Maximizing Your Auto Loan: Understanding Protection and Benefits in 2023

Man cleaning interior of car


Owning a car is essential for many, but over the years, acquiring one has become both complex and expensive. In light of 2023's auto financing landscape, our guide breaks down your choices, helping you ensure your auto loan aligns with your present and future needs.

What is Auto Loan Protection?

Auto loan protection encompasses various ancillary products you encounter during loan finalization—warranties, service packages, protection plans, and optional coverages. While some are invaluable, others serve little purpose. Given the influx of such products, distinguishing between the beneficial and the unnecessary is crucial. Here's a breakdown to assist you.

Evaluating Ancillary Products

Whenever you're offered an additional protection product, ask:

What Does it Cost?


  • Confirm if payments are upfront or monthly.
  • Calculate the monthly cost spread over your loan's lifespan.
  • Check for additional fees or deductibles.
  • Inquire about potential rate discounts for opting-in.


At First Service, various ancillary products come with rate discounts—even if you're pre-qualified for your auto loan.

What is the Benefit?

Usually, lenders will actively promote these. But the actual value is found in the details and in understanding if it's essential for your unique circumstances.

How Likely Am I to Use this Benefit?


  • Your vehicle's usage frequency and projected mileage.
  • The qualifying criteria for the benefits.
  • The exact scope of coverage.


Comparison shopping for ancillary products before finalizing your loan, much like rate comparisons, is important.

Common Auto Loan Protection Plans for 2023

With a rise in longer-term auto loans, safeguarding your vehicle for extended periods is paramount. Here's a look at popular options:

GAP Coverage

Ideal if your vehicle undergoes total loss, GAP pays the value difference between insurance appraisals and owed amounts. In 2023, considering fluctuations in vehicle prices, GAP remains a recommended addition to most auto loans.


In regions like Houston, GAP protection is essential due to unpredictable weather patterns.

Mechanical Breakdown Protection (MBI)

For vehicles outside manufacturer warranties, MBI is a shield against hefty repair costs. Depending on make and model, MBI generally includes engine parts, drivetrains, brakes, exhaust systems, and more. At First Service, opting for MBI might fetch you a discounted auto loan rate.

Multi-Shield Protection

Addressing cosmetic damages and wear and tear, this plan is crucial if you aim to maintain your vehicle's pristine condition over the years.

Life Coverage

A protection plan that ensures, in the event of your demise, your family inherits an asset, not a liability.

Disability Income Coverage

Protects your credit standing by covering payments during periods of sickness or disability.

One Final Piece of Advice

Auto loans involve multiple considerations. To avoid on-the-spot dealership pressures, get pre-approved. Whether it's a car, RV, or even an airplane, applying online with First Service takes minutes. A 60-day pre-approval empowers your dealership negotiations, offering you ample time to research and make informed decisions.

If maximizing your auto loan's value in 2023 is your goal, begin by getting pre-qualified. Identify your needs, craft a tailored loan, and let our experienced team guide you.

Ready to navigate 2023's auto loan terrain? Equip yourself with First Service's expertise today!

Questions about protection?

Chat with our loan experts about enhancing your vehicle loan.