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Auto Bundles: What You'll Be Offered When You Buy or Lease a Car

October 07, 2016

"You've been bundled" before. We all have. More than once, we've bought something because it came with something else, and it all looked like a good deal together. Bundles show up everywhere, from the shoe department at Sears to the kitchen supplies page at Amazon.com. We get bundled when we shop for automobiles, too. No matter what kind of vehicle you want to buy, the dealer will offer you something to go along with it. Here's what you can expect.


Once you choose the vehicle you want, you'll have to get financed unless you can pay for its entire value at once. You are free to get a loan from any bank. Don't assume the dealership or manufacturer's finance wing (or partner) is going to be the best option. Sometime's it's not. Check the APRs your bank is offering. Shop around.

Warranties and Insurance

Especially if you buy a used car, you are going to be offered some kind of protection. One thing you'll hear about is how well you'll be protected if you buy an extended warranty. When you lease, you'll probably be offered some kind of insurance that hedges against accidents. An example is "excess wear and use insurance," which deems you not responsible for scratches, dents and other damages up to a certain amount. These things can be useful but sometimes they can be a waste of money. Anticipate your future, based on what you know about your lifestyle, and make a wise decision. Also, make sure you're not overcharged for your protection.

Customizations and Protection

Lessees and loan debtors (those who pay for vehicles with loans) both have opportunities to add things to their vehicles. Salespeople love to talk about the benefits of alarm systems and about how quickly they can have one installed for you.

Another add-on you might be offered is called "paint protection," which is a coat of durable material that is applied to your vehicle's exterior. Most vehicles already have a good coat of shiny protectant on them these days. It's up to you if you want another coat, though.

While these products and services can be useful, drivers sometimes complain that they are charged too much for them. Salespeople can conceal the cost by bundling it into the financed amount. Be sure you figure out how much the total cost of the add-on is. Often, you can buy it for less from someone else.

Sometimes salespeople overstate the benefits of the add-ons, as well. For example, you might be told that having an alarm system will help you save a hundred dollars a month on insurance bills. You'll always need to check with your insurance company about things like that.

ATVs, Motorcycles, Boats??

That's right. Once in a while, a dealer will offer a vehicle "toy" bundle. Buy a truck and get a motorcycle for free! Or choose a truck/PWC (personal watercraft) bundle! Well, this is exciting, obviously. Like all of the above bundled items, it's important to make sure you're getting a fair deal for it. Don't let your emotions get the best of you. The best thing to do is to find the invoice price of the truck or car and the MSRP of the toy. You can aim to pay around the invoice price of the vehicle plus the MSRP of the toy.

Right here at TrueDealerCost.com, we have invoice price information for vehicles that are in stock near you. When you request a quote from a local dealer, you get the quote and the invoice info for free. It's extremely convenient!

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