Dealers names on new cars.

I’ve noticed auto dealer names on cars with license plates primarily from the south and midwest. It’s usually a metal tag or decal near the car model logo. I don’t get it. Is this a requirement in some states? Do you have to allow them to do this?
I live in the S.F. Bay Area, and I don’t think any dealers around here put their names on your car, except on the license frame.
Am I the only one who cares? :slight_smile:

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …(Paraphrased)

You’re not the only one who cares, although I can’t say it keeps me awake at night. I’ve noticed it in my area (D.C.). When I got my Nissan in '92 it had the dealer’s name on it, and when I picked it up, I said “you’re going to remove that, aren’t you?” and they did. What I notice though is that some appear to be removable by any ordinary person - like they’re on with a clear kind of material stuck on with adhesive. I bet even the metallic ones aren’t really metallic, but some kind of plastic and are probably removable. And how about those license plate frames with the dealer name - you can certainly replace the frame. Do these people WANT to advertise for their dealership?

Sycorax, you’re close. Dealers put these tags on their cars to get free advertising. Most people don’t want them on their cars, but don’t care enough to remove them. If you do want to remove one, a little denatured alcohol and careful prying should do the trick (read the owners manual regarding the clearcoat first).

The best way to avoid having one of these attatched in the first place is to tell the dealer when you order the car and remind him repetedly while waiting for delivery (he’ll call you 4000 times about financing, floormats, undercoating, …). Of course if you buy off the lot, you’re SOL.

Dealers will usually remove the decal if you ask them. Most people just don’t care one way or another.

When you pick up your car, always ask politely about that little decal on the back. The simple question “how much are you paying me to carry your advertising?” usually works nicely and ensures immediate removal.

your humble TubaDiva

When I bought a car in 1986, the salesman told me, as he crumbled-up a form, “that was for permission to place a plaque on your car, but I know you don’t want one.” He said that it had just become law (MD or fed. I don’t remember)that permission was requried for all new car purchases. By now I’ll bet it is part of the boiler plate, someware in all the papers they shove in front of you

If you liked the car and the service, why not allow some harmless form of free publicity for the dealership? I’ve never removed the dealer-name license plate holder or sticker from my car. I like my car, I like the price I got it for, and if anyone’s looking for a good new or used car, I’d heartily recommend that same dealer to them. The sticker may be less direct, but if I’d be willing to do it directly, I’m willing to do it indirectly too.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

cmkeller, while there is nothing wrong with what you said, I beleive that a car or truck can be a personal thing to those who are passionate about their machines and some of the dealer ads are in the form of large plaques or stickers that seem out of place on certain types of machines. Also, I don’t get anything for free - some poeple get huge$$$$$$$$ for endorsing things.

I agree with 1420Vel.GN. I’ve never found a dealer decal on, say, a cupboard or a jacket. Then again, people do walk around with huge Nike logos on their sweaters, and I never understood why they’d pay so much for being allowed to do that…

I bought a car in Peoria (a good place to be from) once and the dealer tag was a little metal plaque that was riveted on beneath the car’s model name. Older and wiser now, I would object if they tried that today, but since I was buying a Chrylser K-car they obviously had me sized up for a sucker anyway.

My wife took her car into a dealer in another city for repair and they actually switched the license plate holder from the seller’s to theirs! When she pointed it out the next time she went to the seller they switched it back and said nasty things about the other guys.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

I had an old Dodge Colt, purchased new, that developed rusty holes on the hatchback where the dealer applied his name tag.

I learned my lesson from that. On both of the new cars I’ve bought since, after fighting through negotiations and with my pen poised to sign, I’ve asked, “Oh, and you’re not going to attach any dealer markings to this car, right?” It worked perfectly both times.

One more reason to keep your new car dealer-name-less: If you should find yourself moving to another state, after you get new license plates, your car won’t brand you as a non-native.

I drive a Jeep Wrangler and while they don’t paste on a sticker or bolt on the name of the dealer they do give you a spare tire cover that has the dealer name in HUGE letters on it. Much worse than a small decal. This is my second jeep and both times the tire cover was immediately removed upon driving the truck home.

While I do like the dealer ship I bought both trucks from, I would recommend, but an advertisement that HUGE is just tacky!

Hey, when I was in college, I used to clip off the little red Levi’s tag from the back of my jeans. “I refuse to allow my buttock to carry advertising!” was my righteous cry. Now, of course, I don’t give a damn.

Ah, but I was so much older then; I’m younger than that now.


“I bought a car in Peoria (a good place to be from) once and the dealer tag was a little metal plaque that was riveted on beneath the car’s model name.”

This is the ultimate insult. I’m sure that most of you would agree that this is going much too far. The wheel cover (bet you get charged for it) is pretty bad too, but at it’s removeable.

I heard a story once (possibly a UL) about a guy who, as a protest to the dealer tag even though he asked the dealer NOT to put it on, called an ad agency and was able to calculate the price of advertising the dealer’s name on his car (how big the tag was, how many people would see it, etc) and sent the bill to the dealer (it was several thousand dollars). The dealer quickly removed the tag and apologized.

If you live in a city where you only have one dealer for each make, it should be obvious where you bought the car.

Ok, after reading all these posts, I’ve got the solution to make everybody happy. Put the dealer ads only on cars at the customers request! Cool, huh?

IIRC, there was an article in the Boston Globe about this recently. It claimed that dealers need your consent (by law) to adhere these little doohickies, but most people don’t realize that they are optional.

Probaly just a Mass. thing.

If you think decals ridiculous, try this one on for size. The Saturn dealership tried to charge my friend $50 for a “Saturn of North _____” front license-plate!!! Oh, and that was on top of the $100 for pin-stipes. My friend told them to remove both the pin-stripes and the license plate since he wasn’t going to pay for them. Needless to say, they didn’t charge him for either.

They just try to see what they can get away with. They depend on the people that don’t read the fine print and are so happy to drive away with a new car that they don’t realize when they’re being screwed.