Some options dealers will offer just aren’t worth it
In the market for a new car? Beware: It’s not uncommon for dealers to pitch consumers a variety of add-ons that may not be worth the extra money. But seeing as how tight profit margins are these days on new car sales, salespeople will commonly still try to push these deals. And while some may benefit you, and could be worth the extra investment, others are best avoided.
Don’t go for these common dealer options when purchasing a car:
While new cars are no longer in need of rustproofing and some automakers eliminate the factory corrosion-perforation warranty if the car is undercoated by a third party, many dealers still promote this option to car buyers. However, most cars these days already have top-notch rustproofing. Many dealers, however, are powerless to promote it because they can make a pretty penny on these services. Depending on a variety of factors, undercoating applied by a dealer can ring up your bill an extra $200-$1,200.
Paint protective sealant delivers a no-wax shine and a guard against environmental factors, which can appeal to buyers because salespeople will make it sound necessary, but it can cost drivers upward of $200. What’s more, many vehicles today are made with durable paint finishes that uphold well from a simple wash and wax job. Plus, carmakers typically say that you shouldn’t wax or seal the paint on a new car for a number of weeks or months.
Many dealers will offer fabric protection, which is a fancy way of explaining a spray that they’ll apply to your car. This spray costs next to nothing for dealers, but many will charge $100 or more for fabric protection. Experts claim that this spray isn’t something that’s necessary for your vehicle satisfaction—and on the negative spectrum, contains chemicals that are probably not great to be in contact with. Not only that, but nowadays, many cars come with interiors made of materials that don’t require much care. “If you have a spill and wipe it up right away, you’re really not going to have a problem,” says John Nielsen, national director of auto repair and buying at AAA, in Heathrow, FL. “If you really need additional fabric protection, all you have to do is buy a bottle of Scotchgard.”
This is when an adhesive plastic stencil of your vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN) is created. The stencil is then used on a window to etch or burn the number into the glass. The point of VIN etching: To protect against auto theft in that thieves aren’t able to profit from selling windows or windshields or easily get rid of a stolen car. Although the process isn’t complex, VIN etching can still run you around $150-$300. If you’re concerned at all, purchase a do-it-yourself kit, which is priced around $20-$40 online.
While this option offers all-around protection (except those components typically replaced during routine maintenance), it can be costly; a basic policy can start around $1,000. However, if you do your research and study the statistics, you’ll find that an extended warranty might not be worth paying that much extra. A better place to spend the money, perhaps, is the required recommended maintenance of your car, which is the best insurance you can buy to protect against years of issues.
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