11 Costly Car Dealer Upgrades to Avoid

VIN number (vehicle identification number number)

Photo by Spencer T.

2. VIN Etching

VIN (vehicle identification number) etching on both consumer and commercial automobiles has become increasingly popular over the past 10 years and is a common upgrade pushed by auto dealerships. This procedure consists of a plastic stencil being produced that includes the VIN of the automobile. These stencils are applied on the windows and windshield of an automobile using a special, acidic solution that etches the number onto the glass. Insurance companies consider VIN etching to be an effective deterrent to would-be auto thieves since it makes it more challenging to get rid of a stolen car and to profit from sales of the windows. Many auto insurance companies will even waive one’s deductible if VIN etching has been applied to the auto glass in the event of the auto being stolen. Unfortunately, this process is another source of significant profit for car dealerships. While consumers can apply DIY (do-it-yourself) kits for as little as $25-50 USD, many dealerships will charge as much as $3-400 USD for the upgrade to be applied to a new automobile.

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