Beware of Car Dealer After-Market Products


If you’re buying a car from a dealer, be wary of ‘after-market’ products. These include optional accessories and extras that the dealer will try and sell you. For example:
• paint protection
• fabric protection
• rustproofing
• tinting
• floor mats
• headlight protection
• roof racks
• tow bars
• insurance
• and the list goes on.
Dealers often sell these products at huge profit margins. Often, for four or five times what they actually cost!

Or they might be sold as part of a finance deal where they will “only” cost you “$X a month”. Even though the monthly amount might sound small, it will quickly add up. You’ll end up paying far too much for your accessories in the long run. Don’t get sucked in!

Often these extras aren’t worth paying for at all. For example:
• you can buy fabric protector and save money by doing it yourself.
• if you’re buying a new car, manufacturers rustproof them anyway.
• headlight protectors aren’t necessary unless you do a lot of off-road driving.

It’s also important to understand that many extras often add little (if anything) to your resale value. Many buyers won’t pay more for them, or they won’t even want them at all.
Certain types of extras can also increase your insurance premiums. For example, suspension or engine modifications, especially if you’re under the age of 25.


What you should do instead if you want optional extras

Think of them as a negotiating point. Know what extras you need or want and be prepared to fight for them. For example, make the sale contingent on the extras that you want being included for the same price.

Always remember the old saying that ‘you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate’. It’s especially true when it comes to buying a car. Dealers always have wriggle room.

Dealers will also use the convenience angle to try and sell you extras. Convenience always comes at a price. You’ll find that you’ll save money by arranging extras that you want with another business. Do this after you’ve taken delivery of your new car.

And don’t fall for the trap of being sold optional extras that you don’t need. Remember that car salespeople are professional negotiators. They do it for a living. They’ll often throw optional extras in to sweeten the deal and try and get you to commit. But if those accessories aren’t things you want or need, what’s the point of getting them? You’re just putting more money in the dealer’s pocket.


Extended warranties

An extended warranty could save you money in the long-term, ongoing running costs of your new car. But make sure you check the extended warranty offer carefully. Some extended warranty products are really servicing contracts. They are designed to benefit the dealer as much as you (or in some cases more).

For example, sometimes an extended warranty can be made void if you don’t continually get your car serviced at the dealership that sold you the vehicle. And their service charges may not be the best deal you can get.

Ask your dealer to justify the costs/benefits of any extended warranty and be prepared to haggle. Remember, it’s highly likely that the dealership will want your ongoing service business. Get it on the best terms that you can.

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