Why do customers provide free advertising for auto dealerships long after driving a new vehicle off the lot?

When you buy a vehicle from a dealership, they will almost always slap on some subtle (or not so subtle) advertising to promote their business. This advertising is usually either a sticker on the back featuring the dealer name, a website, an address, a phone number, or other information stating where you bought your car.

Sometimes they’ll put some ugly stick-on plastic thing with a logo or information, or they’ll include a classic license plate frame with their advertising on it.

They do this because they know most people either are not going to even notice it, or if they do see it, they’re not willing to take it off.

YOU are giving them free advertising…


You may think you got a great deal when you signed your purchase paperwork, but the reality is, the dealer probably still made a massive profit off of you. More than likely, they probably scammed you in some way and you didn’t even realize it. Yet you’re doing them a massive favor long after you drive off the lot by advertising for free.

The company that built the car does this too, and it’s getting worse. What used to be a small logo plaque on the grill or trunk has morphed into massive writing across the back and sides of vehicles blatantly stating the name of the make or model. You can’t really change what the car looks like when it comes from the factory, but you CAN control what the dealer puts on the car.

Take It Off.

The first thing I do when I get a new car is remove the dealership branding. Then, I take off the company lettering if I can. Some say this devalues a vehicle, but that’s crap. Just as most customers aren’t going to notice the obviously gaudy sticker on the back that says BUY AT JOE’S USED CARS, they aren’t going to notice that I took the vehicle model name off the trunk. If anything, it makes a car look better because it looks cleaner.

The only people I’ve ever had get upset about this is the dealership when I’ve traded in a car or returned a lease. They weren’t upset because the vehicle was somehow defaced, they were upset because I removed their free advertising.

If they want to pay me, I’ll leave it on.

Compensate me for promoting your product. If not, it’s no free ads from me.

Look at the cars in front of you the next time you’re stopped at a traffic light, or look at cars in parking lots. You’ll see the majority have ads. You may think this is a pointless post, but once you’ve read this, you won’t be able to unsee these ads.

Do your part – Stop the Free Dealer Ads!

If you don’t want to remove the dealer ads, do the right thing and at least put an “I Love Pizza” bumper sticker over it. Everyone will be better off.


NOTE: If you do decide to remove the branding on your vehicle, do it right. Consult the amazing internet or an auto detail professional to learn the right way to take the things off without harming your paint. It’s not that hard to do, but you have to be careful.