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Dealership Perks That Can Help Sweeten a Car Deal

If you’re interested in buying a car, you’re probably thinking about factors such as price, payment and interest rate, but those factors aren’t the only ways that a car dealership can give you a deal. A dealer can also offer a few other perks to sweeten a car deal, and we’re listing a few of those perks to help you understand what offers you may receive from your dealer when buying your next car.

Oil Changes

If a dealer can’t go any lower on a car’s price, they may offer you complimentary oil changes for 1 year, 3 years or as long as you own the car.

Although this may not sound like a good deal at the time you’re buying the car, especially if you want more money off the bottom line, it can work out in your favor down the road. If you drive a lot and negotiate free oil changes for as long as you own the car, you can save $50 or more per oil change, which could work out to $150 per year if your oil change intervals are 5,000 miles and you drive 15,000 miles annually. After 6 and a half years, you’ll save $1,000 in oil changes, which isn’t a bad number.

Tire Rotations or Car Washes

Two other tricks in a dealership’s bag are tire rotations and car washes. These are two more items that most car shoppers don’t enjoy paying for, and a dealer may offer them for free to make a car deal more enticing. Once again, you may prefer more money off the car’s total price, but if you add in the cost of tire rotations and car washes over the years, you may find that you can save more money by taking the dealer up on their offer.

Loaner Cars

Although many vehicles come with free loaner cars for service visits if they’re under warranty, used cars don’t always include service loaner privileges. That’s where this offer could come in handy, especially if you don’t want to burden a friend with a request to follow you to the dealer when your car is being serviced or if the dealer is a long way from your home or office. Negotiating a guaranteed service loaner into your car deal may not save you money up front, but it could save you time and hassle in the future.

Pickup and Drop-Off

If you can’t have loaner cars, you might want to try another dealer perk: pickup and drop-off for service visits. While some dealers perform this service for drivers who live or work within a few miles of their location, you might be able to negotiate this for a longer distance if it helps finalize a car sale.

Our Take

While most car shoppers only think about the bottom line, each of the perks described may help you in the long run, even if you end up paying a little more than you were expecting when buying the car. In fact, if we were buying a car today, we’d strongly consider the monetary value of any perk the dealer offered, as it might end up being a better offer than a few more hundred dollars off the selling price. Another tip: Be sure to have any perk guaranteed in writing so the dealership will still honor it long after the salesperson and sales manager you’ve dealt with have retired or changed jobs.


Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. You can ask for strips of your choice to be put on a car.   I heard of car door guards being added to a van.   Also a trailor hitch for a truck.

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