Getting the car that fits you for a price you like shouldn’t be hard- if you do your homework and know what you want. Finding a car is step one, but it’s the second part that can leave you feeling like you ran the mountain climber off the ledge. Unnecessary add-ons can drive up vehicle prices quickly if you’re not careful. So pay attention here; research and come prepared.First, negotiate the car price and then deal with the extras separately. Know what you want with your vehicle- and what you don’t. Remember, piling on auto add-ons can be like going to the store hungry- it looks good, so throw it in. Don’t be that buyer. Load up on some knowledge before hitting the market.
With that in mind, here are a few options you may want to ditch:
Rustproofing, paint protection, fabric protection, etc. These protective measures just aren’t necessary to keep your new car pure. Manufacturing standards give paint the protection to make rust and other anomalies a non-issue, and simple care (washing, once a year waxing) will take care of the rest. As for interior protection, you can spend a few bucks outside of the dealership and take care of it yourself.
While we’re on the subject of paint, check if the scheme you’re so colored about costs extra. Is that hue worth the extra cost? If not, go with a more common palate, save a little green. Nobody will call you a sheep.
Aesthetic add-ons, options, or niceties. Whatever you call them, make sure you really want that spoiler, chrome tipped exhaust, or the bigger rims, because while paying for them may make your car look nice, the bigger price tag can be ugly. Choosing a sport package for boosted performance or adding navigation is one thing, but getting talked into useless extensions is another. You buy a different trim choice, add rims, tires, and tint after purchase, or even go for another vehicle within the class if you’re not happy. It’s a big automotive world, take a look around.
Dealer installed alarm. Factory installed alarms are pretty common now, and it’s been rumored that certain dealerships have taken base alarms out and installed their own to jack up prices. While I can’t vouch for this practice, if a dealer does try to charge extra for added protection, don’t buy it.
Theft protection. Speaking of safety, limited coverage and high costs make this option an unnecessary extra for most vehicles.
Extended warranties- This one actually is pretty flexible, just know how long you plan on having your new car. Are you the quick turnaround type? Or is this vehicle going to last you ten years? Extending warranties and adding gap protection are all about individual circumstances, and can easily be deemed unnecessary. Don’t forget also that many brands already offer outstanding base warranties. Hyundai is famous for their 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. They also carry a new vehicle warranty which even covers audio, battery, and paint maintenance for up to 3 years.
Have some fun with it and remember to study before jumping into the driver’s seat.
[photo from flickr user cabbit]