Here at, we’re amazed by the ways dealers try to increase their profit on a car, even in the age of the informed consumer. In previous articles, we’ve discussed useful add-ons to get when you buy a car. These additional items include both gap insurance and extended service contracts. But there are some things that you can easily turn down.

Window etching

Window EtchingWith car manufacturers plastering the vehicle identification number (VIN) all over the car (engine, hood, instrument panel, bumpers, fire wall) why would putting it on the windows matter? If it’s dark, a thief wouldn’t see them anyway.

Rust proofing

Rust ProofingBack in the 1970’s, new cars, especially in Michigan with all the salt on the roads, seemed to rust out in 5 years or less – right before our very eyes. Back then, rust proofing was a big business. Sometimes it worked well and sometimes the cars would rust where the technician drilled into the body to insert the spray wand applicator!
With the current widespread use of galvanized body panels and advanced vehicle engineering, it just isn’t necessary anymore. Check your vehicle warranty for the rust through time frame. In many cases, having the vehicle rust proofed by an outside company will actually void the warranty.

Paint protection

Paint ProtectionWhile this may have some merit, why pay the dealer $200-$400 to have it done? You can buy the same type of Teflon based wax for as little as $8 (DuPont Ultra Wax) at many auto parts stores and, for as little as $30, an electric polisher. It will cost you 1/5 as much and you have a polisher you can use for years.

Fabric Protection

Fabric ProtectionDealers charge as much as $250 for this spray on protection for your car’s interior. Instead, buy a can of Scotchgard (about $15) and do it yourself. Just remember that if you do spill something and wipe it off, you need to re-apply Scotchgard to the area.

The Bottom Line

You can save yourself hundreds of dollars in car payments by avoiding these unnecessary dealer add-ons. If you have any more questions regarding financing or payment information, visit our web site at