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Watch Out for the Add-ons

Here are three ways car dealers try to bump up profits by selling buyers extras they don't need.

PROTECTION PACKAGE
Typically includes rustproofing, fabric protection, and often paint sealant. The actual dealer cost is only $50 to $100. Current models are made to be much more rust resistant. Modern factory paint jobs require no extra protection and can be damaged by these sealants.
COST: $350 TO $800

EXTENDED WARRANTY
Covers the cost of service after a manufacturer's warranty runs out. But today's cars are made to last longer, and most makers offer three-year, 36,000-mile warranties. So most buyers of extended warranties only realize $100 to $200 in covered repairs.
COST: $400 TO $1,700

APPEARANCE PACKAGE
Includes pinstriping, door guards, mud flaps, wheel locks, and several cosmetic upgrades. The cost to the dealer can be as little as $10 to $15, but you will pay a giant premium for the convenience of having the dealer put these items on your car.
COST: $500 TO $1,500


DATA: BUSINESS WEEK



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Updated June 15, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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