10/12/2011 6:11 PM ET|
Car options that waste your cash
Option packages from the manufacturer and options installed by the dealer can both be a costly temptation. Savvy buyers should weigh their necessity carefully.
When buying a new car, it's easy to get stuck with pricey options that you don't really want.
It used to be that carmakers offered long lists of individual options -- landau tops, a half-dozen radio choices, a variety of seating arrangements, wheel covers and bumper trims, and on and on. Rolls-Royce, Porsche and some other high-end brands still do that.
But that makes building cars more expensive. So most manufacturers today package a number of options together, making it more likely that you'll pay for some options that you'd rather skip.
For instance, Honda offers the 2012 Accord sedan with nine option packages, or trim levels, ranging from a basic, $22,150 LX to a luxurious, $32,600 EX-L V-6 with leather upholstery and GPS.
Once a buyer has chosen a trim level, the only other factory options are paint and maybe interior color, and either a manual or automatic transmission (though the automatic is required on many of the levels). This simplified ordering scheme makes it easy for Honda to efficiently produce Accords in its factories without maintaining vast inventories of parts that may go in only a few cars.
Buyers need to know what each option package offers and decide which options they can do without and which ones can be found elsewhere. Sometimes it's cheaper to purchase a less well-equipped model and add features from other sources later.
Beyond that, the huge number of dealer-installed options will tempt the buyer. Because what the factory builds is only the start of what a dealer sells.
Paying for obsolescence
Order a Porsche 911 Turbo S and you can choose that the "seat belt outlets on B-pillar" be finished in carbon fiber for just $450, or that the "switch trim strip" be covered in leather for only $605. Porsche is, after all, in the business of satisfying its rich clientele's every whim. And that clientele generally recognizes that a Porsche is an indulgence and doesn't expect those carbon-fiber seat belt outlets to necessarily add value to the car when it comes time to sell it.
But value consciousness is more pronounced when it comes to family transportation. For instance, the 2011 Toyota Sienna XLE minivan offers a rear seat DVD-based video entertainment system as a breathtakingly expensive $2,495 stand-alone option. It's a good system and is well integrated with the other elements of the Sienna's onboard entertainment. On long trips it will keep the kids quiet and watching, and it will retain some of its value over the life of the van. But is it worth the hefty price tag?
"DVD players do retain some of their value in SUVs and minivans," explains Steven Lang, a used-car dealer in the Atlanta area. "But you're only going to get a fraction of that back at trade-in time. And the technology is always changing, so what's state of the art when you buy it can seem very old in a couple of years."
For that same $2,495, you could buy five base-model iPad 2 tablet computers that also play movies. And you can't take the Sienna's video screen out of the van and into your house to surf the Internet over your Wi-Fi connection.
Meanwhile, it's easy to find a portable DVD player for well under $100.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
If their are others out there, who just buy used cars, like me..?
The problem is solved,... what you see, is what you get..lol
Back when I could afford to buy new autos, I was always amazed
how much value they lost, as soon you drive them off the dealers lot.....
Can use that saved money where its needed most...
There is a reason after market rims are cheaper. They are garbage. With rims, the factory got it right. I can balance a factory (truck) rim with decent tires with a total of ~4oz. max. After market crap, and I hate them with a passion, I usually start with no less then 4oz. for one side.
I will only briefly mention the one rim fits 75 different vehicle's flaw. Instead of the rim riding on the hub, which is BASICALLY does, you have the entire weight riding on the studs and what is worse, the rim is centered by the nuts. How the hell they get away with this I don't know. If I strike something on the road, I want the studs to flex the tiny little amount that they do, and then the force is transferred to the hub and on through the vehicle. After market, the studs bear it all and trust me, they are not nearly as strong as you might think.
Every time I see a , and I use the next word in it's loosest sense, reporter write(hack) an article about cars, it makes me wonder how many people are going to make a bad decision based on the (dis)information.
NON-OEM warrantys MIGHT cost less to purchase BUT car dealerships service departments are not required to honor them which would require the vehicle owner to be responsible for the repair and submit the bill for reimbursement. they, in most cases, do not pay the full shop hourly rate and will sometimes send used parts to get the job done which not only delays completion of the repair but results in no warranty on parts used and additional out of pocket cost for the customer who is ultimately responsible for paying the total bill. in my experience the few dollars you save with a non-oem warranty will not result in any savings when thar warranty is used and more than likely cost much more over the long run. the experience i speak of is 25 years working in car dealerships service departments.
If you buy gm accessories at your gm dealer when you purchase your vehicle, they are covered by the manufacturers bumper to bumper warranty. If accessories
are installed after purchase they have a 12 month or 12,000 mile warranty.
Another option with new cars is on the manufacturers website a majority have a "Build you own" feature. This way you can take the vehicle you want and at a certain trim level and still put in the equipment you want or do not want. Then check your local inventory to see if there are any vehicles that match. So manufacturers will let you select a base vehicle and totally personalize it the way you want it. I you want the V-6 engine you can have it. if you want NAV, you got it. If you do not want leather you do not have to have it. Almost like the higher end manufacturers do, but on the regular vehicles instead. You just have to do a little research before you buy, that is all.
unless you can buy correctly and find the version that includes many of the same features as the fully loaded without a feature here or there.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'