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Warranties And Add-Ons Defined

Oct 19, 2007
After you have picked out your car and agreed on a price, you must go into the business or finance office, also called F&I, whether you have your own financing or not, to complete the transaction. In addition to preparing the necessary paperwork and trying to finance your purchase, you will also be offered several different packages and add-ons for your new vehicle. However, some of these products are simply not worth the money, while others may be necessary for some people. Below are some common F&I products explained.

Extended Warranty: You are sure to be told that you need an extended warranty, but you can purchase one at any point while the original factory warranty is in effect, and you can get these warranties from other sources besides the dealer. If you are considering an extended warranty, be sure to read the paperwork and see what systems are covered and if there is a deductible or not. You should also try to get a warranty that provides a loaner vehicle if warranty work is necessary.

Gap Coverage: If you have ever been upside down on a vehicle or put no money down when you buy, gap coverage is essential. Gap coverage ensures that your loan will be paid off completely in the event that your vehicle is totaled. This coverage is valuable because your insurance company will only give you trade value for your vehicle, not what you owe on it. Being without gap coverage could leave you with no vehicle and thousands in car debt. This can be purchased from sources other than the dealer.

Rust proofing: Your car already has this feature, and many of these packages have too many loopholes or do not last long enough to be of any value.

Fabric Protector: Some people swear by fabric protectors, but others say that getting Scotch guard and doing it yourself is just as good. You should find out what should happen if you do get a stain. Will the company clean or replace the part in question?

Car Alarm: This is something you can buy on the open market and possibly get a much better system for less money.

Paint Sealant: These products vary greatly. Some are just expensive wax, others coat your vehicle, protect the paint, and make it incredibly easy to clean. Some varieties of paint sealant will allow you to effortlessly remove nearly anything from your car, including spray paint, brake dust, and bugs.

Credit Life and Disability: These packages can be valuable, but most people have similar coverage through employer provided insurance policies though it probably relates to income. This package will make your payment if a person on the loan becomes disabled, or will pay it off if one of those people die. Lots of loopholes in these packages, so read the fine print.

Hopefully this has shed some light on the products that you will be offered when buying a car. While some of these products are worthless and others are nearly essential, all of them can be purchased at a discount by bargaining.
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