Are asset protection, paint protection and extended warranties just commission scams?

When I bought my used cars, the dealer tried to sell me three-year asset protection for £349, ceramic paint protection for £299 and an extended warranty. Surely these are commission scams.

Asked on 12 October 2020 by BBBB

Answered by Georgia Petrie
I wouldn't call these scams but I'll go through each. The ceramic coat paint protection... Some people would rather pay the dealer to handle it than find a detailer to do the same job for less money. Personally, we don't recommend these packages. It's definitely worth getting done - but they're upsold at a dealer. I'd get the same service done at a reputable, local detailer for much less money. It's just commission for the dealership at the end of the day (as you say).

Assets protection is Gap Insurance. It stands for Guaranteed Asset Protection. It makes sure you have enough money to replace your car if you lose it. It covers the ‘gap’ between what you actually paid for your asset, and what it’s worth at the time you lose it (in an accident, fire etc). So it’s especially suited to something you’ve bought that’s high-priced, but the value of which drops instantly at a consistent and alarming rate, like a car. To find out more, go here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/cheap-gap-insurance/#1

As for the extended warranty, we recommend people get quotes from independent warranty suppliers and compare the level of cover. Like all insurance policies, aftermarket car warranties can be littered with clauses that mean the provider doesn’t have to pay out in the event of a claim. Read the small print thoroughly so you fully understand what you are getting for your money. Once the manufacturer's warranty runs out, you can sell the car, take a hit on depreciation or buy a new one and benefit from the manufacturer's warranty. Or, you can do nothing and cover the costs out of your own pocket. This is a bit of a lottery, sometimes you'll get lucky and nothing will go wrong; other times you'll be left with a big bill.

These are all extras that many people choose not to opt for because, as you say, they make more commission for the dealer. But that doesn't mean they aren't worthwhile for some buyers - it's just dependent on what you're buying, what's covered, the price etc.
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