• Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

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Unnecessary car extras: What to look out for when modifying your car

Nowadays, there is no limit when it comes to modifying your vehicle. Whether it’s improving your car’s performance, tweaking its aesthetics or upgrading its basic functionality, many of us are investing a lot of time and money to create our ideal motor…but at what cost?

From headlight eyelashes and tinted windows to phone kits and vehicle wraps, the list of possible car modifications is endless.

However, before picking out which colour stripes would look best down the side of your motor, car finance provider Moneybarn talks you through what car extras are not worth the money and could end up costing you more in the long run.

Avoid warranty voids

While many of us don’t go as far as ‘Pimp My Ride’ in the changes we make to our vehicles, it is easy to get a little bit carried away when looking to give our motor a makeover.  However, before making any decisions it’s important to consider the potential downsides.

If you’re looking to add a bit more personality or speed to your car, ensure you have checked your warranty’s small print before you carry out the work. Surprisingly, it’s quite rare for your cover to hold up once you’ve altered the bodywork or engine of your motor and even if your manufacturer confirms changes are ok your cover might not remain valid if a fault occurs.

It’s also important to consider where the work is being carried out. Though it might be tempting to choose the cheaper option of going to a garage that isn’t VAT registered or approved, it could end up costing you way more in the long run and invalidate your warranty.

Resale value

Modifying your car is all fun and games until you’re ready to get rid of it. Yes, you may have loved the added spoilers, body kit or even racing stripes but it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else does and this can drastically decrease the value of your car.

Certain added extras that improve your model, such as TVs in the headrests, can be looked at as a worthwhile investment. However it is always important to remember that by making those modifications you’re narrowing down the pool of interest meaning it might be a much harder job when looking to sell!

Insurance hikes

Although modifying your car can be a great way to personalise your model and even improve its performance, it can quickly bump up the cost of car insurance.

It doesn’t have to be a drastic change to your car; even smaller modifications like alloy wheels, paintwork and/or fitting body kits can have an impact on your premium.

That said, not all car extras will increase your insurance premiums. For instance, if you install safety measures such as parking sensors, you can see your cover drop by 13%. Fitting additional security measures like an alarm can also reduce your premium.

If you’re changing your car from the factory specification, it is best to let your insurer know straight away. Different insurers have different views on what constitutes a modification, so it is always best to check whether your insurance policy is impacted.