How Much Commission Does a Car Salesman Make?


The car sales industry is one that attracts many individuals looking for a career with significant earning potential. The primary source of income for car salesmen is commission – a percentage earned from the sale of each vehicle.

However, determining the average commission can be challenging due to factors like the type of car being sold, location, and experience level. In this article, we will delve into the world of car sales, examining these factors in detail, and ultimately providing a conclusion on the average commission earned by a car salesman.

Commission Structure

Car salesmen typically receive their income based on a commission structure, which is a percentage of the total selling price of the vehicle. The commission rate can vary depending on several factors, including the dealership’s policies, the salesman’s experience, and the type of vehicle being sold.

Generally, the commission rate ranges from 20-30% of the gross profit, although it can be higher or lower in some cases.

A. New vs. Used Cars

The commission on new and used cars can differ significantly.

Salesmen selling new cars usually receive a lower commission rate (around 20-25% of the gross profit) due to the lower profit margin on new vehicles. In contrast, used car sales tend to have higher profit margins, allowing for a higher commission rate (typically 25-30% of the gross profit).

B. Luxury vs.

Regular Cars

Luxury cars often have higher profit margins than regular cars, resulting in a higher commission rate for the salesperson. While luxury cars may have a commission rate of around 25-35% of the gross profit, regular cars might have a commission rate of around 20-30%.

Factors Affecting Commission

There are several factors that can influence the commission earned by a car salesman. These factors include location, experience level, dealership size, and market conditions.



The location of the dealership plays a significant role in determining the commission rate. In urban areas with high competition and a larger customer base, dealerships may offer higher commissions to attract skilled salespeople. Conversely, rural areas with lower competition may have lower commission rates.


Experience Level

Experienced salespeople tend to earn higher commissions due to their enhanced negotiation skills and ability to close deals. As a result, they often have a higher commission rate compared to entry-level salespeople.

C. Dealership Size

Larger dealerships with a higher volume of sales may offer lower commission rates due to the higher potential for sales volume.

Smaller dealerships, on the other hand, may offer higher commission rates to incentivize salespeople to sell more cars.

D. Market Conditions

Market conditions can also have a significant impact on commission rates. In times of economic growth and high demand for vehicles, commission rates may increase.

During economic downturns or periods of low demand, commission rates may decrease.

Average Commission

Taking into account the various factors discussed above, the average commission earned by a car salesman is estimated to be around 25% of the gross profit. For example, if a car has a gross profit of $4,000, the salesman would earn a commission of $1,000. However, it’s important to note that this is just an average figure and individual commissions may vary based on factors like location, experience, and the type of car being sold.


In conclusion, the average commission earned by a car salesman is around 25% of the gross profit.