New car add-on protective treatments, any experience?

Am in the process of buying a brand new car, and have been offered various ‘protective treatments’ as add-ons. These include exterior paint protection, a product called Protektiv HYDRO which the glossy brochure claims provides a hard protective ceramic coating to maintain gloss, prevents paint fade and oxidisation, and repels stains from bird droppings and bug splatter.
I am always dubious about add-ons, but wonder if anyone here has any knowledge or experience of this product or knows if it really is worth the $1300 extra. My car is almost always parked under cover, day and night.
Also offered leather protection for seats (not interested); cosmetic damage repair 3 year membership for a company called Schmick ($800), and Cancer Council-approved window tinting (probably not interested, $500-700). These are all applied pre-delivery.
I’m not inclined to buy any of them, but if any are worth the money and protect my expensive new investment, then might consider some.
Any thoughts?


I know two people who’ve worked in car dealerships, one described it as a “stupid people tax” the other used a lot more words but said about the same thing. I’ve heard comments that there are good products for fabric, leather and duco protection available online and in auto stores, but I don’t have any leads on them because personally I buy old cars and park without fear or dread anywhere :slight_smile:

Motorcycles on the other hand are a completely different story - Mr Sheen is your friend.


We had Ming paint protection on a car we bought second hand. The old lady we bought it from thought she would redo the application before we purchased it.

I have had many cars since and have not purchased a paint protection as saw no value in it.

I also understand that many manufacturers place a clear protective cover coat over paintwork (often one will see cars with this pealing off) as a final protection layer. The question would be why would another protection layer be required.

If I have the need to want the car beading, I use a polish. Polishes will also prevent dirt sticking as well and cost less than $20 + elbow grease.


There’s an excellent Choice test in the making - products both pre-delivery and post for paint protection, fabric protection, etc - I bet it’s one the car dealerships might not like.

One of the polish tests needs to be the ‘Duke Bonnet Test’ …

Substitute ‘Simonize’ for ‘Polish’ and ‘Hood’ for ‘Bonnet’ for our American readers :wink:



I have a childhood fantasy of doing this test…but unfortunately my back (and car bonnet) possibly thinks differently.


Thank you for confirming what I was thinking!
I could hardly be described as ‘car proud’ since our car gets cleaned roughly every 3 months (by one of those magical shopping centre operations who make our old car look and feel like new again for a few days). I don’t care that my car is dirty in between as long as I can see out of the windows and the mirrors are clean. After all it’s just 4 wheels and an engine to get us from a to b and life is too short to spend hours keeping it pristine.
However I bet lots of people are seduced by the videos showing a blowtorch not damaging the treated duco(!!!) and spills not soaking into their posh leather seats, especially in the showroom setting surrounded by gleaming new vehicles.
It all feels rather like a final effort dreamt up by the marketing department to part the proud new owner from another thousand or several. Not this little black duck!


Right on. The standard sales process includes a final visit to a clever young man or lady, usually somewhat attractive and social, to sell financing and ‘dealer packs’ and sometimes insurance products. They are the final step because the theory is the salesman has already worn the customer down and s/he is at their most vulnerable. Some of those packs also require proof of annual reapplications by a ‘named party’ (eg dealer or vendor shop) that come with their own costs.

For those unable to do the Duke Bonnet Test or apply waxes and clean interiors ourselves, the local car wash (OK, at least for us in cities (sorry @draughtrider)) is happy to provide those services for a fraction of the costs of dealer packs over the vehicles life.


Exactly my thoughts!


Hello Everyone. Well here is my very different personal experience – albeit with some history added to it.
At one time in the 1980s I guess that it was, it was costing us so much each WEEK for constant repairs to our latest 2nd-hand car, that we decided that it was cheaper for us to pay out for a new car, than it was costing us for all of these never-ending repairs to the old one. So we obtained a loan from within the family and hit a dealership in Parramatta, selling a “Demo” Mazda 323 for a good price compared with what everyone was charging for a new one. This ‘demo’ came with a whole host of ‘extras’ which they evidently wanted to display for prospective buyers.

One of the ‘extras’ was a Ming brand finish on the duco, worth over $1,000 which we were getting ‘free’ at the price asked. Like all of you out there, we were very sanquine about such extras, but as we were getting them for nothing, there was no argument from us.

Well … we got that car home and we had it for about 15 years or more before it started to become unroadworthy and a niece drove it home to South Australia where they are less picky than in NSW to be her own car. And not once did we ever have to polish that car; just wash it on the rare occasion. And the duco shone! Right through all of that bad treatment from us. And people always commented upon how ‘clean’ and shiny our car was. And we did nothing to it! ha ha.

With that experience behind us, we are now on about our 3rd or 4th replacement Mazda since then, and despite the fact that affording it was always difficult, we always specified that we wanted that duco-coating. Sadly, Ming was no longer available; so now we just accept whatever the dealership recommends from a local firm which applies it; and in all cases our cars have continued to be shining brightly throughout our long ownership of them – usually 10 to 15 years or more before we pass them on to the kids etc.

