Category Archives: Cars

Buying a Car: Are Dealer Extras Worth the Money?

If you’re interested in buying a car, you probably know that the process involves several twists and turns, including a few minutes with the dealership’s F&I (finance and insurance) manager, who will likely offer a series of extras and add-ons you can choose to buy. Should you do it? We take a look at whether these dealership extras are worth the extra money. You can show off your like-new car and be a proud owner for years to come using the new car paint protection.

Extra Examples

A car’s sticker price, or even your negotiated price is rarely the end of the story. There are almost always taxes and fees that will boost the final price, as well as a long list of dealership extras that can increase your out-the-door price even more.

One example of such an extra is an extended warranty, which is offered at added cost to car shoppers who may keep a car past its original warranty period. Extended warranties cover additional items that may break even after the warranty has expired.

Vehicle appearance upgrades are another common dealership extra. For example, a dealer might apply a window tint, special wheels or unique pinstriping to a car or truck and then increase the price accordingly. Some dealerships also offer rust-proofing or paint protection.

On the finance side, some dealerships will offer extra insurance. For example, a dealer may try to sell you a life or disability insurance policy that will pay off the car in case the primary owner dies. Dealers will also sell gap insurance, which protects you in case you end up underwater on your car loan (meaning that you owe more on the car than it’s worth), then have an accident. You’re still obligated to pay off the loan, but your insurance company may not think the car is worth what you owe. That gap can prevent you from having to pay money out of your own pocket in case of an accident.

Beyond these common extras, we’ve also heard of a few others, including road-hazard warranties — which cover your tires in case you have a flat — and vehicle-theft tracking systems, such as LoJack, which can help find your car in case it’s stolen. Also often available are all-weather floor mats, which can help protect the car’s original carpet mats.

Worth It?

With so many dealership extras to choose from, how do you know when it’s a smart idea to choose one? Our advice is simple: It often isn’t, but you should weigh your options carefully, regardless.

Extended warranty is a good example of this advice in action. Before agreeing to any extended warranty, ask yourself whether you plan to keep the car beyond its manufacturer warranty period. If you don’t, there’s no need to spend any money on an extended warranty.

If you do plan to keep the car, find out what the warranty covers and how much it costs. You also need to consider exactly how reliable your vehicle of choice is. It’s probably a bad idea to spend several thousand dollars on a warranty that covers only powertrain components in a reliable car, but spending the same several thousand dollars on a bumper-to-bumper warranty for a high-end luxury car may be a smart strategy.

In terms of appearance options, you should never pay the dealer’s asking price for an item you didn’t ask them to install. Do you like the aftermarket wheels they’ve added to your car? If not, have them swap back the original set. Same goes for any sort of pinstriping or chrome trim. We also strongly suggest skipping rust-proofing and paint protection altogether, as most cars come with this from the factory.

In terms of insurance, we’re usually skeptical, but it can be a good idea depending on the cost. We suggest you consider, for example, how far underwater on your loan you are and how far underwater you’re likely to get as your car depreciates. Next, consider the cost of the gap insurance. Spending $2,000 to insure $5,000 probably isn’t a great idea, but spending $200 for the same amount may be a smart move. As for disability or life insurance, we say skip it; you can usually find it for less money somewhere else.

When it comes to the last few extras we’ve listed, we once again suggest using your discretion and spending some time thinking about your own situation. For instance, is your car so likely to get stolen that it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars for a tracking system? Do you have flat tires so often that a road-hazard warranty may be worth it? And do you often work in muddy or dirty conditions that would necessitate a set of all-weather floor mats? If the answer to any of these is yes, opting for this type of dealer-installed extra might be worth it.

In the end, dealer-installed extras may seem tempting, but they can add up quickly when you’re buying a car. So stay smart and evaluate what you really need before signing the papers.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car

At Georgia Square Collision, one of our most frequently asked questions is “How much does it cost to paint a car?” The paint protection Gold Coast treatment provides a Teflon-based coating infused with anti-detergent agents to prevent its protective laying being washed away.

This seems like a simple question, but it’s actually a pretty complicated one.

What the car owner’s goals are for how their automobile will look after it has been repainted.The type and quality of the paint materials, vehicle preparation, and the quality of the paint refinishing process used to repaint the automobile.

In our last post, we discussed whether you should get your car repainted, and now we would like to more fully explain the price ranges for a new paint job. Let’s dig a little deeper into the cost factors.

How well do you want your automobile to be repainted, and how long do you want the new paint job to last?

A number of things affect the quality and durability of an automobile paint job, and therefore, the cost.

There are many different types of paint available today, including enamel, lacquer, urethane, and basecoat/clearcoat, with wide ranges in price and quality. As the price of the paint goes up, so does the brightness of the color and the durability of the finish. Today’s new car paint finishes cost several hundred dollars per gallon, so a budget paint job will not use this level of paint.

Clearcoat top finishes add shine and life to the paint finish, but require an extra application of a different material, adding cost and complexity to the paint process.

If a car needs to be repainted, it’s usually because the existing paint has decayed. This decay can appear as flaking, fading, oxidation, or cracking. In order for the new paint to adhere to the body, the surface should be properly prepared. The damaged paint should be removed, and the surface should be even.

So that the paint will adhere, the body panels must be treated, and a primer or sealant coat should be applied before color. Failure to properly prepare the surface will cause problems like bubbling, or an uneven paint finish.

