What are options?

Options are features such as a CD stereo, auto-theft system, detailing and undercoating that a car manufacturer or dealer adds to a car or truck. Also known as add-ons, some options like custom paint jobs or detailing do not add any value to the vehicle, but they do increase the sticker price.

Deeper definition

Both manufacturers and dealers add options to vehicles to customize them and make some extra money from the sale. Options like factory-installed sunroofs and moonroofs, upgraded engines, leather upholstery and premium wheels increase the car’s value.

Other options like automatic transmissions and power windows and locks once were considered upgraded features, but now they are standard on most modern vehicles.

While some options offer value, others just pad the dealer’s or manufacturer’s profit margin. The manufacturer may choose to paint the vehicle a custom color, and the dealer may add pinstripes. These two items do little to boost the vehicle’s value.

Other options that bring in extra money are window tinting, interior stain protection, special floor or trunk mats and wheel locks. In many cases, vehicle owners can purchase these items on their own or hire an independent contractor for a reduced price.

Options example

When shopping for a vehicle, you look at three figures: the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), the sticker price and the amount of your car loan.

The MSRP represents what the manufacturer thinks is a fair price for the vehicle, and it includes the base price plus factory-added options. The sticker price shows the MSRP, plus options added by the dealer. You can see the cost of the options and use information to negotiate the price.

Looking for a new car? Make sure your loan lets you get all the options you want with the best terms. Compare rates today on auto loans for new and used vehicles.

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