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What Kinds of Customization Reduce the Resale Value of My Vehicle?

August 05, 2016

Before you decide to get "fast and furious" with the customizations, it's a good idea to consider resale. Not every addition to your vehicle is something every driver wants. In typical True Dealer Cost fashion, we're going to help you get familiarized with some common customizations and their resale value implications.


Alloy wheels are usually more attractive than steel wheels with hubcaps over them. They make a car look newer, since they don't get stained very easily and can easily be cleaned over and over. On the other hand, there are many varieties of aftermarket wheels and some of them won't appeal to the market as well as you'd like. "Spinners," for example, probably won't help you sell your vehicle as much as a set of clean 8-spoke rims would. In fact, OEM (manufacturer) wheels are your best bet.

Premium Audio

Sources across the net agree that premium audio has little effect on resale value. The odds that you'll find a buyer who knows the brands you've added to your car and trusts that everything's in good shape are slim. You might as well take your subwoofers out of the trunk and sell them separately.


Yes, paint will definitely help you sell your car for more cash. However, your paint shouldn't be too "loud" if you're expecting to get a good return on your investment. Neon colors and racing stripes may only be desirable to a small segment of the market. Keep it simple.

Window Tinting

A nice window tint is desirable, especially in hot climates. It helps keep the vehicle cool and offers more privacy than standard windows. Although, you should stay within the limits of your region's laws. There are several kinds of tint film. You may not need the top-of-the-line type in order to receive a good return on your investment. Remember what you pay for so that you can tell potential buyers about it. For example, if your tint rejects 99% of UV rays, you should mention that.

Superchargers and Other Performance Enhancers

While buying a vehicle with performance parts installed by the manufacturer adds value, adding aftermarket racing parts might cause buyers to think you've been driving your vehicle aggressively, according to Bankrate. Avoid these parts unless you're willing to sacrifice resale value.

Exhaust, Lowering Kits, Large Spoilers, Etc.

Anything that is way out of the ordinary might increase the difficulty of selling your vehicle. Examples of things you should try to avoid are loud exhaust kits, lowering kits, aftermarket (non-OEM) spoilers, body kits, carbon fiber replacement parts, and non-OEM lights. While these parts might appeal to racing and car style enthusiasts, most potential buyers won't like them.

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