Have you ever seen any of those shows about home renovation projects? There are a ton of them, and they all have one thing in common. They love to show how the improvements made to the home increase its value well beyond the money spent on the renovation. A lot of people seem to think the same must apply to a car. A car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life, second only to buying a house. Most people assume adding the various aftermarket features they want will increase their vehicle’s value. Unfortunately, this is almost never true. In fact, aftermarket features often reduce car value. This article will explain what you need to know about aftermarket modifications.
Aftermarket Features are too Personal
Are you the kind of person who likes to personalize your ride? If os, then take a moment to think about what aftermarket features mean for your car’s value. When you add things that personalize your car, you’re automatically eliminating a whole bunch of potential buyers when the time comes to sell your car. Maybe you don’t care so much about that because you plan on driving this car to the bitter end of its useful life, but keep in mind how circumstances can change in your life. You may find yourself in a situation where you really do need to sell your car, and doing so quickly and for a good price is going to be a whole lot harder if you’ve added a lot of different aftermarket features.
The problem is that people have certain expectations when it comes to any given make or model of vehicle. They expect it to be what the manufacturer cranked out of the factory. But when you add aftermarket features, you’re modifying the vehicle into something that doesn’t match up with those expectations people have about the car, which will make them less likely to buy it or will want to get it at a much lower price. After all, your personal preferences are totally unique, and finding someone who wants that exact same set of preferences is next to impossible. You might love the aftermarket black wheels you put on the car, but most people won’t want them. Take a look around as you’re driving and see for yourself – very few vehicles will have those, which means most people don’t want them.
Going back the house versus car comparison, you can see the difference. People buying a home want to see that it’s been updated to reflect current trends in the housing market. Kitchens need to have the most popular kinds of countertops, such as granite or marble instead of laminates, tiles or hardwood flooring instead of linoleum, stainless steel appliances, and so on. But they also expect each home they look at to be totally unique in its look and features. The same simply isn’t true with cars – people expect the make and model they like to all be essentially the same except for the color and trim style.
There is one kind of vehicle where these rules don’t apply – collector sports cars, hot rods and so forth. That is a category of vehicles where people expect and want various aftermarket features that make a vehicle unique. But it’s not what people want to see in their daily-use car.
Avoid These Aftermarket Modifications
If you want to make sure your car remains an attractive option to most people that will fetch a worthy price when it’s time to sell it, you’ll want to avoid the following aftermarket features:
Engine enhancements: People who want to get more power and speed out their vehicle’s engine like to make aftermarket modifications that allow for more air and fuel. Your average driver, however, really doesn’t want or need anything beyond what the engine was originally designed to deliver.
Custom paint and parts: Spoilers, roof modifications, side skirts, custom paint jobs (like racing stripes) and other “body kit” exterior modifications are purely aesthetic, and most people won’t like them. They want the original look of the car to be intact. And definitely don’t add silly things like “eyelashes” to the headlights or vanity shift-knobs (skull, 8-ball, etc.). Also don’t attempt a DIY window tinting, which almost always fail.
Exhaust systems: Regular mufflers are meant to do what their name implies – muffle the sound of exhaust exiting the car. A side effect of muffling the noise is reducing the engine’s power output because of the restricted flow of gases. Some aftermarket mufflers are designed to let the engine exercise more of its power output – and are quite noisy as well. Most people don’t want a car that’s noisier than it was meant to be.
Lights: Whether it’s headlights or taillights, unique aftermarket lights are a bad idea. Most people don’t want them. They are often not installed correctly, leading to costly repairs down the road. Even worse, they may violate DOT regulations. And please, please do not add neon lights – a bad fad that has definitely run its course.
Wheels: In addition to very few people wanting anything different from what the car originally came with for wheels, it’s important to understand that custom wheel preferences change over time, creating a double-whammy effect. Most people don’t want custom wheels, and those who do might not want what you’ve put on your car. Remember spinners? The all-black or all-white wheels popular right now among a very small group of drivers may not be popular in a few years.
Enhancing Your Ride in Ways Buyers Appreciate
The good news is that there are several aftermarket features that won’t hurt your car’s value and might actually increase it. Most people will appreciate a sound system that’s better than the one the manufacturer put into the car. Alarm and anti-theft systems are usually a plus. Also attractive are any safety add-ons the car didn’t come with, such as parking sensors, rearview cameras, blind-spot warnings, and so on. Anything that makes a car safer will be welcome modifications to most buyers.
Get a Better Price for Your Car at Driveo
Most drivers will eventually have to sell their current vehicle. This article focused on aftermarket features and how they can affect the value of your car. Some can increase your car’s value, and many will decrease its value, so choose wisely with any aftermarket modifications you’re thinking about. Most people want and expect a car to be pretty much what the manufacturer made at the factory. Keeping your car clean and well-maintained is the always the best way to keep its resale value as high as possible.
But the other thing that affects what kind of price you get for your car is how you decide to sell it. It’s a well-known fact that selling or trading in to a dealership, although quick and easy, will typically result in the least amount of money you can get. Selling it privately on your own increases the likelihood of getting a better price, but it’s not guaranteed and takes a surprising amount of time and effort to do it right (not to mention plenty of stress and headaches along the way). But there is a better way!
We invite you to sell your car to Driveo, a car-buying service for people who need to sell their car in the greater San Diego area. We’re every bit as easy and fast as any dealership, but will put more money in your pocket. Check out how it works and then fill out our short online form to get a quote in minutes. And here’s the kicker: Our quote is good for a full 30 days! . This means you have plenty of time to get offers from other places. All we ask is you give us a chance to beat any other offer you receive on our offer upload page. If you’d like to see how Driveo stacks up as a way to sell your car, visit our Compare Driveo page. We’ve worked hard to come up with a process that works well for everyone. You’ll love how easy it is to cruise in and cash out at Driveo!