6 dealer options to skip when buying a car Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make better financial choices by offering you financial calculators and interactive tools as well as publishing objective and unique content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare data for free to help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation could affect how and when products are featured on the site, such as the sequence in which they be listed within the categories of listing in the event that they are not permitted by law. Our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other home loan products. But this compensation does not influence the information we provide, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not cover the universe of companies or financial deals that might be accessible to you. Maskot/Getty
5 minutes read. Published January 12, 2023
Ben Luthi Ben Luthi Written by Contributing writer Ben Luthi is a personal travel and finance writer who enjoys helping others learn how to live life more fully. His work has appeared in numerous publications that include U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance, and many more. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances through providing clear, well-researched facts that break down complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promise
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All new cars already come with rustproofing, and some automakers will void the factory corrosion-perforation warranty if the car is undercoated by a third party.
2. Fabric protection Some dealers will offer fabric protection that is designed to guard your seats from stains. “A lot of dealers are also willing to pitch you fabric protection, which is basically an aerosol spray they apply — a spray that costs them practically nothing, but which they might be able to charge $100 or more,” Quincy says. What you can do to avoid it
“If you’re in need of extra protection for your fabric, all you have to do is purchase a bottle of Scotchgard,” says John Nielsen, national director of repairs and purchasing for AAA.
3. Protection for paint This dealership choice is frequently promoted by salespeople in the showroom as a product that gives new vehicles a year-round, no-wax shine which creates an extended protection from the environment. Paint sealants that protect the paint can cost the prospective buyer more than $200. Why you should skip it
Today, most automotive paints are durable finishes that benefit more from regular washing and waxing, as per Nielsen.
4. VIN etching VIN is an option that permits you to make an adhesive plastic stencil that includes your car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN. Then, you place the stencil on the window and then apply a particular acid solution that chemically burns or etches, the number onto the glass. VIN etching can be a deterrent to thieves because it makes it virtually impossible for them to profit from selling windshields and windows. It also makes it more difficult to find a way to dispose of a car once it has been stolen. In fact, it’s a recommendation by agencies and police. Certain insurers may even offer a discount on the extensive portion of your vehicle’s insurance or waive your insurance deductibles in the event that your vehicle is equipped with the option. It’s an easy process, but VIN etching as a dealer option could cost the buyer anywhere from $150 to $300. If you do it yourself, you can shave off over $100. The reason you shouldn’t do it
If you’d like to try VIN Etching, it’s more affordable to buy a kit that you can make yourself priced between $20 to $40 online.
5. Extended warranties as a dealer option, basic for cars can start at just $1,000, and can easily go up to several thousand dollars for high-performance and luxury automobiles. Extended warranties cover bumper-to bumper damage and cover everything in your vehicle from major system repair, heating or air issues and engine troubles. Extended warranties are, however, do not cover components commonly replaced in Plan prices vary by mileage, duration of coverage and deductible level prior to signing off. New cars typically have manufacturer warranties. If you’re buying used, you don’t need to get the warranty when you purchase the vehiclewhich means you can shop around if you really want one. Why you should skip it
It is usually better to spend the money you’d pay on a warranty extension to cover the recommended maintenance that your car needs.
6. Nitrogen in your tires no matter what your tires are filled with, oxygen or nitrogen the four wheels that propel your vehicle forward will eventually deflate. Tires may lose air due to a hole in the tread, a lack of seal, or simply vehicle wear and tear. However, many dealers will advise customers to include nitrogen in their tires, which could be as high as $200. Unless you are racing car drivers who require more consistent pressure from you tires, this additional cost is not worth it. If you are really looking for nitrogen, stopping at a local body shop will you cost $10 to $30 per tire. Why you should skip it
It is best to keep your money and keep an eye for any tire damage which is likely to occur as a result of the age of your vehicle.
What can you do to stay clear of dealer-installed options? The correct options on a vehicle can enhance your driving experience. It can also be helpful when you are ready to sell or trade it in. You don’t need to accept the dealer-installed options you do not want. If you find that a new vehicle includes some options that are added by the dealer You can request the dealer to eliminate them and alter the price of the vehicle in line with the changes. In certain situations, it may not be possible — for example, when paint protection or rustproofing is already in place the option may not be removed. You can try to remove the vehicle like you normally would if the dealer is unable or unwilling to eliminate an alternative. It’s not a guarantee that this will work but showing even some initiative during negotiations could change the tone of the discussion. For instance, you could try reaching out to a dealer in the region to get an idea of what they cost for specific options or even see how much it will cost you if you do it yourself. This could provide a useful reference point in your negotiations. If a dealer doesn’t budge much, or is unwilling to fully negotiate it is possible to buy the car in its current condition or take it off the market. Factory options as opposed to. choices from dealers Both factory options, as well as dealer options, are extra expenses you’ll face when shopping. Contrary to dealer options, factory options aren’t “added on” at purchase. Manufacturers handle these options at the factory prior to when the vehicle arrives at the lot. Factory options could include an alarm system or a specific piece of equipment, a spoiler or an advanced engine configuration. These add-ons can increase the amount price you pay for, so you should consider which are essential and which you are able to skip. The bottom line Dealer-installed options aren’t always worth the cost and so assessing the amount you’re being charged is crucial. Although dealers may not always be willing to remove options they have installed or to negotiate the price, remember that these options aren’t standard, and you don’t have to accept them. As with every other aspect of buying a car, you should consider and choices from different dealers in your area to ensure that you get the best deal available.
Written by Contributing writer Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer who loves helping people learn how to live life more completely. His writing has been featured in a variety of publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance, and many other publications. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping their readers feel confident to take control of their finances with concise, well-studied facts that break down otherwise complicated subjects into bite-sized pieces.
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