher or lower depending on the specific commission plan in place.

Frequently Asked Questions For How Much Commission Does A Car Salesman Make? Discover The Earning Potential

How Much Commission Does A Car Salesman Make On Each Sale?

The commission that a car salesman makes on each sale can vary, but on average, it is around 15% of the total profit the dealership makes on the vehicle.

What Factors Can Affect A Car Salesman’s Commission?

Several factors can affect a car salesman’s commission, including the type of car sold, the selling price, any additional products or services sold, and the dealership’s commission structure.

Do Car Salesmen Earn A Salary In Addition To Their Commission?

Yes, car salesmen often receive a base salary in addition to their commission. The base salary can vary based on the dealership and the individual’s level of experience and performance.

Can Car Salesmen Negotiate Their Commission Rates?

In some cases, car salesmen can negotiate their commission rates with their dealership. This is more likely to happen if the salesman is a top performer or if they have valuable experience and expertise.


Car salesmen have the potential to earn a substantial income through commissions. The specific amount they can make will depend on the dealership’s commission structure, the types of vehicles sold, the salesman’s experience, performance, and other factors. It’s important for aspiring car salesmen to carefully consider the commission plan before embarking on a career in car sales.

Ultimately, the success and earning potential of a car salesman rely on their ability to build relationships with customers, provide excellent customer service, and effectively close deals. Those who excel in these areas can enjoy a successful and financially rewarding career in car sales.

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