How Much Does a Car Salesman Make a Year?

By Laurel Tincher · April 24, 2024 · 5 minute read

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How Much Does a Car Salesman Make a Year?

Car sales professionals make an average of $103,042 a year, according to While that’s more than what the average American worker earns annually, the job often requires long hours and your income may depend on how many cars you sell.

Let’s dive into what car salesmen do and how much they can make.

What Are Car Salesmen?

Car salespeople help customers shop for cars. Typical duties include answering questions about the cars on the lot, arranging test drives, and explaining financing options, warranties, and specifications.

Being able to build relationships with customers and close deals can help you succeed as a car salesman. Since car salespeople work directly with customers, the job may not be the best fit for introverts.

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How Much Do Starting Car Salesmen Make a Year?

The average salary for entry-level car sales positions in the United States is $38,680 per year, according to ZipRecruiter data. The pay for entry-level jobs in car sales will likely differ based on the dealership’s size, location, and car brand.

While some employers pay a base wage, others offer commission-based pay. Base wages tend to provide a more consistent monthly income, usually between $2,000 and $4,000. With commission-based compensation, you may earn a portion of each sale, typically between 20% and 30%.

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What Is the Average Salary for a Car Salesman?

If you’re looking to enter the field, you may wonder, how much does a car salesman make a year?

As mentioned above, the average annual salary for a car salesman is a competitive $103,042, per, though pay can range between $88,987 and $119,501. High-achieving salespeople may make more than six figures, particularly if they are employed by luxury car dealerships or in regions with wealthy buyer demographics.

Commission-based arrangements are also a major factor in determining overall income.

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What Is the Average Car Salesman Salary by State for 2024?

A car salesman may not be the highest-paying job in most states, but it can provide a good living. This is especially true if you happen to work in a state like California, New Jersey, or Alaska, where the position tends to pay more. Let’s see how salaries in 2024 vary by state.

State Salary
Alabama $94,664
Alaska $112,418
Arizona $100,919
Arkansas $93,902
California $113,665
Colorado $104,103
Connecticut $111,058
Delaware $105,257
Florida $97,889
Georgia $99,984
Hawaii $108,111
Idaho $95,670
Illinois $105,875
Indiana $100,486
Iowa $98,611
Kansas $98,116
Kentucky $96,962
Louisiana $97,972
Maine $99,332
Maryland $106,242
Massachusetts $112,140
Michigan $102,195
Minnesota $105,597
Mississippi $91,892
Missouri $98,183
Montana $94,200
Nebraska $96,684
Nevada $104,154
New Hampshire $104,402
New Jersey $113,438
New Mexico $95,046
New York $109,956
North Carolina $98,920
North Dakota $98,941
Ohio $101,060
Oklahoma $95,273
Oregon $103,598
Pennsylvania $102,835
Rhode Island $107,988
South Carolina $97,283
South Dakota $90,800
Tennessee $94,726
Texas $101,290
Utah $97,499
Vermont $99,229
Virginia $102,423
Washington $110,553
West Virginia $92,787
Wisconsin $101,496
Wyoming $94,778


Car Salesman Job Considerations for Pay and Benefits

Flexible schedules and possible commissions and bonuses are some attractive parts of being a car salesman. Plus, dealerships might provide extra incentives, such bonuses for hitting or exceeding sales goals, corporate cars, and expense reimbursements. Retirement plans, health insurance, and employee car discounts may also be included in the benefits package.

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Pros and Cons of a Car Salesman Salary

As with any profession, there are advantages and disadvantages of working as a car salesman.


•   Performance-driven earnings. Commission-based pay can boost your income, especially during strong sales periods.

•   Flexibility. Compared to standard 9–5 jobs, the position may offer flexibility in terms of work hours.

•   Career advancement. A successful car sales career can lead to managerial roles and a path for professional advancement within the dealership.

•   Diverse work environment. Helping customers find a car that fits their needs and budget can be professionally satisfying.

•   Incentives and perks. Dealerships often provide extra bonuses and perks, such car discounts for staff members or opportunities for career advancement.


•   Income volatility. If you earn a commission, your earnings could decrease during slow times.

•   Pressure to perform. Reaching sales goals is essential, and the stress of closing deals might lower your level of job satisfaction.

•   Long hours. In order to accommodate consumers, you’ll likely need to work weekends and evenings.

•   Customer relations. Resolving complaints and interacting with a variety of client personalities can be difficult.

💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.

The Takeaway

How much does a car salesman make? These professionals have the potential to earn $100,000 or more a year, especially if they can earn a commission based on their sales. They also have the chance to advance their careers and gain a variety of work experiences. That said, the job often requires long hours, income may not be steady, and there’s often a pressure to hit sales goals.

Whatever type of job you pursue, you’ll want to make sure your earnings can cover your everyday living expenses. Establishing a budget — and using online tools to help monitor spending — can help you make progress toward your financial goals.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

With SoFi, you can keep tabs on how your money comes and goes.


Can you make $100k a year as a car salesman?

Yes, it is possible to make $100,000 or more as a car salesman. Your salary may depend on your location, base pay, the car brand being sold and how many cars you sell each month.

Do people like being a car salesman?

Some people love being a car salesman, but the job is not a good fit for everyone. Those who enjoy making sales and building customer relationships may enjoy a career as a car salesman.

Is it hard to get hired as a car salesman?

The difficulty of getting hired as a car salesman depends on factors such as the dealership, car brand, location, and your experience. If you’re a people person, willing to put in time, and eager to make sales, you can likely find a position at a dealership.

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