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F&I transparency: The final frontier

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
The big markups in F&I products such as extended service contracts and GAP should make some in this business uneasy.

In recent interviews, sources said dealerships still routinely charge customers double what they pay for F&I products, same as they did some 20 years ago when I first started writing about F&I. Can that possibly last?

Chrysler executives said back in the 1990s that once dealer invoice prices appeared on the Internet, "the last dumb customer" had come and gone. It was the end of the Wild West.

Since then, used-car prices and trade-in values have become more transparent, too. Isn't it only a matter of time before transparency comes to F&I?

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