Source: Automotive News

Those looking to whittle down monthly car payments could see F&I products as burdens, especially when the weight of a service contract could tip a vehicle out of a customer’s price range. But investing in those products could be the key to avoiding a truly unmanageable cost.

From a sideswipe in a parking lot to a lost key fob, unexpected automotive expenses come in many forms and could cost hundreds for even the most responsible car owners.

Forty percent of U.S. adults could not cover an unexpected $400 expense without selling something or borrowing money, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent survey of consumer financial health.

While financial flexibility for consumers has improved — according to the survey, in 2013, half of respondents said they were ill-prepared for an expense of this magnitude — many consumers can still be thrown by a one-time emergency expense.

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