3 dealership options that aren't worth the cost

A cartoon of a salesman handing keys to a customer.

If you’re looking to buy a new or used car, chances are tyou'll end up in the hot-seat – that one where the salesperson or finance person try to upsell you on options and upgrades. Here are three dealership options that simply are not worth the cost.

Rustproofing

In the past, rustproofing was practically required for good vehicle health. With the salt, slush and snow that Canadians experience each winter, not getting your car rustproofed was akin to letting your vehicle disintegrate from the bottom up.

Today though, cars are much more able to withstand the demands of Canadian winters. Undercarriages are coated in the factory and rustproofing acts as a second layer to already adequate protection.

Googling “rustproofing car dealership,” brings up dozens of horror stories from Canadians who were tricked, or felt bullied, into purchasing pricey rustproofing options. I've heard about about a customer who was asked to sign a waiver saying that her warranty wouldn’t cover electronic damage without rustproofing. After complaining to the manager, he gave her free rustproofing and, hopefully, reprimanded the salesperson.

Protections

Speaking of protections, other dealership option to avoid are those that promise to protect your vehicle – either the paint or the fabric. Although these protections sound great (who wouldn’t be tempted?), they are much pricier than self-insuring against damage.

Self-insuring against damage means that, each month, car owners put aside a set amount of money to cover the cost of any potential vehicle damages. If paint protection would increase your monthly car payment by $20, setting aside $20 in a high-interest savings account.  This was you will be able to pay for the damage if needed, but aren't paying when you don't.

Plus, if you decide to self-insure, you’re bound to be more careful to protect your car from damages!

Extended Warranties

Finally, the most expensive dealership option to avoid is extended warranties. Ranging in size and price from a few thousand dollars to many thousands of dollars, extended warranties are huge profit makers for dealerships.

Extended warranties are a poor choice for buyers, mostly because of the short length of time we own our vehicles. In Canada, the number of years we keep our vehicles is declining. In 2010, it was about 15 years on average. In 2011, it fell to about 10 years. By 2014, it was approximately nine years.

If you only plan to keep your vehicle for nine years, chances are you will not need any major repairs done – provided you maintain the vehicle. Today, all new vehicles come with a base warranty of between four and six years. After that, car owners can self-insure against damages or commit to paying for potential repairs out of pocket.

Buying a new-to-you vehicle is already expensive enough without the features salespeople and finance people try to upsell you. However, by being a careful driver and keeping your vehicle well-maintained, these three expensive dealership options to avoid will be of no use to you.

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Topics: Auto

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