Modifying your car
Modifying your car is a real labour of love for some auto-enthusiasts. It is a huge commitment that requires money, time and knowledge. The results can be very impressive, but it is not always a sound financial decision.
What is car modification?
Modification is when changes are made to the vehicle so that
it differs from the manufacturer’s original factory specification. Any change,
no matter how small, could be considered a modification.
Modifications make a car unique and personal to the owner, and they may even improve performance. On the flip side, they can also cause problems further down the line.
Does modifying my car increase its value?
In a similar way to adding a loft conversion to a house, certain modifications to your vehicle can add value to your vehicle. The addition of sat navs, bluetooth and parking distance control can boost the resale value of your vehicle. However, like a badly decorated room, some modifications can cause a car’s resale value to fall.
Bear in mind that modifications can be extremely expensive. Even if you install them yourself the costs of parts and tools do add up very quickly, especially when you may not make that money back when you sell the car later on.
If you are modifying your car, consider if you really are
improving it. For example, most cars have good speaker/stereo systems;
therefore, adding a DIY “pro” system may decrease the value of the car.
Aesthetics are very important to car buyers, so you don’t want to do anything to make the car unappealing. Big alloy wheels are a bad selling point, any ‘boy racer’ type additions or neon under lighting should be avoided. Choice of car colour could also affect the resale value of your vehicle. Selling a monochromatic car is much easier than selling a bright green or yellow one as black, silver and white are all much more popular on the road.
What other costs are there?
• Car Insurance - Even the smallest change can bump up your insurance cost, so inform your provider before you start making improvements to your vehicle. Insurance is based on risk of accident and risk of theft, so even using specialist or unusual paint could increase your car’s risk factor. Not declaring the modifications to your vehicle could invalidate your insurance policy, so make sure your provider is informed throughout the whole process.
• Accident Insurance - If you change the look or the performance of the car by modifying the engine, body or interior, the car will be at more risk of having an accident.
• Theft Insurance - If you add in phone kits, expensive stereos or sat navs, you increase the chance of having your car broken into or stolen.
• Warranty Issues - Consider that the modifications may affect the warranty if it causes vehicle malfunction or damage. It’s also worth checking that your modifications are both legal and safe otherwise you may not be able to drive your newly modified car on the road.
Is modifying my car really worth it?
Many people who modify their vehicles say that it gives them a sense of pride to drive a car they had a hand in creating. However, if you are considering modifying your car for financial gain, it is likely the cost will outweigh the benefit. It may be a better idea to -part-exchange your current vehicle for a new car that comes with the spec you want.