VIN Etching may be the most profitable add-on that a car dealership offers. Consumers may spend perhaps $100 or more for a service that costs the dealership perhaps $10 - $20 to perform. And, because Connecticut state law permits the dealer to preprint the charge directly on the contract, many consumers do not even notice that they have been charged for this service.
One trick played by auto dealers to boost their profits is to charge customers to etch the vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the windows of a car. The VIN is a 17 digit number that is unique to a specific motor vehicle. There is some evidence that car thieves are less likely to take a car with the VIN etched on the windows, and some insurance companies offer discounts for comprehensive insurance premiums if a car has VIN etching. So, this service may have some value.