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GuideWarranties & Add-Ons

Two Things You Should Never Buy From a Dealership

After agreeing to purchase a car from a dealership, you will likely be presented with a list of additional options and services you can add-on for additional fees.

Some, such as extended warranties and GAP insurance, are products you may want to consider buying. But there are others that are completely useless.

The most common of these are:

  • Window Etching
  • Paint and Fabric Protection

Let's take a look at each one in more detail:

Window Etching

Window etching is a process in which the dealer will etch the vehicle's VIN number into certain windows or parts of the vehicle, so that it can be identified in case of theft.

This is practically useless since most law enforcement doesn't even look for etching when they recover a stolen vehicle. It costs dealers about $15 to complete the service, but they will try to charge you a couple hundred dollars.

If you're worried about your car getting stolen, getting a Lo-Jack system installed is way more useful.

Paint and Fabric Protection

These days, you don't need to worry about cars rusting. It used to be a problem many years ago, but these days manufacturers use steel and paint that hold up very well against the elements.

Same goes for fabric protection. The stuff dealers use is basically the same stuff you can buy at any Wal-Mart. If you really feel like you need to protect the interior, just buy some 3M Fabric Protector and spray it yourself.

Dealers will try to charge several hundred dollars for this useless service.

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
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