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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 better financial choices by offering you interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content. This allows you to conduct your own research and compare information at no cost to help you make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are displayed on this website come from companies that compensate us. This compensation can affect the way and when products appear on the site, such as, for example, the order in which they be listed within the categories of listing and other categories, unless prohibited by law. This applies to our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other products for home loans. But this compensation does have no impact on the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not consider the vast array of companies or financial offerings that could be available to you. Maskot/Getty

5 min read Published on January 12, 2023.

Written by Ben Luthi Written by Contributing writer Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer who enjoys helping others understand how to live life more completely. His writing has been featured in numerous 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 dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances through providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee

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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict ethical standards ,

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who ensure everything we publish will ensure that our content is reliable, honest and reliable. We have loans reporter and editor are focused on the points consumers care about most — the different types of lending options and the most competitive rates, the top lenders, the best ways to pay off debt and many more — so you’re able to be confident about investing your money. Editorial integrity

Bankrate follows a strict and rigorous policy, so you can rest assured that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors create honest and accurate information to assist you in making the right financial decisions. Key Principles We value your trust. Our aim is to offer readers accurate and unbiased information. We have standards for editorial content in place to ensure that happens. Our reporters and editors thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure that the information you’re reading is accurate. We keep a barrier between advertisers as well as our editorial staff. Our editorial team does not receive compensation directly by our advertising partners. Editorial Independence Bankrate’s editorial staff writes in the name of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the most relevant information to assist you in making intelligent financial decisions for your personal finances. We adhere to rigorous guidelines that ensure our content is not affected by advertisements. Our editorial staff receives no directly from advertisers, and all of our content is fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review you can be sure that you’re getting reliable and reliable information. What we do to earn money

You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your finances for more than four years. We strive to continuously give our customers the right guidance and the tools necessary to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our information is trustworthy and precise. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors provide honest and trustworthy content that will help you make the best financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial team is factual, objective, and not influenced by our advertisers. We’re honest regarding how we’re capable of bringing high-quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you , by describing how we make money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods and services or when you click on specific links on our site. This compensation could affect the way, location and when products are displayed within the listing categories, unless the law prohibits it for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other products for home loans. Other factors, such as our own rules for our website and whether or not a product is available in your area or at your own personal credit score can also impact the manner in which products are featured on this website. Although we try to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about each credit or financial product or service. When you buy a brand-new vehicle, you are dealing with knowledgeable sales representatives who to sell you add-on items and other services. Although some of those dealer options, upgrades and other extras may be worth the investment but it’s crucial to understand the most detrimental dealer options when buying a car to avoid them. Rustproofing, VIN etching and extended warranties are just a handful of the options that may not be worth your money. What are the dealer options? Dealer options are options for accessories and equipment that can increase the sales price of the vehicle. There are three types of options that you can come across: Factory-installed options: Installed at the factory prior to the vehicle being shipped into the retailer. Port-installed options: Installed on vehicles imported from overseas when they reach the port of entry. Dealer-installed options: Installed by the dealer when the vehicle has arrived at the lot of the dealership. Options that are made available at the factory and at the port are approved by the manufacturer of the vehicle and are typically included in the warranty of the new vehicle. You’ll see them on the official window sticker required for new cars. Moreover, the cost is uniform, so they won’t vary from dealer to dealer. However, dealer-specific options aren’t endorsed by the manufacturer, so they aren’t included in the vehicle’s warranty. They’re not mentioned on the manufacturer’s official window sticker, but they should be detailed on a separate sticker attached to the vehicle. Also, because they’re installed through the dealership, prices may vary depending the location you’re going to. Most dealer options are overpriced and utilized to increase the profits from new vehicle sales. Six dealer choices to avoid if you are considering buying a car, you need to check the vehicle’s stickers for all options. While you typically can’t negotiate factory- and port-installed options, you might have some leeway for dealer-installed options. Here are the six worst dealer options to avoid when purchasing a car — as well as the best alternatives to think about instead. 1. Rustproofing Dealer-applied undercoating can cost as much as $600 or as little as $150, depending on the vehicle and the kind of treatment package — basic or premium, and whether it has an extra option like sound-deadening. It’s available to prospective buyers of new cars as a separate dealer option or included in a costly bundle known as”environmental package. “environmental Protection Package” that can also include paint sealant and fabric protection. “Cars leaving the factories today all have excellent rustproofing,” says Mike Quincy the auto content specialist for the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center located in Colchester, Connecticut. “[Dealersare enticed to do it because there’s an acceptable amount of markup that they can make for those services.” What you can do to avoid it

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 A few dealers offer fabric protection that is designed to guard your seats from staining. “A number of dealers will also eagerly advertise fabric protection that is essentially an oil that they apply — a spray that costs them practically nothing, but which they could then charge you up to $100,” Quincy says. The reason you shouldn’t

“If you’re in need of more protection for your fabrics all you need to do is purchase a bottle of Scotchgard,” says John Nielsen who is the director of national auto repair and buying at AAA.

