The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a new report last week that suggested consumers tend to pay more for products that have more complex pricing structures, including auto financing.

The CFPB said this report is based on experiments with multiple rounds of buyers and sellers interacting in simple markets. The regulator found that participants tended to pay more when prices were broken into sub-parts and were harder to understand.

Officials explained the research has implications for understanding how “junk fees impede fair and competitive pricing in markets like auto loans or mortgages, where consumers have to evaluate extended warranties, add-ons, closing costs, and a wide variety of other fees instead of an all-inclusive price.”

CFPB researchers had study participants act as buyers and sellers in a series of transactions. In some cases, the objects for sale had a single all-in price, while in other cases the prices were split into eight or 16 sub-prices.

In the scenarios with more complex pricing, buyers tended to fare worse, according to the CFPB.

Researchers said the average selling prices rose, buyers had more difficulty comparing prices across sellers, and the overall amount paid rose.

“These findings contribute to a growing consensus of research and real-world observations showing that junk fees increase overall prices beyond what a fair and competitive market would allow,” the CFPB said.

While not expected to exactly mirror real-world transactions, the CFPB said it found in these experiments that more complex pricing generally led to more detrimental outcomes for consumers.

When touching on auto finance specifically, the bureau reiterated, “auto loan pricing can be complex, with interest rates that vary based on factors such as credit score, loan term, down payment and vehicle type.

“Some lenders also offer promotional rates or cash-back incentives that can make it difficult for consumers to compare the true cost of financing across different offers. Add-on products, such as extended warranties, gap insurance, and credit life insurance, can significantly increase the overall cost of the loan,” officials went on to say.

The entire report can be found via this website.