Buying a new car is an exciting prospect, but in the showroom environment it’s all too easy to get carried away with ticking all the boxes, as each desirable option only adds a small amount to the monthly repayments.
Here are the 10 options you should definitely tick if you want your car to hold its value and they’re not already part of the standard kit…
Only the most basic cars on the market no longer have air conditioning, but there are quite a few city cars and superminis that don’t come with it as standard. If you’re a motoring miser, it’s very tempting to leave the box unticked. But if you do, it’ll make your car very hard to sell come resale time…
An essential for larger cars, or for drivers who cover lots of motorway miles, cruise control is usually an inexpensive option to add, yet after three years it could still be worth every penny you paid for it, as well as making your car much easier to sell. By switching it on, you can give your right foot a rest during periods of sustained cruising, while it also helps you to regulate your speed through areas with average speed cameras.
Integrated sat nav units look so much nicer than those which you stick in your windscreen, and they’re often far safer to use, as well. Most modern integrated systems have touchscreens, or you can enter the destination with a rotary dial so you needn’t take your eyes off the road. Some are even voice activated. All add value to your car.
Winter may be coming to an end, but if you don’t tick the heated seats box then your bum won’t thank you when next winter arrives. Many heated seats are also sold as part of ‘Winter Packs, which include other goodies such as heated windscreens and washer jets, and headlamp washers. If you live in a rural area in particular, these are massively desirable.
It’s an oldie but a goldy – metallic paint, or a special paint finish such as pearlescent or opalescent, will always make your car worth more when it comes to sell it on. If you’re a skilled negotiator, it’s worth trying to get the salesman to throw it in as an incentive rather than pay for it – it doesn’t cost much for them to specify, and if a car is held in central stock it may even cost them nothing.
Leather screams luxury, so a car with good quality hide will always be desirable. In larger models and executive cars, it’s pretty much essential as it will add far more to the car’s resale value than one with cloth. In smaller models, it will make the car much easier to sell. A supermini with leather trim, in particular, will fly out of the door when it’s three or four years old.
Traffic congestion has reached an all-time peak, so it’s no surprise that Brits are buying more automatics then ever before. Self-shifting gearboxes are particularly desirable in major metropolitan areas, but even if you live in the sticks, there are dealers in other parts of the country who’ll want your car to sell on when you decide it’s time to part company.
At the very least, you should specify parking sensors to make squeezing into tight roadside spaces a doddle. If your chosen car offers it, there may even be a more advanced park assist system, that allows the car to park itself autonomously using camera and radar systems. Not only is this a great safety feature, but it’s also a brilliant party trick!
If you plan to sell your car before the warranty expires, then a transferrable service plan is a great idea as it will make life much easier for the next owner, especially if you choose a model with a warranty longer than three years. If the next owner knows that their next couple of services are also included in the purchase price, it will make your car far more desirable than one without.
By far the biggest feature in demand at the moment is in the field of infotainment – the days of radios and CD players are long gone, with consumers today wanting cars with seamless smartphone integration, allowing them to use apps and make phone calls on the move. Connectivity is king, and if you can specify a system that uses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you’ve instantly made your car significantly more desirable in the future.