Getting a Better Car? Should You Make the Better Better?

Most people buy new cars because they are tired of the old one or because they want a car with features their present one doesn’t have. In the showroom, a buyer is faced with a seemingly endless array of new vehicle options. How is one to choose? Some upgrades are well worth the money and will increase the value of the vehicle. Others will do nothing for resale but will bring enjoyment to the buyer. What’s a new car shopper to do?

Common Upgrades

There are so many different upgrades available from some automakers that it can be difficult deciding which to choose. There are media upgrades such as improved stereo, TV and DVD systems. Potential exterior upgrades include items such as improved paint colors, special wheels, new floor mats and pinstriping. Beyond these, there are also safety or security upgrades to be considered. Overwhelming, right?

When it comes to color or sound system, these are taste and style choices that allow consumers to craft a car that is uniquely their own. But what about those upgrade options that passers-by can't see, but may still be worth looking into?

Safety Upgrades

When it comes to your family’s safety, it makes sense to spend a bit more money for peace of mind. Good quality safety upgrades help reduce the risk of accident and to protect occupants should one occur.
Extras such as adaptive cruise control, backup cameras, lane change assist tools and other advanced safety features are available to help reduce road mistakes. An added plus is that some of these upgrades will allow you to take advantage of premium discounts on auto insurance, helping to offset the cost.

Anti-Theft Upgrades

There are plenty of anti-theft upgrades available that can be added to a vehicle, such as alarm systems, special door lock mechanisms and even gas caps or wheels that require a special key to remove. For those that live in areas where auto crime is common, some of these upgrades might be worth investing in. As with the safety upgrades, anti-theft upgrades may also qualify for an insurance discount. Take a look at the options available, and consider how they might help you in the future.

Unnecessary Upgrades

There's a good chance that you will be offered additional upgrades once you are seated at the bargaining table. The salesman will likely push these hard but they lend more to the dealerships bottom line than to the value of your new car.

Rust Protection – Most vehicles sold today are already protected against rust. Sure that protection isn’t going to work forever, but paying extra money for an additional protective coat generally doesn’t keep your vehicle safe for any longer.

VIN etching – Having your vehicle’s VIN number etched on the glass of your vehicle is a good idea to protect it against thieves, but don't pay dealership markup. Instead, pay a third-party company to do the work. It will be much more affordable and offer the same results.

Paint Protectants – Much like rust protection, paint protection isn’t very useful. Compared to the cost, it won’t dramatically extend the life of your car's appearance. Save the money and spend it on a more enjoyable upgrade.

Negotiate for Upgrades

When buying a new vehicle, don’t be afraid to ask for upgrades for free. If you aren't satisfied with the price offered by the dealership, agree to it in exchange for an upgrade of your choice. You’ll often be able to get additional features thrown in as long as you are willing to haggle a bit.