Automotive Dealership Institutes vs F&I Training Schools

Ryan Daniel

Ryan Daniel

Ryan is the President of Finance Manager Training and has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Tech Times and Harvard.

Automotive Dealership Institutes vs F&I Training Schools

Training with an automotive dealership institute or an F&I training school is one of the best ways to start a new career as an F&I Manager.

In fact, one of the most common questions we receive is: What is the difference between an automotive dealership institute and your F&I School? And which one should I pick?

Choosing the right F&I training provider can be confusing. Therefore, this article will explain the differences between F&I Institutes and schools, and discuss everything from pricing to what is included in the various programs.

auto dealer institute f&i school

Auto Dealership Institute’s vs F&I Training Schools

The good news is that F&I Schools and Dealership Institutes are both highly respected and many dealerships trust these programs to train the next generation of F&I Managers (and to help current F&I Manager’s improve their skills). 

But what is the difference between an automotive dealership institute and an automotive F&I Training School?

The majority of the time, the difference is simply in the name.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an “institute” as: “Something that is instituted: such as an educational institution and especially one devoted to technical fields”.

In other words, a trade school. 

But what about F&I Schools? How do they compare? Let’s take a deeper look into that next.

This comparison article was made per 16 C.F.R. § 14.15(b)-(c), which allows comparisons of products and services.

F&I Training Schools

Finance and Insurance Training Schools offer the same (or similar) services as an automotive F&I institute. And typically for less money. 

Popular F&I Training schools – such as Finance Manager Training™ – offer the best cost to benefit ratio for new and veteran F&I Managers.

By combining the cost savings of online education with the power and potential of an F&I Manager career, an F&I School puts F&I education into the hands of people who may otherwise not be able to afford the cost of an expensive institute.

How much does an Auto Dealership Institute cost VS an F&I Training School?

According to our research, Dealership Institutes and other F&I training providers tend to cost more than Finance Manager Training’s online F&I school.

Time for a personal story!

When I worked as a full-time F&I Manager, my dealership sent me to a 3-day training course with an F&I product provider. It cost the dealership about $5,000 for the Training alone, and that did not include the airfare to fly me there. 

A dealership could enroll their entire F&I department in Finance Manager Training’s F&I School for the same cost.

How other Institutes & Schools compare:

Automotive Dealership Institute in Arizona advertises $15,000 for their in-person F&I Training on their website. They also offer a virtual option for $2,795 but that does not include job placement assistance.

AMA offers a 3-day training course for only $2,440. But that, according to their website, “Does NOT include lunch, dinner, hotel accommodations, or daily transportation to/from hotels other than designated hotels.” Or airfare, presumably.

These additions likely add another $1,000 to the bill, bringing the actual cost closer to $3,500.

Extra costs can add up quickly, so be sure to ask what is not included when deciding on an F&I program.

Well known Institute’s for Automotive Dealerships

One example of an F&I Training Institute is Assurant®, with their Assurant Performance Institute that is part of the dealership F&I services that they offer.

Assurant is one of the most well known F&I product providers. Many product providers offer training so that F&I Managers can sell more of their product. However, most are not licensed as a school.

Another well known institute for automotive dealerships and F&I Training is the Automotive Dealership Institute in Arizona .

Automotive Dealership Institute features a well reviewed in-person training curriculum, as well as virtual options.

There is also the Protective Asset Protection® Training Institute, which is another good option for dealerships and their F&I departments.

While not an exclusive list of automotive dealership institutes, these organizations are among the most popular and well known.

Disclaimer: We are in NO way affiliated with Assurant®, Automotive Dealership Institute in Arizona, or Protective Asset Protection®. This comparison article was made per 16 C.F.R. § 14.15(b)-(c), which allows comparisons of products and services. Companies found to have a registered trademark with USPTO have the ® symbol. All information correct as of January 29th, 2022.

Job Placement Assistance with Dealership Institutes and F&I Schools

Students of F&I Schools and dealership institute s are often hired as F&I managers in dealerships across the United States and Canada.

This is a credit to the excellent F&I job placement assistance that is included with the tuition of some schools and institutes.

The process typically consists of a Job Director or Career Development Department using their research and networking skills to connect with Dealerships in the students area.

Once the connection is made, the F&I job placement assistance director will negotiate an interview on behalf of the student.

If all goes well, their first F&I job is potentially around the corner.

Which should I choose?

That’s a great question.

Which F&I training company you should choose comes down to a few different factors.

We suggest that you create a pro’s and con’s list, because the decision is often a personal one and depends on how you learn best.

Some questions that you could ask yourself include:

  1. Would you prefer to learn from the comfort of your home, with an F&I School? Or would you rather travel to an in-person institute?
  2. Are you comfortable paying for the high costs of an institution, when there are other affordable options available?
  3. Have you ever turned to YouTube to make a small repair in your home or car? That’s similar to online F&I Training. You watch the video, absorb the information, and then know a new skill!

Whichever choice you make, know that you’re in good hands. Automotive dealership institutes, F&I institutes, and F&I Training schools all offer world-class programs that can help you become a better F&I Manager.

PS, here is a free F&I training lesson for you to enjoy!

Disclaimer: We are in NO way affiliated with Assurant®, Automotive Dealership Institute in Arizona, or Protective Asset Protection®. This article is simply showing a few of the different options that students have.  Companies found to have a registered trademark with USPTO have the ® symbol. All information correct as of October 2020.

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