6 dealer options to skip when buying a car Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering you interactive financial calculators and tools as well as publishing objective and unique content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare information at no cost to help you make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers such as, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The deals that are displayed on this website are provided by companies that pay us. This compensation could affect how and when products are featured on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing and other categories, unless prohibited by law for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other products for home loans. But this compensation does affect the information we provide, or the reviews appear on this website. We do not consider the universe of companies or financial deals that might be open to you. Maskot/Getty

5 min read Read Published January 12, 2023

The article was written by Ben Luthi Written by Contributing writer Ben Luthi is a personal travel and finance writer who is passionate about helping others learn how to live life more completely. His writing has been featured in several publications that include U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance and many more. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances through providing clear, well-researched facts that break down complex subjects into digestible pieces. 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 offer protection for fabric, which is designed to protect your seats from stains. “A majority of dealers are also willing to offer you fabric protection, that is essentially an aerosol spray they apply — an item that costs practically nothing, but which they might then charge you up to $100,” Quincy says. The reason you shouldn’t

“If you really need extra protection for your fabric all you need to do is buy a bottle of Scotchgard,” says John Nielsen who is the director of national auto repair and buying at AAA.

3. Protection for paint This dealership choice is often promoted by showroom salespeople to offer new cars an all-year-round, non-wax shine, which provides a long-lasting barrier against the elements. The cost of protecting the paint sealant could cost the buyer of a new car well over $200. Why you should skip it

The majority of automotive paints are tough and durable, and benefit much more from regular waxing and washing, according to Nielsen.

4. VIN etching VIN is the process that allows the creation of an adhesive plastic stencil that includes your car’s vehicle identification number or VIN. You then place that stencil on a window and then apply a specific acid solution that chemically melts, or etches, the number onto the glass. VIN engraving can be an deterrent to thieves as it makes it nearly impossible for them to make a profit selling windshields or windows. It also makes it harder to find a way to dispose of the car once it has been stolen. In fact, it’s recommended by law enforcement agencies and police. Certain insurers may even offer discounts on the comprehensive portion of your car insurance, or even waive your insurance deductibles in the event that your car has the option. It’s a simple process however VIN engraving as a dealer option can cost the car buyer from $100 to $300. If you do it yourself, you could shave off over $100. What are the reasons to skip it

If you’d like to do VIN Etching, it’s more affordable to use a do-it-yourself kit that costs between $20 to $40 online.

5. Extended warranties are an option offered by dealers, the basic car warranties can begin at $1000 and quickly increase to thousands of dollars for luxury and high-performance cars. Extended warranties offer bumper-to-bumper protection that covers everything on your vehicle, from major system repair, problems with heating or air, and engine issues. Extended warranties are, however, do not cover components that are typically replaced. Plan prices vary by mileage, length of coverage and deductible level prior to signing off. New vehicles generally come with manufacturer warranties. If you’re purchasing new, you don’t have to purchase a warranty the moment you buy the car — this means that you can shop around for one if you’re really interested in. Why you should skip it

It’s usually best to utilize the money you’d pay on an extended warranty to pay for the maintenance your vehicle requires.

6. Nitrogen in your tires No regardless of the type of tire yours are filled with, whether oxygen or nitrogen the four wheels that push your vehicle will eventually be deflated. Tires could lose air due to a hole inside the tread or a weak seal, or even just general wear and tear on the vehicle. But many dealers will encourage buyers to apply nitrogen to their tires, which can be as high as $200. Unless you are a race car driver needing an increased pressure on you tires, this additional cost isn’t worth it. If you truly want nitrogen, stopping by an auto body shop in your area will you cost $10 to $30 per tire. What are the reasons to avoid it

It is better to save your money and keep an eye for any damage to your tires that is likely to happen with the aging of your vehicle.

What can you do to stay clear of dealer-installed options? The best options for an automobile can help improve your driving experience, and can even be beneficial when you are ready to sell it or trade it in. However, you don’t have to take the dealer-installed choices you don’t would like. If you find that a new vehicle includes some options that are added by the dealer You can request the dealer to take them off and alter the price accordingly. In some cases, it isn’t always possiblefor instance, in the event that paint protection or rustproofing has already been applied the option may not be removed. Try to of the vehicle as you would normally do if the dealer isn’t able or unwilling to get rid of an option. Again, there’s no guarantee that this will work but showing even an interest in negotiations can change the course of the discussion. For example, consider reaching out to a dealer in the area to find out what they cost for specific services or see what it would cost if you did it yourself. This can serve as a base for your negotiations. If the dealer won’t negotiate at all, or doesn’t want to bargain at all, you can choose to pay for the vehicle as is or leave. Factory options vs. dealer options Both factory and dealer options are additional expenses you’ll face when shopping. Unlike dealer options, factory options cannot be “added to” at the time of purchase. The manufacturer handles these extras in the factory before the car arrives on the lot. Factory options could include an alarm system, specific equipment including a spoiler or modern engine layout. The two add-ons increase the amount price you pay for, so you should consider what is essential and which you’re able to leave out. The bottom line is that dealer-installed options can be costly and so assessing what you’re being charged for is crucial. Although dealers aren’t always ready 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 the buying process, and choices from different dealers in your area to ensure that you’re getting the best deal available.


Written by the writer who contributed to the article. Ben Luthi is a personal writer of travel and finance who is passionate about helping others learn how to live life more completely. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance and other publications. 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 gain the confidence to take control of their finances by providing precise, well-researched and well-researched details that cut otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.

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