How Much Does a California Auto Dealer Bond Cost?

Your bond cost is only a percentage of the bond amount you have to post. It is called the bond premium and depends on the strength of your personal and business finances.

The most important factor that affects it is your personal credit score. The higher it is, the lower premium you can expect.

California Auto Dealer Bond Costs
License type Bond Amount Starting Price
California auto dealers $10,000 $100
California ATV dealers, motorcycle dealers, motorcycle lessor-retailers, and wholesale dealers selling less than 25 vehicles per year $50,000 $500

* The table provides a bond cost ballpark estimate based on the applicant's credit score. Actual bond prices can differ due to a number of factors. For an exact quote, please complete our online application. It's fast and 100% free!.

Your surety may also consider your business finances, fixed and liquid assets, and industry experience when assessing your California dealer bond cost. Don’t miss our detailed surety bond cost guide for a full overview of the price formulation process.

Need a quick estimate of your auto dealer bond cost? You can use our handy surety bond calculator below.

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The ballpark estimate on your premium is: $100 - $167

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Can I Get Bonded if I Have Bad Credit?

If you have a lower credit score, past bankruptcies, tax liens, or civil cases, you might have a hard time obtaining your California motor vehicle dealer bond.

That’s why at Bryant Surety Bonds we run a Bad Credit Program that helps auto dealers with problematic finances to get bonded and stay in operation. We’ll find a tailored bonding option that fits your personal needs and situation.

How to Get a California Dealer License?

To start your dealership, you’ll need a license from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. You’ll need to post a surety bond, but you’ll also have to satisfy a list of other California dealer license requirements:

  • Register your business entity in the state
  • Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
  • Complete the state license application form
  • Fill out the Application for Original Occupational License (Part A and Part C)
  • Authorize the release of financial information
  • Provide a Certificate of Proposed Franchise (for new car dealers)
  • Completed personal history questionnaire
  • Obtain a property use verification for your business location
  • Pass a dealer training program (for used and wholesale dealers)
  • Pay applicable fees: $175 application fee, $300 new dealer fee, $70 per dealer plate, $1 Family Support Program fee

The DMV can review your application within 120 days, during which you’ll also get an on-site inspection of your business location.

Check out our California Auto Dealer License Guide for a full overview of all requirements.


About us:
Bryant Surety Bonds, Inc. is a surety bond agency based in Pennsylvania. Licensed in all 50 states and with access to over 20 T-listed, A-Rated bonding companies, we have the contacts, expertise, and top service to provide you with a hassle-free experience, all while offering competitive rates for your surety bond.