Aftermarket Add-Ons that Really DON’T Add (Resale) Value to your Car

We spend a lot of time in our cars—they’re like a second home. Like our homes, we often want to personalize our rides. But watch out! Some aftermarket add-ons can actually detract you’re your car’s resale value. Unless you’re planning to drive your car forever (and we mean forever), you may want to reconsider these expensive add-ons that may make your car more difficult to sell when that time comes:

Stereo Systems

If you’re an audiophile, you may be considering an upgrade of your vehicle’s stereo system. Today’s technology allows drivers to add Bluetooth for hands-free calls through the stereo, and even voice recognition to select music tracks without searching through an MP3 player.

While this technology is state of the art today and may add value to your vehicle if you are selling it soon, it will likely become outdated quickly. If you’re selling your car five years down the line, the stereo that you installed today won’t be a selling point.


Some people like to personalize their cars by adding custom wheels, paint designs, lights and other special additions that are specific to personal preference. However, customizing your car to your specific tastes means that it will likely not be exactly what someone else would want. A highly personalized car tends to sell for less than cars without aftermarket customization because the buyer will feel that they need to change personal add-ons.

One customization that almost never adds value to a vehicle is a personal paint job, as it is costly for a new owner to get the car painted a more neutral color. If you plan to sell your car in the future, avoid unusual colors or designs.

Illegal Add-ons

Before attempting to raise the value of your vehicle with an add-on, be sure that it is legal. Window tinting is popular but is often illegal. This kind of addition will decrease the value of your vehicle because a buyer would have to remove the tinting before they can safely drive the car.

If you are hoping to add value to your car through aftermarket add-ons, avoid technology that rapidly changes and personal customization. Generally, add-ons that make the car function better are going to be desirable and will add value to your car.