20 Useless Products Car Dealerships Will Trick You Into Buying

Buying a car can be a daunting task, but it becomes even more challenging when salesmen try to throw expensive add-ons at you.  In this post, we uncover 20 products you should never buy from a dealership.

Roadside Assistance

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Many new cars come with complimentary roadside assistance, and your car insurance may offer it as well. Paying extra for this service from the dealership could be an unnecessary duplication.

Extended Warranties

Extended Warranty
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While extended warranties may seem like a safety net, they often overlap with the manufacturer’s warranty and come with restrictions and requirements that can complicate repair claims.

Key Protection

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Key protection is marketed as a lifesaver in case you misplace your keys. However, it’s typically overpriced, and with many vehicles now featuring keyless ignition systems, it’s often used less than expected.

Nitrogen-Filled Tires

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Dealers might suggest nitrogen-filled tires for improved performance and fuel efficiency. In reality, the benefits are slim and not worth the additional expense for most drivers.

Rustproofing

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Rustproofing services can be unnecessary for modern vehicles, which are designed to resist rust. Save your money on this often unneeded and overpriced service.

Paint Protection

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Dealerships often push paint protection plans, promising to keep your car looking pristine. However, with regular washing and waxing, you can achieve the same level of shine without breaking the bank.

VIN Etching

The Toyota Prius
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VIN etching, the process of engraving your vehicle’s identification number onto the windshield and windows, is promoted as a theft deterrent. But the catch is that many insurers don’t offer discounts for this, making it a questionable expense for most car owners.

Gap Insurance

Insurance
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Gap insurance can be beneficial for leased vehicles but is often pointless for car owners. Standard auto insurance usually covers most situations you’ll find yourself in.

Fabric Protection

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Dealers often pitch fabric protection to safeguard your interior against spills and stains. Yet, most modern car interiors are already equipped with stain-resistant materials, making this upsell unnecessary with proper care and cleaning.

Maintenance Packages

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Prepaid maintenance packages often cost more than paying for each service as needed. Plus, they might lock you into dealership service, which is often pricier than independent mechanics.

Credit Insurance

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Credit insurance covers car payments during specific events like job loss or disability. While it offers peace of mind, setting aside emergency funds can be a more cost-effective alternative.

Alarm Systems

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Dealer-installed alarm systems often come at a premium compared to aftermarket alternatives. Additionally, many new cars already come equipped with adequate security systems.

Tire and Wheel Protection

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Tire and wheel protection plans extend coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. However, unless you frequently encounter rough terrain, this expense may not be justified.

Rear-Seat Entertainment Systems

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Rear-seat entertainment systems can be costly, but with the prevalence of portable tablets and smartphones, they’re often not essential. Instead, kids can enjoy movies and games on their own devices.

Window Tinting

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Dealerships tend to mark up window tinting significantly. Yet, you can typically find the same service at a lower cost from a local auto shop or even attempt a DIY approach for more savings.

Pin-Stripping

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While pin-striping can add a personal touch to your car, dealerships often charge a premium for this service. You can often find third-party providers who can do it at a more affordable rate.

Car Covers

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Car covers are touted as essential for protecting your vehicle’s exterior. However, for most cars, they’re unnecessary. The exception is if you own a classic car or frequently park outside.

Splash Guards

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Splash guards can be valuable in specific weather conditions or for off-road driving. However, for many, they are an unnecessary add-on that can be sourced at a lower cost elsewhere.

Life Insurance

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Some dealerships may suggest you buy life insurance when buying a car. However, it’s often more advisable to purchase life insurance separately from a provider where you can thoroughly assess your choices and select a policy that aligns with your needs.

Vehicle Tracking

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Dealers may offer vehicle tracking systems as a means of recovering stolen vehicles. However, these systems tend to be overpriced, and similar features might be available through your auto insurance or vehicle manufacturer.

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