Improperly repaired prior damage can affect how a new paint job will appear. If a car has existing damage, it is not possible to properly paint without first repairing the damage.

Because auto paint is applied using a spray gun, it’s not possible to apply the paint without covering a fairly broad area. Accordingly, parts like door handles, glass, headlights, taillights, and moldings will be covered in paint unless they are protected.

The two most common methods for protecting unpainted trim are masking and de-trimming. Masking involves covering the trim items with tape, while de-trimming involves removing the items completely, and reinstalling them after the car is painted. De-trimming yields much better results, but involves more labor and cost.

Whether we are talking about the paintings in a museum or the paint on your car, painters are artists, and skill levels vary. Good automobile painters are highly skilled and deservedly better paid than people new to the trade. Differing skill levels are obvious in the quality and beauty of the finished product.

The quality of an automobile paint job is greatly affected by the equipment used to produce it. High quality, properly maintained paint mixing and spraying equipment will result in a smoother and more uniform finish. An airtight downdraft paint booth minimizes debris and contaminants that cause imperfections in the paint finish.

A good paint booth also prevents pollutants from escaping into the air we breath. Believe it or not, some body shops do not even have a paint booth!

Warranties have a lot to do with the quality of the paint used on the car. The least expensive car paint jobs may come with no warranty, or a very short one. Better paint jobs may come with a warranty like the one that came with the car when it was new: 3 years, in most cases. The best warranties, like the one from Georgia Square Collision, stand behind the paint refinish for as long as you own the car.

OK, so how much does it cost to paint a car?

Let’s use a midsize sedan as an example, because the size of the vehicle affects the cost. We will assume that the car needs no body repair work in order to prepare it for painting. A “cheap” repaint of this car will run $1,500-$2,000.

“But wait,” you say.

Don’t want to settle for less than a quality repaint job, but also don’t want to spend several thousand dollars? In our next post, we will discuss alternatives to a full automobile paint job.

Tips To Enhance Your Car Shopping Experience

The process of buying a new car can be exciting and stressful. The right way to get the process much less scary and can help you save some serious money. Use the advice that follows to make a great choice for your car-shopping endeavors. All our car wash products are equipped with European technology which means your car will look great in approximately 6 minutes!

Before you leave to shop for a car, you have to know certain things about what you need. How much of a budget do you willing to spend?How much room do you need for passengers in the car to seat? What is the type of gas mileage on a car? Do you want a two door or a bit smaller? Make sure to jot down all the things that you want in your car to have.

Take time to look over the dealer before making an offer on a vehicle. You are sure to have more success in your negotiations if you know how they typically do business. Reading customer reviews is a good way to avoid scams or pitfalls.

If the seller or dealer declines, look elsewhere.

Don’t ever pay the sticker price on a car. The list price is not set in stone.

Never discuss down payments, what you have down, or trade-ins until you’ve established an actual price on your desired car. These should all be taken off the base price. You can get the best price if you start by negotiating and then mention these additional discounts.

Don’t assume that you have to buy from dealerships. You might be surprised to find the vehicle you want from a private owner or small lot. You can find a car from a fantastic price by checking out the classified ads and the online seller sites.

Test drive a car is essential. Even if you see exactly what you want at the dealership, you need to give it a bit of your time so you can test it. There is no substitute for the feeling of driving the car.You may find that the car has a rougher ride or is just not what you anticipated.

Rent cars to test it out. This will give you get a good idea of what it is like to drive.Go on a long road trip in that car with your family to decide if it fits you well. This will allow you to be comfortable with a vehicle before spending the money on it.

Go to the auto show to check out makes and models might fit you. Auto shows provide you with a unique opportunity to compare many different makes side-by-side under one roof. It also give you with the opportunity to speak with a number of well-versed people in one location.

Read everything before you sign anything. Read the whole contract before you sign it.The document binds you once signed. You can always take it home to look over it some more. If they don’t allow this, then obtain a purchase agreement or a copy of the contract to look at.

Be sure you’ve discovered rebates before you go shopping. Lots of car dealers offer on-site rebates in order to convince you to make a fast sale.

Buying at month’s end of the month can work to your best bet. All dealerships have to meet quotas. This can work toward your benefit and end up pushing the best price for your way.

Do not dress up at the car dealership dressed to the nines. It won’t be easy convincing a salesperson that you wish a good rate if you have tons of diamonds and pricey furs on.

Choose a vehicle that has a reputation for running well and on which the repairs are relatively inexpensive.You don’t want to avoid a ton of money pit that drains your bank account every few months to keep it running! Look around online to see what model of the vehicle that will work with you.

Don’t rush things when you buy a new car. Dealers always try to make it seem urgent in order to pressure you into making a purchase right away. Do not be fooled by this happen to you.

Be flexible with the type of vehicle you want to buy. Comparison shopping can help you want to end up with the best deal.

This will help you see any electrical or mechanical defects that might require further attention. If the mechanic finds some problems, you may want a different car, or to get a lower price if the seller is willing to lower the price.

Though car shopping can be enjoyable, it can also be stressful. However, by taking some time and learning all you can about it, you’ll be better prepared to get something you really enjoy and need. Remember the information you have gleaned from the article above, and you will be prepared to get the most out of your experience.