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July 27, 2011


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What's a driver-installed alarm service? Is it just a typical alarm installed for theft protection? Isn't that standard in some new cars?

Anyway, having an anti-theft alarm installed will give you a small discount on your auto insurance...

You forgot gold-plating! I don't know what it is called but for a fee they plate the chrome in your car in gold. Not real gold of course; I once saw this in a co-worker's Camry! Seriously, why do people do that!

Some city police departments offer VIN etching for free.

If you're financing a major portion of the car, GAP insurance isn't such a bad thing. We did this, had payments we were comfortable with, and once a promotion/bonus came around the next year, we paid off the car entirely. In my state at least, you can request a refund of the unearned premium if you pay off early--you just have to request it from the dealer, they're not going to send it to you on their own. I think the GAP insurance was maybe $300 and we got about $200 back. $100 cost for peace of mind isn't terrible in my book.

I've never bought a car from a dealer and this list makes me more reluctant than ever to do so :p Private party sales are just about the car and easy to negotiate. There's more risk, but I buy used cars any way and get a cheaper price so I'm willing to accept it.

If you finance a vehicle that requires GAP insurance, you either paid way too much for that particular vehicle or bought something that you can not honestly afford.

I've just found you via Yakezie.
I considered an Outback, Mazda 3, and Eos before settling on the A3.

When I negotiated for my car, I stated final price with all expenses only (I know my state's tax rate). Once that was decided, they could add in whatever they wanted fee-wise, as long as the final price I paid didn't change.

They still tried to talk me into warranties though. I might get some Audi care after my free 5k oil change!

My mother chose to purchase new cars (highly rated) for my younger siblings. Her reasoning was that the cost of a new car was only approx. 1 year of college at a state school but a paid for vehicle (by the time they leave for college) would give them transportation to a job for their college years and beyond. She chose to take out gap insurance (a couple hundred dollars and most of which was refunded at pay off) because they were very new drivers and the just in case aspect.

Nope to everything else.

Good list. However, as an insurance agent I almost always advise my clients not to get GAP insurance through a dealership. In almost all cases we can offer this to them on their personal auto policy for a fraction of the cost. Sounds like "mylegs" above got a decent deal, but we have clients get quoted $500 and up over the course of the loan. We charge $25 per year and in most cases isn't need by year 3.

When we bought our new car the day after Xmas (Merry Christmas hubby!) Everything was running smoothly until the salesman (who we had been negotiating with for the past 2 months) passed us off the the Finance guy to sign the paperwork. He started trying to sell us the various Extended Warranties they offered. We were expecting it of course, and had already decided not to purchase one. He asked us if we were interested in them, we said "No thanks!". He began his "presentation" anyways, we listened politely for a few minutes, then said again, "Thank you, but we're not interested." He continued to try and sell them, and got increasingly belligerent and borderline unprofessional. He was interrupting us, talking over us, and askind inappropriate questions. It got to the point where I finally said, "Thank you for letting us know what you have to offer, but we've already decided we are not interested, and we've told you that several times now. And to be honest, the fact that you're trying so hard to convince me that we are DEFINITELY going to need this extended warranty is making me think we shouldn't buy a car from here at all."
The funny thing was, after that he got all huffy and petulant, pretty much had a temper tantrum,and rushed through his next product, which we actually would have bought! (it was basically a pre-paid maintenance plan that covered all the necessary services you must do at the dealer to stay in compliance with the included warranty, but at a discounted price) Had he not been so pushy, he would have made a sale. Not as big a sale as the one he wanted to make, but better than nothing.
We moved ahead with the purchase, it was the best price by several thousand dollars and we knew nothing would go wrong with the car (Subaru Outback), but we wrote a letter the the GM of the dealership, and you can bet we told everyone we knew not to buy a car from So-And-So the Finance Guy.

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