On at least two occasions I have had a mechanic offer to buy the cars off us, presumably because they looked so good.

Accordingly, with that experience, we would very solidly recommend that it is indeed well worth paying the extra for that paint protection service.

A funny note: I am currently driving an in-law’s car, which does not have such duco protection, and a car-loving mate was looking at some scratches and dings on it recently; he ran away and returned with some duco-cutting polish and a rag, and proceeded to cut back the scrapes etc. and make it look much better; and that was my first encounter with car polish in over 40 years! ha ha.


Glad you had a good run, but there are a number of fairly low cost high tech waxes that do the same thing, available at any auto parts shop. Would you be willing to wipe something over your car once a year for 15 years to save $1,000? No elbow grease required.


I bought a brand new car years ago that was hail damaged in their yard, and they still tried to offer “paint protection to keep the shine” :roll_eyes:


Most of these are profit centres - they’ve got you on the hook, and they want to see what else they can get out of you.

That said, I did get ‘fabric protection’ on my car back in 2001, and it seems to have worked - the seats are very easy to clean. I suggest carefully considering what you would be prepared to pay for each item, if anything, were you not already buying a car.


We have gone with our gut instinct and decided not to purchase any of the protective options. It’s only a car…and the asking amount of money adds up to a very nice holiday! Priorities :roll_eyes:


All dealerships want you to buy add-on protective coatings etc. for an exorbitant price (usually about 3 times what you can arrange yourself. last September, we purchased a DMax and they wanted us to spend $4000 to protect it. We arranged for a local supplier to have window tinting, underbody and duco protection as well as interior. All done for $1400. We drove the new vehicle out of the dealers and 2 blocks away left the vehicle with the supplier for 24 hours. Couldn’t be happier.


Thanks for the info! The dealer did state to me that allowing any other supplier to apply finishes (specifically with regard to tinting windows) would invalidate the warranty. Which part of which warranty I’m not sure, didn’t bother digging deeper since I had no real intention of purchasing these expensive add-ons.
I guess plenty of people do get talked into spending more dollars though…


This is incorrect information.

Should there be a defect in the paint work either through the manufacture of the car or through aging, then the car’s manufacturer would still be responsible irrespective of whether a protection coat was applied.

The only time a warranty claim against fhe manufacturer would not be possible, would be if the protection itself caused the defect to occur (say it reacted with the paint and caused a problem). In such case, a claim could be made against the company that supplied and applied the protection.

Apple was caught out stating similar claims if non-Apple servicing of one of its products occurred. Apple was challenged by the ACCC…

It would be interesting to know who the dealership was as it is possibly one to avoid if they are willing to provide incorrect information to its customers.

Choice also prepared information on car warranties to dispel some myths often told by car retailers:


Yes, without digging deeper at the time I felt the claim re invalidating the warranty was likely to be misleading. I simply couldn’t be bothered challenging it since I was by this time ready to get out of there! Choose your battles…
I did however ask about the servicing policy, having previously been mislead down that particular path with a different dealership and manufacturer; and was this time given the correct answer, that I could get it serviced anywhere without invalidating the warranty.
I wonder how many people get caught by this though? Especially those new to the country and perhaps with English as a second language and overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done to start a new life here… It’s a minefield for the innocent, unwary, and gullible.
Thanks for reposting the Choice information regarding servicing!


When someone provides information like that, it emphasises the ‘dodginess’ of the whole deal.

My personal view only - car dealerships sometimes present the perception of good service, but ultimately the ones that are reputable are a very rare breed indeed. They almost fall outside what is worth commenting on because expectations are so low … but we comment anyway :slight_smile:


My advice is don’t bother with new car treatments, most of them don’t work or don’t last, they are a con.
New car dealerships make ridiculous profit from these, the mark-up is huge.
Try and keep your car clean, wash it regularly, use a good quality polish twice a year and as you say keep it covered.
You can apply leather protection yourself purchased from an auto shop if necessary.


Don’t do it. Four years ago I had “Xtreme Vehicle Protection” treatment. It is obviously not Protektiv HYDRO but I imagine they are all similar . Six months ago I noticed that my bumper on my black Hyundai Veloster was peeling. Contacted Hyundai and their protection rep. and he wanted nothing to do with it. Said it would be a stone chip and their insurance company would decline the claim. He said that when you have a stone chip and you use a car wash, even a non contact wash, water gets under the protective layer and causes the bubbles and peeling. AND this is not covered by warranty. If you do go ahead please check what is actually covered. Ended up costing me $650 to have it repaired. The vehicle repairer that fixed the problem said it should never have happened, stone chip, non contact car wash or not. I was not aware of any stone chip but of course they happen to most of us so I couldn’t deny it.