Which Car Options Truly Add Value?
When most people visit an auto dealership, they don’t typically end up driving a bare bones vehicle home. Instead, they add features in order to provide more comfort, safety, performance, or aesthetic appeal. Some options represent a good investment; when the time comes to sell a car, they can add to its resale value. Others add little to no value – often to the surprise of their owners. The challenge is knowing the difference.
In this article, we’ll explore the options that can help you command a higher price when you’re ready to sell your vehicle. We’ll also take a look at less valuable features, including those that can actually lower its resale price.
Features That Represent A Good Investment
An automatic transmission can increase your car’s resale because most models are now equipped with them. For example, people expect most sedans to have an automatic gearbox. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, and it’s not a Ferrari, Bugatti, or similar performance model, it can drag the price down.
Other options that can support or lift the resale value include an air conditioner, leather seats, a moonroof, navigation system, airbags, and anti-lock brakes. In larger vehicles, a DVD system installed in the rear can also lift the price. However, that feature is relatively new and it’s still unclear how the used car market will treat it in coming years.
Features That Represent A Poor Investment
Generally, anything that is customized on your car for aesthetics will not provide a good return on your investment. In some cases, they can even lower the resale value. For example, a customized paint job will do very little to lift the price. In fact, a prospective buyer might factor the cost of removing the paint into his offer.
Other options that are unlikely to pay for themselves when you sell your vehicle are a performance audio system, remote entry, and power locks. Long ago, keyless remote entry devices and power locks were a convenient novelty so they commanded a premium. Today, they’re commonplace and therefore, are unlikely to pay for themselves.
The same may be true with navigation devices in the near future. More models are equipped with GPS systems that are installed on the factory floor. The more common they become, the less likely they’ll command a premium.
Enjoying Your Car
By understanding which options can potentially add to your vehicle’s resale value – and which will not – you can select the features that are important to you. That’s not to suggest that you should avoid all features that are unlikely to pay for themselves. Rather, if you choose to include them when buying your new car, you should do so with the proper expectations. That way, when you decide to sell it or trade it in, you’ll have a reasonable estimate of the price you can attract.