Modifications that can boost value

Modifications that can boost value

Brash alloys and brightly coloured resprays can hamper a car’s resale value, but install the right optional extras and they could end up paying for themselves, research suggests.

By far the smartest addition to your car is a satellite navigation device, according to Glass’s Guide. The automotive research firm found that cars fitted with sat-nav held their value better in resale than any other modification. Here are some of the other top modifications, according to Glass’s Guide.

Opting for black or white base paint, particularly on sport-badged models, tends to cost little extra, but cars with these colours are easier to sell and tend to have higher value, according to the data.  

Bluetooth, or the technology that allows drivers to connect devices such as mobile phones to their car wirelessly, is in high demand among buyers and such extras typically retain 50 percent of their value over three years, making it a worthy extra to consider.

Basic park distance control, particularly on 4×4 models, made the list. But more expensive parking tools, such as “self-parking systems” and on-screen diagrams did not recoup extra value, the study revealed.

Rounding off the top five additions were cars with an optional seventh seat. Popular with big families who want something other than a “people mover”, the additional seating option remains rare, yet highly desirable in the market, the report found.

“It is so easy to get carried away, ticking the extras boxes when a buying a [new] car, but you really need to do some research,” said Richard Crosthwaite, Glass’s prestige car editor. “Tick the right boxes and the extras will pay for themselves – pick the wrong ones and you could be paying for it in the long run.”

Top five that could cost you

Even expensive extras paid for in the showroom and installed by the experts can make little difference to the resale value, and in some cases turn away future buyers.

Topping the list of aftermarket no-nos is fitting “DIY” extras, such as stereos and speakers. The study found that dodgy home-installation jobs caused a car’s resale value to plummet.

Big alloy wheels also hurt the hip pocket of vendors, along with high-end hi-fi and stereo systems.

Similarly, unusual car colours such as shades of yellow, orange and green are not as popular as traditional colours, and can make a vehicle more difficult to sell. As can some interior fabrics, such as fancy or expensive leather trim – data reveals that these add no more to the value than a basic full leather option, but often cost significantly more upfront.

Fancy climate control systems can also be money for jam, according to the study. While standard air conditioning was found to boost a car’s value, extras such as zone control might be nice, but adds no extra value.

Car insurance providers are very specific about which modifications they will cover and in some cases, failing to notify your provider of any updates you make to your car could void the policy. Shop around for a provider that suits your needs, and contact your insurer before making any modifications.


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Does insurance cover a stolen car if keys were in the car?

A car insurance policy that covers the theft of your car, such as third party fire and theft insurance, usually covers a stolen car, even if the keys were in the car’s ignition.

However, your insurer may deny the claim if you live in an area where there have been several car robberies reported recently. They will see you leaving the keys in the car as a case of negligence. In such cases, your insurance provider may even expect you to have installed anti-theft security measures in your car. 

You may need to confirm whether or not you left your keys in your car, and if they had been stolen or misplaced, before filing your car insurance claim. The loss or theft of your car keys may be covered by a comprehensive car insurance policy, but usually as an optional item.

If you can confirm that your car keys were stolen, mention this in your claim as this will help establish that your car was not stolen as a result of your negligence.

Can you insure your car for 6 months?

Most Australian insurers won’t offer you a 6-month car insurance policy, so you may need to buy a policy that covers your car for damages and cancel it after six months. You will need to purchase comprehensive car insurance to protect your car from accidental damage, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.. 

Consider checking whether your 6-month comprehensive car insurance will cost more if you pay monthly or six-monthly premiums instead of a one-time annual premium. Another question to ask the insurer is whether you’ll need to pay administration or cancellation fees when you cancel the policy.

Alternatively, you can look for a suitable ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policy, which usually offers you the coverage of a comprehensive car insurance policy but only requires you to pay for the distance driven. Such a policy may not be the ideal 6-month car insurance plan as it is based on how much you drive rather than for how long. If you need to drive a lot, you may end up paying more than you’d pay for regular car insurance. 

Can I drive a new car without insurance?

It is illegal to drive a car in Australia without insurance. Most states require that you get your insurance in place before you drive the car off the dealership’s plot. So, the answer to whether driving a new car without insurance is no, it is not allowed.

The only time you can possibly legally drive an uninsured car is when you have to get the vehicle registered. You should drive straight to an inspection station or your state's vehicle registry. You must also make sure that you take the most direct or convenient route possible.

It is important to note that your compulsory third party insurance (CTP or green slip) isn’t valid until your car is registered.

Driving an unregistered or uninsured vehicle can have severe legal repercussions. If you are involved in an accident, and are driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, you will be personally liable to pay compensation to anyone hurt, as well as for damages. If you are caught driving a vehicle without insurance, you may be fined or even have your vehicle seized.