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3 weeks ago6 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 providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators 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 sound financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers including, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that appear on this website are provided by companies who pay us. This compensation could affect how and when products appear on this website, for example, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. Our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other products for home loans. However, this compensation will have no impact on the content we publish or the reviews that you read on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial deals that might be available to you. Maskot/Getty

5 min read Published 12 January 2023

The article was written by Ben Luthi Written by Contributing writer Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer who loves helping people discover how to live their lives more fully. His writing has been featured in a variety of publications such as U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance and more. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances by providing precise, well-researched and well-informed information that breaks down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee

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If you have questions about money. Bankrate has the answers. Our experts have been helping you master your finances for more than four decades. We strive to continuously give our customers the right advice and the tools required to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct policy, which means you can be confident that our content is truthful and precise. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors provide honest and trustworthy content that will help you make the best financial choices. Our content produced by our editorial team is objective, factual, and not influenced from our advertising. We’re open about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you , by describing how we earn our money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods and services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our website. Therefore, this compensation may affect the way, location and in what order products appear within listing categories, unless prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. Other factors, such as our own rules for our website and whether a product is available in your region or within your personal credit score may also influence how and where products appear on this website. We strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include details about every credit or financial item or product. When you buy a new vehicle, you will be dealing with knowledgeable sales representatives who will sell you extra products and services. Although some of the dealer options, upgrades and additional features can be worth the cost It’s essential to be aware of the worst dealer options when buying a car to avoid these. Rustproofing, VIN etching and extended warranties are only a few of the options that may not be worth the cost. What are dealer alternatives? Dealer options include accessories and equipment that can raise the price of the car. There are three types of options you may come across: Factory-installed options: Installed at the factory before the vehicle is shipped to the dealer. Port-installed options: Installed on vehicles imported from overseas when they reach the port of entry. Options installed by the dealer: Installed by the dealer when the vehicle reaches the dealership’s lot. Options that are installed in the factory and at the port are endorsed by the manufacturer of the vehicle. They usually are included in the warranty of the new vehicle. They’re listed on the official window sticker that’s required for new cars. Moreover, the cost is uniform, meaning they’re not different between dealers. Contrary to this, dealer options aren’t endorsed by the manufacturer, and therefore aren’t included in the vehicle’s warranty. They’re not included on the manufacturer’s official window sticker however, they must be listed on a second sticker on the car. Also, because they’re installed at the expense of the dealer costs can vary depending the location you’re going to. The majority of options offered by dealers are priced too high and utilized to increase profits on new vehicle sales. 6 worst dealer options that you should stay clear of are considering a dealer, it is essential to verify the sticker on your vehicle for the various options. Although you can’t typically negotiate factory- and port-installed options, you may have some flexibility when you have options installed by a dealer. Here are the top six dealer options to avoid when purchasing a car — and the smartest alternatives to consider instead. 1. Rustproofing The cost of applying an undercoat to a car can be upwards of $600 or even $150, depending on the model of the car, the type of treatment package — either basic or premium — and whether it has an extra option like sound-deadening. It can be sold to prospective buyers of new cars as an option for dealers or as part of a pricey bundle called an “environmental security package” that can also include paint sealant as well as fabric protection. “Cars leaving the factories today have excellent rustproofing,” says Mike Quincy, auto content specialist for the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center located in Colchester, Connecticut. “[Dealers] have an incentive to offer this service because of an acceptable amount of markup they can earn for the services.” The reason to skip 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 Some dealers will provide fabric protection, which is designed to guard your seats from stains. “A number of dealers are also willing to advertise fabric protection which is basically a spray that they will put on an item that costs almost nothing, but for which they could then charge you $100 or more,” Quincy says. Why you should skip it

“If you’re in need of additional fabric protection all you need to do is buy an ounce of Scotchgard,” says John Nielsen, national director of repairs and purchasing for AAA.

3. Protecting paint this dealer choice is often promoted by salespeople in the showroom as a product that offers new cars an all-year-round, no-wax shine that provides an extremely long-lasting protection against the environment. Protective paint sealant can cost the new car buyer around $200. Why you should skip it

The majority of automotive paints are durable finishes that benefit much more from regular washing and waxing, as per Nielsen.

