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Are dealer extras worth the money?
Car dealers will offer an extended warranty or other extra options when you purchase a car. All of these extras may sound good in the moment, but which ones are worth it and which are not? It is wise to familiarize yourself with the types of dealer extras you may encounter before stepping into any dealership. That way, you will arrive armed with the knowledge of which options can benefit you personally.
Whether it is an extended service plan or a GAP insurance quote, you may be able to get these extras later at a much lower cost. Keep reading to learn more about the most common dealer extras and why you may or may not want these add-ons.
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Learn About Extended Car Warranty Plans
An extended auto warranty covers the cost of repairing things that break after the manufacturer’s standard car warranty ends. Although getting an extended warranty may sound like a no-brainer, the price you pay over the loan period may far exceed any repairs you need later. You are better off saving this money and using it for recommended maintenance.
Many consumers do not know that you can buy this type of warranty anytime, usually at a much lower cost. It does not have to be purchased at the dealership. You can also buy an extended warranty for used cars at any point of car ownership.
If you decide to accept the dealer’s extended plan, make sure you read the fine print. These contracts often exempt items that are expensive to repair, which could be the only reason you wanted the warranty to begin with.
Learn About Extended Car Maintenance Plan
Sometimes referred to as a service plan, an extended maintenance plan covers the cost of future repairs and mechanical wear and tear. They are best for newer cars with low mileage. However, like most dealership-offered extras, they may cost more than they are worth.
Many of the covered repairs can be done by yourself, such as replacing wiper blades or light bulbs. More complicated fixes, such as belt replacement or brake jobs, can be done by your local mechanic when needed.
If you are not good at budgeting, you might like the peace of mind a maintenance plan provides, knowing that most future repair needs are covered. Consider the long-term costs carefully before agreeing to such a plan, and do not be afraid to negotiate the price with the dealer if it is something that you really want.
Learn About Car Insurance Optional Extras
Car GAP insurance is the most frequent insurance option offered by dealerships. The GAP insurance cost can be worth it if you owe more than your vehicle is worth, because it covers this “gap” between your loan and car value.
Even so, it is almost always better to get a GAP insurance auto quote from your own insurer instead of accepting what the dealer offers. Buying your own GAP insurance will cost you much than what is offered through the dealer’s quote.
Learn About Four Wheel Drive Options
Four wheel drive cars are good for those who frequently drive over rough terrain. Because the engine provides torque to all four wheels instead of just two, it provides the extra power needed to navigate safely through mud or snow.
The best four wheel drive vehicle for most drivers is one that allows you to switch between two wheel and four wheel settings. This is because two wheel drive works better on dry road conditions. An all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle applies torque to all four wheels all of the time and cannot be switched back and forth.
While not technically a dealer add-on, many vehicles come in both regular and four wheel drive versions. Look up the benefits of each and decide which option works best for your driving habits before heading to a dealership.
Learn About Car Rust Proofing Service
Paying extra for rustproofing new car purchases is simply unnecessary. Today’s cars come off the assembly line with excellent auto rustproofing already applied. Dealers push buyers to buy extra rust proofing car services because it is an easy way for them to earn more on a sale.
Learn About Paint and Fabric Protection for Cars
New car paint protection and fabric protection sounds like something everyone would want to buy. But what most people do not know about fabric and car paint protection is that these surfaces are made to last five years or more anyway.
Furthermore, it is easy to add extra protection to your vehicle’s surfaces yourself. Simply purchase car paint protection film and fabric protecting spray for an inexpensive DIY project. Unless it is provided for free, dealership paint and fabric protection is simply a waste of money.
Learn About CarPlay Cars and Other Technology Add-Ons
Apple CarPlay is an iOS based system that allows you to safely access all of your iPhone functionality while driving. Over 500 models now offer CarPlay capabilities and this number is expected to increase over time. Most CarPlay cars are also equipped with Android Auto, so that Android users can also stay connected without distraction risks.
If you want this car feature but chose a car without it, you can add it yourself for less than the cost of the dealer installing it for you.
A rear-seat entertainment system is a popular add-on in minivans and SUVs. They can be a real sanity-saver for parents, especially on long trips. However, the cost is usually extremely high. When considering this add-on, look at how much this addition adds to your car payment over time.
A cheaper alternative is for family members to watch movies on their tablets or other devices instead. A bonus feature of saying no to this add-on: there are no arguments about what is on TV!
Rear view cameras and sound system upgrades may be worth it to you, and it is more convenient to add these at the time of purchase. However, as with other dealer extras, you may be able to obtain these from an aftermarket provider for less money overall. GPS navigation systems are usually a waste of money now that smartphones provide excellent map navigation apps.