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Closing the Car Purchase
Avoid Unnecessary Add-on Costs

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While these car buying tips mainly apply to the purchase of a new car, some of the information may apply to a late model pre-owned car too.

At the end of the dealing game, your work is not quite yet over. It's time to visit the finance manager. Did you remember to bring your loan papers? The financial manager is one of last people at the auto dealership that will attempt to boost some profits. While some add-ons may be attractive, many are either not worth much or they are much too pricey.

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Auto theft alarms are one such popular items. If you want an auto alarm, have a car stereo and car alarm installation service put it in for you. Many places that sell car stereos will install it for you.

Some dealerships still push rust proofing for the car's undercoating. The way cars are made today, they have rust resistance built into the metal already and rust proofing will add very little benefit. In fact sometimes rust proofing treatments can actually cause the car to rust faster if the work is done in a sloppy manner.

A few will mention getting your car interior scotchguarded. You could do it yourself much cheaper just by buying a spray can of the item. It's rare these days for dealers to push for scotchguard, but perhaps you'll still run across the deal.

Extended warrantees are one of the big money makers because everyone wants to feel safe about their car. If it breaks down, people want to ensure it will get fixed without cost. Beware that not all warrantees are equal. Some may tout a long power train warranty, but neglect to mention that costly electronic parts are not covered. Find out what the warranty covers before agreeing on a price.


Opt for a home equity loan instead of a regular car loan—it's tax deductible saving you more money.

Better yet, take a look at 3rd party brokers who sell auto warrantees. Many times you can get a more comprehensive car warrantee at a lower cost than what the dealership is offering. Beware of the warrantees that don't cover much more time or coverage than the base manufacturer's warranty. Reject such types as they are worthless.

One other recent add-on is the glass etching of your VIN (vehicle identification number). Dealers are marking it up at steep rates that are far too expensive and likely do not deter theft that much. It's worth is questionable at the very least. It might be a value at $150—$250, but at $1,000 or more, it's certainly not worth it.

Most add-ons can be avoided except for perhaps the warranty. Even at that you can save considerably if you look around for a better warranty deal.

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Car Buying 101 bl.textbox.rt.top.gif (112 bytes)
v Overview Checklist
v Did You Calculate the Costs?
v New or Pre-owned?
v How Much Should You Pay?
v Get the Best Car Price
v Closing the Car Purchase

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