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Auto expenses we often pay for that often we don't need

Many of us pay hundreds of dollars a year for extras on our cars, SUVs and trucks, that in many cases, we really don't need.
Posted at 7:11 AM, Oct 30, 2023

How often do you feel you're paying too much to keep your car running? If you've had any car work done in the past year or so, you know repair costs are up, just like everything else.

That's why Dwayne Crutchfield tries to work on his own truck these days, saying he's had to fight over overpriced repairs too many times, as well as extended warranties that wouldn't cover a breakdown.

"Any insurance company or warranty won't give you what you're asking for the first time you ask for it," he said. "That's not their job. Their job is to keep their money."

For the past three weeks, we’ve been reporting on the "65 Things You Probably Shouldn't Pay For," according to Consumers’ Checkbook. They looked at places we typically overpay when it comes to your home, bank fees, and now your car or truck.

The first thing not to spend money on, according to Executive Editor Kevin Brasler of Consumers' Checkbook:Expensive repairs at the dealership.

Unnecessary fees can cost you hundreds a year. What can you cut?
A person presses buttons on an ATM.

Unnecessary fees can cost you hundreds a year. What can you cut?

From banking fees to subscriptions, there are a number of ways you could be losing money every month without realizing it.


The only exception to that rule is if you have a new car warranty.

"Dealerships tend to charge a lot more for repairs than do independent shops," Brasler said, with higher hourly rates and often higher prices for original equipment (OEM) parts.

Speaking of warranties, Brasler recommends you skip auto repair warranties, or extended warranties. He says their research shows that many drivers who buy these plans find their claims are denied.

"They often try to get out of having to pay for repairs," he said. "Often common repairs that you would think would be covered under these plans.”

For your tires, Brasler suggests you stop paying for the following:

- Nitrogen fill-ups: He says the benefits are small, unless it is free.

- Tire protection plans: Not all flats are covered, and you may have to provide receipts showing regular tire rotation.

- Paying a fee for tire rotations: Yes, your cars need tire rotations to make them last longer, but it is silly to pay $25 or more for this. Many shops will do it for free with another service.

As for Crutchfield, he watches out for auto add-ons he doesn't need.

"They will sell you anything," he said, "instead of selling nothing," things your cars really don't require.