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Which optional extras increase car resale values?

When buying a new car, we all want the best that we can afford, and that often includes extra features to make our ride either more comfortable, attractive, or more efficient.
But are there any long term benefits in paying upfront for optional extras? Will paying extra for that CD-Changer and metallic paint pay off when you come to sell your vehicle?

Much can depend on the vehicle itself. For example, beware of buying bolt on extras for lower range cars which generally will not yield fruit when you come to sell. It would be better to take the advice of Vehicle Valuation Specialists CAP who claims that it would be better to upgrade the variant of the car than to specify the equivalent options on a lower range vehicle, because a buyer will recognise a better engine and will pay more for it.

But if you are purchasing a mid to higher range of car, then there are certainly some options that will make a difference to the re-sale value.

Car options that improve resale values

Air conditioning
Air conditioning is a must have for most people, not only for the occasional scorching summer’s day, but also for stopping windows steaming up during the winter months. Vehicle valuation specialists CAP agree that this is one of the optional extras that boost car’s re-sale value – and they should know!

Leather seats
Leather seats not only look good, they are incredibly comfortable and easy to keep clean. So if leather is an option and it is within your price range, then pay the extra for them as they will most certainly boost your cars resale value.

car leather seats

Metallic Paint
According to CAP, metallic paint is one of the most common options that people pay extra for and its effect on resale values can be far reaching as people expect metallic paint on most cars these days.
However, choose your colour carefully, canary yellow is not going to tick the box for everyone, metallic or not. If you can’t afford metallic, opt instead for a flat black which is likely to be a no-cost option and inoffensive to second hand buyers.

Parking Sensors
Everyone who has passed their test should be able to park unaided; however parking sensors do make life easier and have become an invaluable addition to larger cars. So if you are in the market for a big family car, parking sensors are worth paying extra for.

Sat Nav
Whilst a built-in sat nav is desirable, it is less important than other optional extras, simply because the technology dates quickly and smart phone apps these days are equally as good as traditional sat navs. That said, the sat nav will help most cars retain their value particularly for the executive market.

Sat nav in Qashqai

Built-in sat nav in Qashqai khedara on flickr.com / CC BY 2.0

Manufacturers will charge anywhere between £150 and £600 for a built-in bluetooth system, yet you can buy an aftermarket kit for a fraction of the cost. So unless you get an excellent deal on this option, it’s probably worth avoiding.

Are there any new car options to avoid?

Some optional extras may sound indispensable but are actually an unnecessary waste of money.
Here are some of the worst culprits:

Extra under-body rust-proofing
As your new car is a large purchase, you may be persuaded to add on the extra rust-proofing option. But before you part with your hard earned cash, consider that virtually all new cars have top quality rust protection applied on the assembly line in the factory, and most manufacturers also include a perforation/corrosion warranty with the purchase.
The sophisticated materials used to build today’s cars also mean that they are not as susceptible to rot and rust. So really, this option is generally a waste of money.

Paint protection
The paint protection option is just as questionable as the extra rust-proofing above. New car paintwork is quite durable, however if you want to provide extra protection, you would be better to pass on the eye wateringly expensive “paint sealant” treatment and get put your efforts into the routine of regular washing and waxing your car yourself.

There is a simple choice, you either carry around a collection of your CDs, or carry your whole collection in a small digital device.
And when it comes to the sound quality, possibly your keen eared dog may notice a miniscule difference, but we can assure you that you won’t.

Night Vision
Night vision has to be the ultimate misguided gimmick reserved for those with more money than sense.
Your luxury vehicle will not become any more luxurious with this optional extra. Your headlights will show you everything you need to see without extra night vision – just like every other car on the road.

So in conclusion, don’t be dazzled by gizmos and gimmicks, but if you do have a bit of extra cash for optional extras, pick those that will yield you a return when you come to sell.

vehicle valuation

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