Tips, Tricks & Trends

Don’t Buy These 4 Things When You Go Back to the Finance Office

Mike Davenport has been working in sales for over twenty years. He also started a YouTube channel several years ago that gives him the opportunity to provide educational videos about the car buying process. In one of his videos, he points out four things that are car shopping should not purchase from the finance office.

Car shopping: The hand-off

Car shopping: Empty desk at car dealership with Jeep in background
Empty desks at Savage 61 Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dealership on Route 61 in Muhlenberg Township, PA Wednesday afternoon April 1, 2020 | Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Anyone who has purchased a vehicle from a large dealership or franchise has become aware of the hand-off. This is the point in time where the salesperson introduces the would-be purchaser to the Finance Manager. This individual then makes sure all the finance agreements, signatures, and warranties are all appropriately transferred. In many dealerships, the Finance Manager is also trained to use the opportunity to sell the purchaser additional items. For example, it is not unusual for a purchaser to be offered wheel warranties, paint sealants, or accessories such as a tonneau cover for a pickup truck bed. 

In his video, Mr. Davenport cautions purchasers on doing a lot of extra purchasing while in the finance office. Specifically, he calls out four situations when it might be beneficial to pass on the offers. See if they sound familiar.

GPS tracking devices

According to Mr. Davenport, purchasing a GPS device from the finance office is not necessary. Most modern cars today have some sort of emergency services capability. He also mentions that there are devices now that one can plug into the OBD II port that do not require a monthly subscription cost that serves the same purpose. So, if keeping track of a new purchase is necessary, consider the alternatives when car shopping before getting into the finance office. 

Paint or surface protection

There are all sorts of paint sealants and coatings out on the market right now. Some of them are good. Some, not so much. The big difference, according to Mr. Davenport, is the warranty. Many of the products do not have a warranty. If however, the product comes with a three-to-five-year warranty, then it is more than likely a reputable industry product. Even still, look for a nano or ceramic coating. Those are the best at offering protection. He says that he would never pay for a wax, resin, or polymer coating at a dealership’s finance office.

Car shopping for dealership accessories

Accessories are popular upgrades for a new purchase. New wheels, pinstripes, mud flaps, vent shades or other items are usually the first modifications people car shopping will do. But, Mr. Davenport advises not to get those items when back in the finance office. He says it is cheaper to purchase them at the parts counter versus financing them. There is likely a markup at the finance office. 

Upgraded Toyota TRD wheels entice those car shopping
2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro wheels and tires are an enticing upgrade | Matthew Skwarczek

RELATED: 5 Car Modifications That Are a Waste of Money

Does car shopping mean taking a look at life insurance?

A credit life and disability insurance policy, depending on how it is written, is there to pay off the vehicle and transfer it to a beneficiary should the new owner have an untimely death. Often, these policies will be overpriced in a dealership’s finance office. So, Mr. Davenport suggests that a person that is car shopping should reach out to their life insurance agent. The agent will probably offer a more suitably priced policy. 

Overall, Mr. Davenport provides some good insight into what happens in a finance office. He almost paints a picture that dealerships use the allure of easy finance terms to capitalize on an uninformed shopper. Consequently, this results in people overpaying for things that could be taken care of outside the finance office. So, buyer beware. Car shopping is not solely about the negotiated price off of the window sticker. It is also about all the extras that can be added afterward, too!