Cars are chock-full of costly components, especially as radar sensors and cameras for advanced driver-assistance systems — such as parking assist, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring — become more and more standard.
With these sensors and other advanced technologies comes cost — and customers walking into dealerships might be bombarded with a slew of finance and insurance options to cover the expense of protecting and repairing them.
Many dealerships already have F&I products in place to offer customers protection in lieu of them risking steep repair costs in the future. For instance, front radar sensors used with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control systems could cost $900 to $1,300 to repair, according to a study from AAA. Repairs for rear radar sensors used with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems could cost $850 to $2,050.
"Vehicle service contracts are still the premier offerings when it comes to technology on vehicles and, really, the shift has moved," Ritch Wheeler, vice president of training at American Financial & Automotive Services Inc., told Automotive News in February. "We used to look at, 'What are the mechanic components of a vehicle, what are the moving parts, and how can a vehicle service contract cover those?'
"The mechanical components on a car are no longer the focus, not only for a consumer, but also from a service contract standpoint," he added.