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How Do Aftermarket Additions Affect Car Value?

Have you come across car TV shows like MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” or History Channel’s “Counting Cars”? These shows love to flaunt the improvements they make to the vehicles they come across, and although all the improvements look pretty, they don’t always do wonders for the vehicle’s value come resale time.

Watching these shows, you may have noticed one thing they have in common–they make sure that the upgrades they perform match the owner’s taste and personality exactly. All that uniqueness can certainly affect other people’s perception of the car–they make it hard for potential buyers to imagine themselves in it. And so a lot of buyer’s interest end up getting eliminated.

Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to look up vehicles now more than ever, and so when shopping for a car, people already have expectations on what they want to see based on their research. More often than not, they expect a car to contain what the manufacturer rolled out. But when your car is up to its neck with aftermarket features, you rob people of their expectations, which tends to make them lose interest in buying it or want it at a much lower price. This becomes all the more likely when your aftermarket parts are ill-chosen.

That said, it’s impossible to say for sure what each aftermarket accessory will do to the resale value of your car, as that would require knowing what other people think. Unless you plan on driving your car to the bitter end of its lifespan, ask yourself one question before making alterations: Does the aftermarket upgrade you plan to install appeal to a wide market? In other words, will other car owners be interested in it?

If you want your car to fetch a worthy price when the time comes to sell it, it’s best to avoid the following aftermarket enhancements in general:

Custom paint jobs–painting your car in the most eye-catching color possible will undoubtedly make it unique, unfortunately, the market for buyers looking for unique is small–regardless of how attractive the finish is.

Body kits–like custom paint jobs, body kits are there for purely aesthetic reasons, and most people don’t want their car drawing too much attention.

Engine mods–sure, your engine mods guarantee your car can get from 0-100 kph in three seconds. Your average daily driver on the other hand, only needs the engine to meet its original performance levels.

Lights–aftermarket lights are generally a bad idea. They are often too distracting and have the potential to cause accidents.

Exhaust systems–aftermarket exhaust systems that help improve power and performance generally have one side effect–they add to the engine noise. Most people don’t want a noisy car that only serves to annoy other people.

Of course, not all enhancements are the same, and some can improve your car’s value, especially when done right. Here are some smart aftermarket investments you can make on your car.

Paint protection film–with paint protection, you can ensure that your car exterior looks like you just drove it from the dealership. Simply peel off the film come selling time and watch potential buyers’ jaws drop.

Window tinting–while paint film protects your exterior, window tinting can protect your interior while providing added security. Just don’t leave the task in the hands of a professional, as DIY tinting almost always fails.

Suspension–aftermarket suspension systems improve ride and handling, and that’s something that most drivers can agree on. Because there’s a large market for this, aftermarket suspension systems in the least will not put a damper on your car’s resale chances.

Guards–there are guards that aid in collision, protecting the vehicle’s body from damage. This upgrade won’t likely be lost in the resale value.

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