What Really Grinds My Gears: Dealer Stickers

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Jesus Christ. Isn’t it enough that car dealers rape you on finance charges and extended warranties and paint sealant and God knows what? Oh NO—they have to put an ugly ass sticker or cheap chrome applique badge or hideous license plate frame on the back of your car that ADVERTISES THE FACT THAT YOU’VE BEEN SCREWED BY A DEALER. [Note: I’m not saying that Mr. Barrett was anything but open, honest and above board. May the Bricklin owner rest in peace.] If you want to advertise on TTAC, you have to pay for it. ’Cause that’s how advertising works. But if a car dealer wants to plaster his or her name on the butt of YOUR car YOU have to pay for it. And even if you accept this ass-backwards idea, why for FS can’t these guys at least TRY to match the manufacturer’s typeface and style? I’d recommend CarMax to all my friends who chew gum. But I had them pull that sticker off my GL before I ever rolled out of the customer handover area. Not on MY gas-sucking SUV you don’t.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Johnson Schwanz Johnson Schwanz on Sep 09, 2009

    To me, the old Mercedes-Benz of Alexandria (VA) logo was the classiest: a single chrome asterisk over the model number number of the car. Therefore, an E350 would be an E350*. Dope. They've since abandoned this practice in favor of a medium-sized colored Mercedes-Benz logo on the grille and trunk lid; purely tasteless and significantly inferior to their previous design.

  • Banger Banger on Sep 09, 2009
    Dave M.: "Hoping not to be offensive to the readers that were offended, your use of “Jesus Christ” was appropriate. Like you channeled my father. These days though it’s been cranked up to “What the fuck?”" Amen. Sometimes used in sequence, even! My little Ford Ranger had nary a sticker or a badge on it, and was free of license plate frame ridiculousness. That's part of the reason I'll be hitting small-town Crossville Ford-Lincoln-Mercury again one of these days when the wife's car bites the dust, instead of the larger Ford dealer that is 30 miles closer to home (which also happens to be part of a huge "automotive family," as they call it-- a good sign to stay away!) Her car will probably last us several more years without major incident (knock on wood), but still-- buyers remember the treatment they receive at a dealership, and the lack of shameless promotional material on my Ranger was just icing on the cake in my experience with that establishment. I had a very good experience with them all the way around. The wife's Nissan Sentra was bought used from a Honda dealer that is part of a small syndicate of dealerships, so they logically put a plate frame on her car before we drove off with it. She didn't remove it, but she did cover up their toll-free phone number with a BangerMusic sticker. Hey, if we're going to have instruments of advertising on our vehicle, we're going to find a way to advertise the music I play with my instruments!
  • Anonymous Anonymous on Sep 09, 2009

    What's the big deal? Dealer like to promote his/her store by applying an adhesive sticker and furnishing a license plate bracket. You don't like- take 'em off. No need to threaten the salesperson or come up with the brilliant "wanna pay me to advertise?" BS. We will gladly remove dealer ID's upon request. No problem. And we do not put any tags on Camaro or Corvette anyway.

  • Japanese Buick Japanese Buick on Sep 10, 2009

    @ johnny ro and Kurt: Removing the make and model labels will come back to bite you at resale time, as every buyer will automatically assume it means the car was repainted after an accident, and your denial of that just makes you a liar in their eyes. Don't ask me now I learned this. Also I was surprised to learn that dealers put their frames on license plates even after routine service. Since most of the public isn't as aware of automotive details like we are, I bet there are a lot of people who don't even realze they are driving around with a newly installed license plate frame.