Keeping Your Car as Stock as Possible Could Increase its Value

With the recent chip shortage, it’s currently a “seller’s market” for used cars. There’s a high demand for used cars and many consumers are taking advantage by selling their unneeded cars for higher prices than usual. But what if you’re planning to sell a car that has modifications done to it? In that case, turning it back to stock could actually increase its value.

Custom modifications could affect your car’s value

Faraz Matin drives his modified 1993 Honda Civic through a parking lot
Faraz Matin drives his modified 1993 Honda Civic through a parking lot. | (Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Do you have a Honda Civic that you have been building over the past 10 years? Does it have every modification that you ever wanted on it? Sorry to say, but all those years of saving up and installing those modifications might only be worth something to a small group of consumers.

According to Instamotor, the next owner might not want some of those modifications and for those looking for completely stock Honda Civics, your car is worthless (no offense).  It’s not because you or anyone that modifies their car has poor taste. It’s mainly because a lot of consumers might not want an aftermarket stereo system or TVs in the headrests. Also, performance modifications are somewhat frowned upon as well.

Something as innocuous as a cold-air intake system can even turn some buyers away. While an intake isn’t that big of a modification, the next owner might look at it as a headache and even factor in the cost to change that one simple part back to stock.

Can any modifications increase the value of your car?

Yes, but it depends on the application. For example, if you have a first-generation Acura NSX to sell and you have addressed the dreaded snap ring issue that is common with their transmissions then that’s valuable to the next owner. Or, if you tastefully modified the car with a more potent engine swap that’s smog legal and performs as close to the factory spec as possible, that could be of some value as well.

However, don’t expect to get all of your money back for those modifications. Just like selling a used car part, used cars and their modifications suffer from depreciation as well. So if you’re looking to get $40,000 for a car that’s worth $30,000, but has $10,000 in modifications, you might want to reduce that price a little.

Keep your car’s stock parts

A modified Honda Civic speeds through a busy parking lot.
A modified Volkswagen speeds through a busy parking lot. | (Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

If you do plan on modifying your car, then make sure to keep the stock parts in case you plan to sell it. Also, if you already have a modified car and would like to get more money for it on the used market, then you might want to look into returning it back to stock first. After doing that, you could make most of your money back on the aftermarket parts by selling those separately.

OEM is always a safe option

At the end of the day, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are the best ones for your car. If you need to replace any parts, make sure that it’s as close to the OEM-spec as possible to get the best reliability and quality out of the repair.

We know, driving stock Honda Civic can be boring and it’s more fun to add your personality into it, but that doesn’t necessarily translate well when it’s time to sell it. Keeping your car as stock as possible could increase its value, especially in today’s current market.

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