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Don’t Be Fooled Into Paying For These 16 Useless Car Accessories at Dealerships!

Whether you buy a new or used car, the dealer may try to upsell you on various add-ons and accessories, telling you that it will only add a few dollars to your monthly payment if you factor it into the loan’s cost.

Add-ons can quickly add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the total price. Some may be dealer add-ons that they try to get you to overlook.

Others will try to sell you right away. Know which car add-ons you don’t want to buy at the dealership before you buy.

1. Roof-Rack Accessories

Factory crossbars and roof-rack accessories are more expensive than aftermarket brands, and they only fit that particular vehicle.

If you need roof storage for surfing, kayaking, or road trips, brands like Thule and Yakima are less expensive, perform as well as or better than competitors, and can be removed and adapted to almost any vehicle you buy in the future — all without a big dealer markup.

2. Key Safeguarding

Losing your car keys has always been a hassle, but with remote entry and remote start devices, laser cutting, and high-end fobs, it’s now more than just an inconvenience.

Replacing sophisticated key systems, especially on luxury vehicles, can cost hundreds of dollars, which your auto insurance is unlikely to cover — and dealers are well aware of this.

Some dealers provide key protection, which is essentially a separate insurance policy for your keys. That, too, can easily cost more than $100, which is a waste of money for such an improbable event.

Put that money into a savings account instead, which you should do anyway to prepare for unforeseen events like losing your keys.

3. Protective Windshield

The ACE Group is one of many organizations that provide windshield insurance coverage to auto dealers to resell to their consumers at a profit – their website even recommends “maximize your revenues.”

Yes, windshields do break occasionally, and yes, they are costly. Modern resins, on the other hand, can repair even the most common cracks, and windshields are rarely completely replaced.

If you’re truly concerned, budgeting for repairs like cracked windshields is a better option than giving over money to your dealer as an add-on for a service you’ll almost certainly never use.

4. Tire Security

With extended tire warranties, the odds favor the dealer, just as they do with windshield protection. Almost every tire comes with a prorated warranty that covers extremely rare workmanship problems.

Car accessories

Your dealer may try to sell you an additional warranty for $10 per tire that covers what ordinary prorated warranties don’t. To begin with, some tires come with more comprehensive warranties, and even if they don’t, the purchase of a normal replacement tire isn’t prohibitively expensive when you consider the $40 you saved on unneeded protection.

5. Dent Resistance

A huge list of little-known and occasionally dubious third-party organizations offer dent and ding coverage to dealers as an upsell to push on their consumers, similar to the windshield and key protection.

These companies offer the plans to dealers for $300-$500, who then sell them to unwary buyers for $600-$1,500 – pure profit for no work. The dealer also bears no additional responsibilities and does not assist in the processing of claims.

You’re given an 800 number to call to interact with a company you’ve never heard of. You’ll very probably realize that there’s a lot that isn’t covered, and you’ll have little or no influence on who fixes your automobile.

6. Credit Protection

Your dealer may also try to persuade you to purchase credit insurance, which includes credit life, credit disability, involuntary unemployment insurance, and credit property insurance.

They all have the same goal: to keep your car payments going if you lose your job, become disabled, or pass away. There are a few good reasons to buy credit insurance and a lot of good ones to avoid it.

If you think it’s correct for you, you’ll nearly always save money by purchasing it directly from your insurance company rather than through a dealer. It’s also prohibited for dealers to convince you that until you acquire this optional coverage, they won’t be able to sell you a car or approve a loan.

7. GAP Insurance

GAP insurance is less deceptive than the previously described “coverage” policies that dealers frequently promote. If you total a car soon after financing it, your insurance company will reimburse you for the car’s value, which is often less than what you owe on the loan due to depreciation.

GAP coverage is designed to bridge that gap, and it makes sense to purchase it from your insurance carrier in some instances. When you buy it from a dealer, it will almost likely be more expensive, and if you ever need to cash it in, you’ll have to deal with an unfamiliar company you’ve never heard of.

8. Warranties that last longer

Extended warranties, like GAP insurance, can be useful, but in almost all cases, you’d be better off putting that money into an interest-bearing savings account set aside for repairs.Car accessories

Extended warranties are designed to keep your car covered after your bumper-to-bumper warranty expires, which is normally three years or 36,000 miles.

The truth is that a large portion of the cost goes to the salesperson’s commission, most people never use them, and they are more expensive than the average repair.

10. Car Trackers and Alarms

The majority of automobiles are equipped with security systems or even trackers. Dealers frequently try to sell them as an add-on when they don’t.

That’s because, in many situations, car dealerships install alarms to prevent theft on the lot, which means it’s already installed in the vehicle. Rather than uninstalling it and letting you drive away with the car, this upsell allows them to charge a premium for low-cost alarms and trackers, as well as charge you for installation.

You’ll almost surely save money by purchasing a system on your own and having your local technician install it for you.

11. Sealants for Paint

Factory paint treatments on modern cars are engineered to endure the outdoors, with sealants and antirust characteristics built-in. Paint protection can go into the hundreds of dollars, and it’s virtually never worth it. Wash your car regularly, and your paint will last virtually the whole life of your vehicle.

12. Fabric Shielding

Fabric and upholstery protection, which is applied by the manufacturer and included in the car’s price, follows the same rule. This service, according to Edmunds, can cost up to $195.

Spend a few bucks on a bottle of spray-on Scotchgard, which is essentially what the dealer is offering anyway if you feel you need extra protection because you have a dog or messy children or whatever.

13. Tires filled with nitrogen

Nitrogen-filled tires are another popular option, according to your dealer, because they are less vulnerable to temperature-related pressure expansion and reduction. It’s also claimed to bleed more slowly from your tires than ordinary air.

According to Edmunds, the service costs around $100 and makes almost no difference in real-world conditions, according to its research. If you’re in a hurry and need to stop at a gas station, regular air is free — or close to it.

14. Clear Protection/Window Tints

If you want window tinting or clear UV protection, don’t let the dealer try to sell it to you as an add-on. They probably don’t do the work themselves and instead hire the lowest bidder to do it.

Of course, none of those savings are passed on to you; the difference is pure dealer profit. Check online reviews for local service firms; you’ll almost surely spend less for work done by a company whose evaluations you researched.

15. Protector for the edges of doors

On Amazon, you can get a DIY door edge guard kit for less than $10, but dealers often charge $169, according to Edmunds. Door edge protectors, in principle, prevent vulnerable door edges from chipping and scratching.

Modern paint can withstand much of this type of damage from the past, but if you want peace of mind, it’s a simple, inexpensive, and tool-free DIY project.

16. Packages for Service and Maintenance

Packages for service and maintenance aren’t always, or even usually, a rip-off. Dealership service departments make a lot of money, so they’d certainly want to sell you a car and service it as well, both under warranty and thereafter.

This encourages good service, as does the fact that good service makes you more likely to return and purchase your next vehicle there. The problem is that buying a car is already a lot of information to process, and you can join the service plan at any time.

If they offer you a maintenance plan, get the information in writing, say you’ll think about it, and study it over for a few days before deciding if it’s worth it.

17. Upgraded Mats for the Floor

Your salesperson may try to persuade you to buy “heavy-duty” or “all-weather” mats. Regular floor mats are frequently included as standard equipment from the factory, and the dealer may not be able to remove them at a price.


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That, however, is not the same as upgrading to a more durable version for hundreds of dollars more, as you might pay for a full set of custom, laser-measured mats from WeatherTech. If you really must have generic heavy-duty mats, you can easily get them online for a two-digit sum.

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