top 5 options to avoid when buying a car
5 Video System
If you have kids, a video system may be tempting. Consider, however, how much of a video your kid can watch on the way to the grocery store and the battle to get your little one out of the car if the video isn’t finished. If you like the idea of a video system for longer rides, forgo the high dealer cost and buy your own rear-seat video system from an electronics store for hundreds of dollars less.
4 Extended Warranty
Extended warranties typically aren’t worth the cost because newer cars often come with good warranties. It’s better to do your homework and purchase a car that’s known for its reliability and then save your money and invest it in the recommend maintenance that your car needs. If having an extended warranty gives peace of mind, MSN recommends skipping the third-party warranty source (the dealership) and purchasing the extra protection through an independent insurer. Independent insurers can offer bumper-to-bumper protection (similar to the warranty that comes on a brand new car) or protection for specific parts, like the engine, for up to seven years. The amount and type of coverage to purchase depends on your vehicle, needs and budget.
3 VIN Etching
VIN (vehicle identification number) etching is a service where a dealer etches the car’s VIN number onto all the windows. Bankrate.com shares that insurance agencies and police departments encourage this practice, whether you have it done at a dealership or do it on your own, because it deters thieves from selling windows and windshields and makes it harder to dispose of the stolen car (if the crook doesn’t sell or smash all the windows first). The reason to skip this option at the dealership is because it can cost you up to $300. Instead of getting this done at the dealer, MSN recommends buying a VIN etching kit at an auto parts store, which can cost as little as $20, and doing the job yourself. The kits come with stencils that you can make on your own or pre-order. You simply affix the stencil (which is a sticker) to the glass and apply a solution that etches the glass, making the process simple and foolproof as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Undercoating that protects against rust can cost up to $1,200, according to Bankrate.com. The truth is that newer cars don’t need it because they already use rust-proof materials and come with warranties that cover rust damage, according to MSN. In some cases, an undercoat applied by a third party may void a car’s current corrosion warranty.
1 Fabric Protection
If you have kids, a dog, or express an interest in outdoor activities, a dealer may push you to add fabric protection. The protection comes in the form of a spray that can cost you an extra $100 or more, according to Bankrate.com. The site shares that many new cars use stain-repelling fabrics, making extra fabric protection unnecessary. When purchasing an older car, you can purchase and apply your own fabric-protection product at an auto parts store or home improvement center.