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5 ways to make your car look better and improve its resale value

Making any major changes to the appearance of a car can be a risky exercise. The reason for this is that cars tend to achieve the best resale value when they match original factory specifications as closely as possible. This gives second-hand car buyers the sense they are buying a ‘like new’ car, rather than a vehicle customized to fit another person’s preferences and quirks.

Because of this, many vehicle modifications can instantly lower a car’s resale value, making it difficult to sell at its book value when the time comes to put it on the second-hand car market.

Here are some mods that will make your car look awesome while also improving its resale value.

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Alloy wheels

Buying a good set of wheels for your car can improve its value if it came fitted with standard wheels and plastic rim caps. Provided you don’t go for brash or gimmicky rims (think the type that continue spinning after you stop your car), a good set of rims will instantly make your car look sportier and more expensive. Keep the rims in good condition and you’ll have a more attractive car to market when the time comes to sell.

Leather seats

A set of well-maintained leather seats make a car look more luxurious and comfortable. This, in turn, makes these vehicles easier to re-sell, and many buyers will be prepared to pay a little extra for a set of leather seats, particularly in mid-range or luxury vehicles where these seats are an optional extra at time of purchase. Furthermore, well-maintained leather seats are less likely to experience the type of staining and wear that tends to show up on standard fabric seats.


Touch screen navigation and entertainment systems

Touch screen navigation and entertainment displays are now an optional extra in many new cars, and can even be retrofitted to older models. These may seem gimmicky, but they instantly make a car interior look more modern. These systems also tend to provide drivers with a variety of tools that make the driving experience easier and more pleasant, including Bluetooth connectivity for music and handsfree calling and onboard navigation systems.


A sunroof may seem like a niche preference, but these have the same impact on buyer perception as a set of leather seats or good quality wheels. They’ll make the car appear more upmarket and luxurious and people who want this feature in a car will be prepared to pay for it in the second-hand market. As is the case with leather seats, this is more likely to add value to your car if you drive a mid-range to high-end vehicle. On a cheaper vehicle, it can look out of place and may not add value.

Window Tints

Provided you don’t go overboard, window tints can very inexpensively improve your car’s appearance and its appeal in the resale market. Avoid dark tints, and instead, go for tints that still allow for visibility of car occupants or you’ll attract the interest of traffic police. Tinted windows also have the benefit of keeping cars cooler in hot temperatures, reducing UV damage to the car interior from sunlight and increasing a window’s resistance to breakage.

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