We are all pretty keen on buying our next car as cheaply as we can, but something that’s often overlooked, is what we can get back for it when we eventually decide to sell it and buy our next car.
There is no doubt, that bolting things on to our cars that were not meant to be there can have a really adverse effect on the value you will get back for your car and even more worrying, the number of people that will be interested in buying it.
Aftermarket or retro fit bling items such as big wheels, huge exhausts, bodykits and a massive sound system might appeal to the ‘boy racer’ however even they know that chances are the cars been thrashed or mistreated and whilst ok, that’s not the case on every occasion, it sends that message out to potential buyers, who will avoid your car in their droves.
A clean standard car will find more buyers, more quickly and sell for more money and whilst it’s ok to add extras to your car and indeed, some of them will enhance your cars value, it’s certainly the case that less is definitely more.
Factory fitted extras or options will for the main part increase your cars used value, however not by anywhere near the amount you originally paid for the extras but even then, the amount you will get extra, will depend on the vehicles mileage, as for higher mileage cars, the extras can add little or no extra value, but will help you sell your car more quickly. The colour of a vehicle is extremely important and metallic paint is expected now days, whilst a dull solid colour will decrease your cars desirability and its value, so will the wrong metallic colour.
So what difference can add-on’s make?
Factory fitted telephone hands free systems (often built into the cars radio) are attractive and can increase a cars value by around £100, but aftermarket, bolted on ones not so and if they’ve marked the cars dash or interior, be prepared to take a drop in the price of your car. Fitting an aftermarket radio, will mostly devalue the car, as the original equipment fitted is good enough for most people. Fitting huge speakers, sub woofers and a massive amplifier will definitely cut down the number of people interested in buying your car.
Looking at the outside of the car, alloy wheels generally help a car sell. If the model has them as standard, don’t expect any enhancement in the cars value, but if they were a factory option then the car will be worth as much as £200 more, but fit aftermarket wheels or huge great wheels and it will reduce your cars value and scare customers off.
Bodykits, wings & spoilers when factory fitted, will help your car sell, but aftermarket ones, unless they are fitted very professionally and are very tasteful and of course, in good condition, will send the wrong message and can simply put people off buying your car full stop. You often see dark tinted glass on cars and factory dark glass is attractive “on the right vehicle” but not on everything but if you’ve got an up market car, it could get you another £100 or so when you sell it. Aftermarket tinted glass (unless it’s done very well) is a “no-no” and wont do anything to enhance the cars value, or sell it more quickly.
Mechanically, ‘chipping’ your car might make it faster, but it will also probably invalidate any warranty provided by the manufacturer and it sends out a terrible message, saying “the car wasn’t quick enough for me in its standard form” so you may just as well write across your bonnet “this car has been thrashed”. Staying with the mechanics, lowering the suspension will make the cars ride more uncomfortable and combine that with fatter or wider wheels and you are destroying the handling as it was designed to be and could end up with a bumpy ride and tyres that drag you across the white line and that wont be popular, so will reduce the value you get for your car and again, shout out ‘boy racer’ to every potential buyer. Finally on mechanics, big exhausts are not favoured by most people and anything flashy will devalue your car, although replacing the original system with a standard design stainless system is a decent selling point and could add a few quid to the cars value.
Tow bars frighten people, as they wonder what the cars been pulling and if the clutch has had a hard time and likely to go on them once they’ve bought your car, so may well look for a similar car without a tow bar (losing you the sale). So for me, unless you have a powerful car, or can fully explain to the buyer that you know exactly what the car has been pulling and how often, take the tow bar off, as it will put people off buying your car, unless of course it’s a 4×4 such as a Discovery or similar, where the tow bar will be looked upon as an advantage and help to sell your car.
Roof racks, whilst useful, completely destroy the way your car looks and wont get you a penny more for your car. If you have one, take it off, then offer to give it to the buyer, don’t leave it on for the viewing.
The above is only a guide, and we are all different in how we perceive things, but the bottom line is we all want to buy a “good car” and anything that might give the buyer a reason to think the car has been raced, rallied or indeed, owned by a bad owner, will put your customer off as they need to believe they are buying a genuine and honest car with no hidden background. OK, if you’ve got a 15 year old Peugeot and have put big wheels and a wing on it, well there is a ‘boy racer’ market as well and that just might help you sell the car.
So as we said earlier, “less is more”. Make your car look as it did when it came out of the showroom, make it look a genuine straight thing that’s never been messed about with and your buyers will trust you and trust your car and that will translate into ££££££’s but be careful about what extras you leave on the car.