4. VIN etching VIN etching is a procedure that allows you to create an adhesive plastic stencil containing your car’s identification number or VIN. You then place that stencil on the window and then apply a particular acid solution which chemically burns or etches, the VIN onto the glass. VIN engraving can be an deterrent to thieves as it makes it nearly impossible for them to make a profit selling windows and windshields and makes it difficult to figure out a method to dispose of a vehicle once it has been stolen. In fact, it’s a recommendation by police and agencies. Some insurers will even offer discounts on the comprehensive portion of your car insurance or waive your insurance deductibles in the event that your vehicle has this feature. It’s an easy process, however VIN engraving as an option for dealers can cost the buyer anywhere from $150 to $300. If you do it yourself, you can save over $100. The reason you shouldn’t do it

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

5. Extended warranties as an option for dealers, basic warranties for cars can start at just $1,000, and can easily go up to thousands of dollars for high-performance and luxury vehicles. Extended warranties offer bumper-to-bumper protection that covers everything on your vehicle, from major system repairs, heating or air issues and engine troubles. Extended warranties are, however are not able to cover parts typically replaced. Plan prices based on mileage, length of coverage, and the deductible amount prior to signing off. New vehicles typically have warranties from the manufacturer. Even if you’re buying second-hand, you do not have to buy the warranty the moment you purchase the vehicle- this means that you are able to shop around for one to find one if you truly want one. What are the reasons to skip it

It’s often better to use the money you’d pay on an extended warranty for the maintenance your car requires.

6. The nitrogen in the tires No matter the type of tire yours are filled with, oxygen or nitrogen, the four wheels pushing your vehicle will eventually be deflated. Tires can lose air because of a crack within the tread area, weak seal, or even just general wear and tear to the vehicle. However, many dealers will advise customers to apply nitrogen to their tires, which can cost as much as $200. If you’re not racing car driver who requires greater pressure consistency from their tires, then the extra expense isn’t worth it. If you truly want nitrogen, stopping at the local body shop could cost anywhere from $10 to $30 per tire. What are the reasons to avoid it

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

How to avoid dealer-installed options The best options for an automobile can help improve your driving experience, and can even be beneficial when you’re ready to sell or trade it into. However, you don’t have to take the dealer-installed choices you don’t want. If you find that a brand new car comes with some dealer-installed options you may ask the dealer to take them off and adjust the sales cost of the vehicle accordingly. In some cases, it might not be feasiblesuch as when paint protection or rustproofing is already in place and is not easily removed. Try to of the vehicle as you would normally do if the dealer is unable or unwilling to remove the alternative. There’s no guarantee that this will be successful however, even showing an interest in negotiations could change the tone of the conversation. For example, consider calling another dealer in the region to see what it might cost for specific services or perhaps see what it would cost if you did it yourself. This can provide a useful base for your negotiations. If a dealer doesn’t budge significantly, or refuses to bargain at all You can decide to pay for the car as-is or walk away. Factory options as opposed to. dealers options factory and dealer options are additional expenses you’ll face when shopping. Unlike dealer options, factory options cannot be “added to” upon purchase. The manufacturer handles these add-ons at the factory before the vehicle arrives at the lot. Options available from the factory could include alarm systems as well as specific equipment, a spoiler or an advanced engine configuration. These add-ons can increase the amount price you pay for, so you should consider what is essential and which you’re able to leave out. Bottom line, dealer-installed features aren’t always worth the cost, so checking the amount you’re being charged is vital. While dealers aren’t always willing to eliminate options they’ve installed or even negotiate on the price, remember that these aren’t the norm and you shouldn’t be forced to accept them. As with every other aspect of the buying process, and options from different dealers in your area to ensure that you’re getting the best deal available.


Written by Contributing writer Ben Luthi is a personal writer of travel and finance who is passionate about helping others learn how to live life more fully. His writing has been featured in numerous publications such as U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance and other publications. Written 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 gain the confidence to manage their finances through providing concise, well-studied details that cut complicated subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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