After reaching a deal on a car at the dealership, you’ll usually be ushered into the F&I office – the financing and insurance department – to finalize your purchase. This is where you will be offered financing, other products and optional extras, some of which you may never have heard of before. To make that process easier and help you decide if they’re things you’d like to buy, take a look at the key terms likely to come your way, below.
F&I manager – The person who will take you through these final steps before you sign on the dotted line of your contract. They have the training and knowledge to go over optional products and the required paperwork with you.
Extended warranty / Service contract – Offer protection against problems with your car that go beyond the manufacturer warranty. These include certain mechanical and electrical components, but the contract doesn’t typically cover routine maintenance.
Maintenance plan – This product covers routine maintenance, such as oil changes, in one package which may be carried out at a specific dealership.
Credit insurance – Insurance on your auto loan which covers payments for you in certain situations, such as death or disability. While getting your vehicle insured to minimum standards is mandatory, credit insurance is not.
GAP insurance – Guaranteed asset protection, also optional, provides protection for the gap between what is owed on your financing contract and the value of your car in the event your vehicle is stolen or totaled or damaged in an accident.
Be prepared and know the final cost
When visiting the F&I office, bear in mind that any add-ons you finance will be added to your loan amount on which you will pay interest. If you’re preapproved for an auto loan with RoadLoans and are interested in optional extras, you may want to budget these costs into your loan amount ahead of time. Also remember that, if the F&I manager offers you other financing options, you can compare them to your RoadLoans approval and confidently go with the best offer.