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If you’re the proud owner of a car, chances are, you want to incorporate a little bit of your personality into it. For instance, you might want to tint your windows or upgrade your wheels. You also might want to wrap your car in vinyl or invest in an entire paint job. However, if you plan on trading in your vehicle at some point, some of these “enhancements” may not add any monetary value to your car’s trade-in value. True Car listed five things that you should think about before adding to your car

1. Wheels don’t increase your car’s trade-in value

A close up of gold aftermarket wheels, aftermarket wheels do not increase a car's trade in value
Aftermarket Wheels | Giorgio Trovato via Unsplash

Wheels are probably one of the more cosmetic changes people gravitate toward and for many reasons. However, with so many affordable and aftermarket options available, it’s easy to get a little carried away. The good news? Wheels aren’t permanent, so if you want to switch yours, you have a few options. For example, you can keep the car as-is, you can install aftermarket wheels, or you can choose factory or OEM wheels at the time you finance or lease your car. 

2. Window tint can add privacy but won’t boost resale value

Aside from a little extra privacy, window tint can keep your cabin cool and comfortable. If you’re set on having tinted windows, be sure to check your state’s laws before doing so. The good news is that tinting your windows isn’t too costly. However, TrueCar reports it will not increase a car’s trade-in value if you decide to trade in your vehicle.

3. You may want to think twice about an aftermarket exhaust

Crave extra performance capabilities every time you’re behind the wheel? You’ve probably considered adding on an aftermarket exhaust. Having the sound of a louder exhaust is OK, but you may want to think twice before trading in your vehicle. The dealership might have to spend money and time to replace the exhaust system back to its original state. Meaning, that an aftermarket exhaust is not going to increase your car’s trade-in value.

4. Custom paint or vinyl wraps can decrease the value of a car

Getting your car painted or wrapped can be expensive. It may also end up negatively impacting your car’s trade-in value due to the lack of factory originality, says TrueCar. Remember that a dealership’s goal is to resell the vehicle, so it might be better to go with a custom wrap since they’re easier to remove.

5. Altered suspensions are a no-go at some dealerships

You may have thought about replacing the suspension system if you want a lower stance or better handling. According to True Car, “During the trade-in process, a dealership will likely prefer a vehicle that hasn’t had the suspension altered. Not only is a stock suspension more comfortable, but it’s also easier to drive on a daily basis as there is a lot more ground clearance versus a lowered vehicle.”

Should I customize my vehicle or leave it alone?

If you want to make some changes to your car, truck, or SUV, you can! When it’s time to trade it in, you can’t always expect to see a return. If you’re hoping to increase your car’s trade-in value, a good tip is to check and see if there are any OEM factory options you can choose from. It’s usually the easier route to take!


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