For many people, their vehicle is their pride and joy and there are plenty of drivers who enjoy modifying their car and altering its appearance to some degree.
How much are modified cars worth?
Whether you’ve chosen to change the stock wheels to some shiny new alloys or have fitted an entire body kit, modifications are a way to personalise your car and can be a fun, rewarding project. However, when it comes time to eventually sell the vehicle, not everybody will share your taste.
So, how much are modified cars worth? Can customising your car increase its value, or will it have a negative impact on the resale price?
Why do modifications affect how much your car is worth?
It is important to note that the impact caused by modifications made to your vehicle is dependent on the make and model of the car and of course the buyer intending to purchase it. Modifications will likely negatively affect the resale price and how much your car is worth, as any new parts are not considered part of the original ‘spec’ of the vehicle.
Many people, when buying a second-hand Ford for example, will expect the important components of the vehicle to be the original manufacturer parts. This way, buyers can be confident the car meets the safety and performance specifications expected from a reputable manufacturer. Some modifications can cause long-term issues, so changes to the engine especially should be well considered before installing.
Making modifications, even those that are carried out in a professional garage, can really limit the number of potential buyers for your car. Changes such as lowering the suspension or remapping the engine will change the performance of the car entirely and therefore affect how much your car is worth as it may no longer pass checks, such as the AA Inspection Report or MOT, with ease. Again, this means that fewer people are confident when buying a modified vehicle.
If you are concerned with limiting your resale market or devaluing your vehicle then it may be wise to avoid modifications such as body kits, noisy mufflers, chrome accents that may not match the vehicle, oversized alloy wheels and custom lights that may not be installed or fit correctly. Installing a custom stereo or alarm system yourself could cause electrical issues and repainting your car in bold, less traditional colours may also put off buyers and affect how much your modified car is worth.
Are all modified cars worth less?
Although the potential market for your modified car will be somewhat smaller, modified cars can sell well under some circumstances. Some buyers have a real passion for tuning and improving the performance of vehicles so may be more than happy to buy your car with a view to modify it even further. Many cars that have been modified for ‘performance’ purposes would not suit a regular day to day driver but would sell for a fair price to another modification enthusiast.
Some modifications that could even add value to your vehicle include installing a sat-nav system, Bluetooth systems for wireless phone calls and adding some extra seats to a 4x4 in order to appeal to big families. Again, this all depends on the make, model and age of your car, and if not fitted practically can affect the value of the vehicle.
It is usually a good idea to keep hold of the original parts when modifying your vehicle. Before making any decisions, it is important to do your research; use original parts from the specific manufacturer in order to achieve the best fit and also consider the below factors.
Factors to consider regarding modified cars
If you plan to modify your car or purchase a modified car, you may want to do some research and consider factors such as insurance. It is very important that any modifications made are declared to your insurance company or you may run the risk of not being covered in the event of an accident. Modified vehicles could also result in more expensive repairs after an accident than standard models would. You should also consider that any modifications made could void manufacturer warranties when you do decide to sell your vehicle.
Safety and reliability are also of great importance, your vehicle may be under additional strain due to performance modifications and may not be as reliable in the long run. The risk of ‘botched jobs’ could result in safety issues, concerns from potential buyers and is likely to affect how much your modified car is worth. To avoid this, use professional modifiers to carry out any customisation or, if you plan to do the work yourself, get a qualified mechanic give it a second look.
Other common concerns include the quality of the parts as well as the quality of installation, so always use trusted parts that are legal in the UK. There are certain legal restrictions regarding under car neon lighting and how dark tinted windows can be.