It can be hard to know what is or isn’t important when buying a car. Auto manufacturers invest as much effort into making their cars look and feel appealing as they do in adding features that offer genuine and practical value. Many dealerships also use the sale of add-ons to increase profit margins on car sales, without these necessarily adding much value to the car or driving experience.
To help you make sense of your options here are five things that don’t matter when buying a car.
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Minor dealership extras
If you don’t watch out a bunch of minor extras will be slipped onto the purchase invoice for your car. These can include window tinting, paint sealants, anti-rust treatments and other minor changes to your car that can quickly add up to several hundred dollars. You may be fooled into thinking these are standard, or even required, manufacturer additions to your car, when they are in fact an easy way for dealerships to slip a few additional high margin items into the sale. If you’re not sure if an item belongs on your invoice, ask what you are paying for and ensure it’s a genuine requirement.
In the world of modern cars bigger wheels are seen as better wheels, and you’ll pay quite a bit extra to get bigger wheels on your vehicle. However, while big wheels can look great they have a negligible effect on your car’s resale value and can even make driving a vehicle more unpleasant and reduce fuel efficiency. However, this does not mean that wheels don’t matter – a car with a decent set of alloy rims looks more expensive and can achieve a higher resale value in the used car market.
Two tone interior and exteriors
Two tone exteriors and interiors are in fashion at the moment. While there’s no denying that two tone interiors or exteriors can be eye catching, the reality is that they typically cost extra and add no value to the vehicle or driving experience. There’s also a danger that this may prove to be a fad, and that today’s ‘must have’ fashion accessory will make the car look outdated and unfashionable in the used car market in several years.
When you go public with your decision to get a car you’re going to find yourself the benefactor of a ton of unsolicited advice from friends, family and salespeople. You’ll be told whether you should buy new or used, which models to go for and which to avoid, and the perils associated with various other options related to your purchase. So tune out the noise and make a list of what you need in your car, then a separate list of what you want in your car. Then consult an experienced mechanic if you want honest feedback on whether or not your choice of car will genuinely meet your requirements.
Built in navigation and telematics systems
Built in navigation and telematics systems initially added value to cars and held this value in the second hand car market. This is no longer the case as smartphone technology has effectively made built-in navigation and telematics systems redundant. With the right app installed, your smartphone can do almost anything a built-in navigation or tracking system can do – for free. Meanwhile something as simple as enabling maps and navigation on your car’s onboard display system can cost hundreds of dollars.
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