When buying a new or used car, dealers often try to include needless add-ons or accessories. “They can incrementally rise the cost of the car,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.
Some are sold out-right, while others are slipped in under the radar. We will share a list of products and services financial website, GOBankingRates, suggests you can leave behind.
- Roof-rack accessories-Factory cross-bars and roof-rack accessories cost more than popular brands Thule or Yakima and cannot be removed from your car.
- Key protection-Replacing key systems is expensive and car insurance won’t usually cover a replacement however the coverage comes at a high cost.
- Windshield, tire and dent protection-Tires come with a prorated warranty. Windshields can often be repaired with resins and usually do not need replaced. If dents and windshields are a concern, add coverage to your current auto policy. You will just get a sales mark-up going through the dealership.
- Credit insurance-This insurance guarantees you can pay your car payment in the case of job loss, disability or death. You are better off going through your car insurance company to get a lower price, the dealer charges much more. It’s optional coverage and not necessary.
- GAP insurance-Guaranteed asset protection, insurance for in case you total your car after financing it. Your auto insurance company will compensate you for the value of the car, but due to depreciation is often less than what you owe on the loan. “If this is a concern, buy GAP insurance through your car insurance agency, they can get you a much lower price,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.
- Extended warranties-This addresses a legit concern, but you are better off putting away money in an interest-bearing savings account set aside for repairs.
- Car alarm and trackers-Most cars come equipped with both, if not, save yourself some money and go to a local mechanic for installation.
- Paint sealants-Newer cars have sealants built into the paint and sealants are unnecessary.
- Fabric protection-If stained fabric is a concern, you are better off buying a can of Scotchgard and doing it yourself.
- Nitrogen filled tires-This is supposed to reduce pressure expansion and reduction and bleed from your tires more slowly. Edmunds reports that nitrogen makes almost no difference when compared to regular air.
- Window tint/clear protection-This is a popular add on in Florida, but it is usually subbed out to a cheap third-party. You are better off finding a reputable company on your own.
- Door edge protector-Modern paint should protect against chipping and scratches. You can also pick up a DIY kit from Amazon for $10.
- Service and maintenance package-You might want to take advantage of this, but take your time to look over the terms and get it in writing, you can always opt-in later.
- Upgraded floor mats-You might want to upgrade to a full set of custom lasered all-weather mats or find some more rugged mats for less online.
- Appearance package-This is often pin-striping or a graphic design, they can often be passed off as standard but in used cars are often a dealer add-on.
- Mud flaps-These are unnecessary on a truck or SUV weighing less than 26,000 lbs. in Florida. If you want them, buy them and have them installed later for less money.
- Trunk trays-These are a good idea to protect your upholstery, but do not pay over $200 for one you can buy online or at an auto parts store.
- Color changing valve stem cover-Most new cars come with low-tire pressure indicators on the dashboard.