3. Protecting paint this dealer option is often promoted by salespeople in the showroom as a product that gives new cars an all-year-round, non-wax shine, which provides a long-lasting barrier against the environment. The cost of protecting the paint sealant could cost the prospective buyer around $200. It is a reason to avoid it.

Today, most automotive paints are tough and durable, and benefit more from regular washing and waxing, says Nielsen.

4. VIN etching VIN is the process that allows you to make an adhesive stencil made of plastic that contains your car’s vehicle identification number or VIN. Then, you place the stencil on the glass and then apply a specific acid solution, which burns or etches, the VIN on the glass. VIN engraving can be an deterrent to thieves as it makes it virtually impossible for them to make a profit selling windows and windshields and makes it harder to find a way to dispose of a car after it’s been taken. In fact, it’s a recommendation by agencies and police. Some insurers will even offer a discount on the part that covers the comprehensive portion of your insurance or eliminate your insurance deductibles in the event that your car has the feature. It’s a simple process however VIN marking as an option for dealers can cost the purchaser between $100 to $300. If you decide to do the work yourself, you’ll cut off more than $100. What are the reasons to skip the process

If you’d like to do VIN engraving, it’s less expensive to buy a kit that you can make yourself priced between $20 to $40 on the internet.

5. Extended warranties as an option for dealers, basic warranties car warranties can begin at just $1,000, and can easily go up to thousands of dollars for high-performance or luxury cars. Extended warranties offer bumper-to-bumper protection, covering everything on your car ranging from major system repairsto heating or air problems, as well as engine troubles. Extended warranties are, however don’t cover the components commonly replaced in Plan prices based on mileage, duration of coverage, and the deductible amount before signing off New vehicles typically have manufacturer warranties. If you’re buying new, you don’t have to get the warranty when you buy the car -which means you have the option of shopping around to find one if you truly want one. The reason you shouldn’t

It’s usually best to utilize the money you’d pay on a warranty extension to cover the recommended maintenance that your vehicle requires.

6. In your tire, nitrogen no matter what your tires are filled with, nitrogen or oxygen the four wheels that propel your vehicle forward will eventually deflate. Tires may lose air because of a crack in the tread, poor seal or just general vehicle wear and tear. Many dealers will urge buyers to apply nitrogen to their tires. This can cost up to $200. Unless you are racing car drivers who require more consistent pressure from their tires, then the extra cost is not worth it. If you truly want nitrogen, a visit to the local body shop is going to cost you between $10 and $30 per tire. Why you should skip it

It is best to save your cash and watch out for any tire damage that will likely occur with the age of your vehicle.

What can you do to stay clear of dealer-installed options? The right options on an automobile can help improve your driving experience. It can also be helpful when you’re ready to sell it or trade it in. However, you don’t have to agree with the dealer-installed features you do not want. If you find that a new vehicle comes with some dealer-installed options, you can ask the dealer to eliminate them and alter the price of the vehicle in line with the changes. In some cases, it may not be possible -such as if rustproofing or paint protection has already been applied, it may not be removed. Try to of the vehicle the way you would normally do in case the dealer is unable or unwilling to remove an option. There’s no guarantee that this will be successful but showing even a little initiative in negotiation could alter the direction of the conversation. Consider, for instance, reaching out to a dealer in the region to see the price they would cost for specific options or even see how much it could cost if you were to do it yourself. This will provide a useful basis to use in negotiations. If a dealer doesn’t budge much, or is unwilling to negotiate entirely You can decide to buy the vehicle as is or walk away. Factory options as opposed to. dealer options Both the factory and dealer options are additional charges you’ll have to pay when you go car shopping. Unlike dealer options, factory choices aren’t “added on” upon purchase. The manufacturer handles these add-ons at the factory before the car arrives at the lot. The factory options may include an alarm system, specific equipment such as a spoiler, or an advanced engine configuration. The two add-ons increase the amount cost you pay, so think about the ones that are necessary and those you are able to skip. The bottom line Dealer-installed options aren’t always worth it and so assessing the charges you’re charged is crucial. While dealers aren’t always willing to take away the options they’ve installed or negotiate on the cost, be aware that these aren’t the norm and you shouldn’t be forced to agree with them. As with every other aspect of the buying process, and options from several dealers in your region to ensure that you’re getting the best deal available.


Written by Contributing writer Ben Luthi is a personal writer on travel and finance who is passionate about helping others learn how to live life more fully. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance, and many numerous others. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers feel confident to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-studied details that cut otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.

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