We’re pretty open-minded here at carwow, but when it comes to mods, there’s some we love, and then there’s some we’re not huge fans of. Mainly because some can be illegal and may invalidate your insurance, but also because some are just plain ugly.
But, drive down any A road in the country and you could be treated to an impressive display of modified cars – from lowered suspensions to underbody neon lights, and everything in between. So, to find out once and for all which ones are the most hated, which ones knock the most off a car’s value, and which ones would actually render a car unsaleable, we took to the streets and asked drivers up and down the country to tell us their thoughts.
First Up – The Mods We Love To Hate
The nation has voted, and eyelashes on headlights are officially the most hated car modification. Whether it’s to add a personal touch or to just make the car stand out from the crowd, it’s the smaller decorative additions that dominate the top 10.
Christmas antlers, car flags, spinning rims, spoilers and ‘wonky wheels’ all make the top 20 list. If you have all 20 on your vehicle, please get in touch, we need to have a word.
The UK’s Most Hated Mods
|1. Eyelashes on headlights||32.25%|
|2. Fluffy dice||26.41%|
|3. Modified exhaust||26.01%|
|4. Novelty horns||25.76%|
|5. Christmas antlers||22.97%|
|6. Beaded seat covers||19.02%|
|7. Lowered suspension||18.42%|
|8. Car stickers/ bumper stickers (e.g. ‘powered by fairy dust’)||17.82%|
|9. Underbody neon lights||17.32%|
|10. ‘Wonky wheels’ (extreme negative camber)||17.27%|
|11. Novelty decals, for example flames down the sides or racing stripes||16.18%|
|12. Car flags||16.08%|
|13. Dashboard accessories (e.g. toys and models)||15.08%|
|14. Modified sound system/speakers||14.08%|
|15. Custom numberplate||12.03%|
|16. Spinning rims||11.93%|
|17. Tinted windows||11.03%|
|18. Tinted headlights||10.83%|
|19. Steering wheel covers||10.48%|
To Mod or Not to Mod
Now, if fluffy dice aren’t your cup of tea, that’s one thing, but if some modifications actually reduce your car’s resale value, then that’s a whole other thing – especially as you would have probably paid a reasonably pretty penny to have the modification in the first place.
‘Wonky wheels’ (wheels that are modified in an extreme way to achieve a negative camber) could knock more than £300 of a car’s value – not to mention the possible safety issues and the potential to invalidate your insurance. And, more than 40% of UK drivers actually say a car with a set of splayed-out wheels would put them off from buying it completely.
A lowered suspension, modified exhaust, custom paint job and novelty decals make up the rest of the top five modifications that devalue cars the most, knocking £985 off between them.
The Mods That Decrease A Car’s Value the Most (and by how much)
|1. ‘Wonky wheels’ (extreme negative camber)||£310.71|
|2. Car lowered||£286.29|
|3. Modified exhaust||£239.08|
|4. Custom paint job/wrap||£233.44|
|5. Novelty decals, for example flames down the sides||£226.59|
|6. Underbody neon lights||£206.15|
|7. Spinning rims||£196.31|
|8. Novelty horns||£190.60|
|9. Bucket seats/racing seats||£187.33|
|10. Colourful alloys||£186.36|
|12. Custom interior||£175.17|
|13. Eyelashes on headlights||£169.96|
|14. Tinted headlights||£165.85|
|15. Christmas antlers||£160.72|
|16. Custom numberplate||£159.59|
|17. Tinted windows||£155.98|
|18. Car stickers/ bumper stickers (e.g. ‘powered by fairy dust’)||£154.87|
|19. Modified sound system/speakers||£149.85|
|20. Car flags||£130.64|
(ranked by the average amount respondents said they would look to reduce the price by if a car had been modified in these ways)
To the people who would try and knock £130 off for some car flags, we applaud your confidence at negotiating, but that’s possibly a bit steep.
Want To Sell Your Car? Don’t Get These Modifications
What could be worse than reducing a car’s resale value? Making it completely unsaleable, that’s what. When conducting our research, some people also said they would flat out refuse to buy a car, regardless of its price, if it had any of these modifications.
The Car Mods That Affect Saleability The Most
|1. Wonky wheels’ (extreme negative camber)||41.49%|
|2. Car lowered||37.44%|
|3. Modified exhaust||31.65%|
|4. Eyelashes on headlights||31.50%|
|5. Novelty decals, for example flames||31.30%|
|6. Novelty horns||31.05%|
|7. Underbody neon lights||28.36%|
|8. Spinning rims||26.96%|
|9. Christmas antlers||25.86%|
|10. Custom paint job/wrap||24.06%|
|11. Car stickers/ bumper stickers (e.g. ‘powered by fairy dust’)||22.77%|
|12. Bucket seats/racing seats||22.47%|
|13. Colourful alloys||20.82%|
|15. Car flags||19.52%|
|16. Tinted headlights||19.07%|
|17. Fluffy dice||17.47%|
|18. Beaded seat covers||16.67%|
|19. Custom interior||16.03%|
|20. Dashboard accessories (e.g. toys and models)||15.23%|
(ranked by the percentage of people who wouldn’t be interested in buying a car with these modifications)
A huge 41% of potential buyers wouldn’t even entertain the possibility of buying a car if it had ‘wonky wheels’. Other personal design choices that don’t seem to be popular with buyers include modified exhausts, with almost a third of UK drivers (31.65%), and underbody neon lights with well over a quarter (28.36%) saying this would be an instant no-no.
Spinning rims, modified exhausts, custom paint jobs and racing seats also all feature in the top 15 modifications to avoid if you’re looking to sell on.
Check out the stupid car mods that actually make your car worse
At the other end of the scale, which upgrades and add-ons are the most coveted by potential buyers? And which would increase the value of a car the most?
Air conditioning takes the top spot, and parking sensors, heated seats, an integrated Sat Nav, and a DAB digital radio also feature in the top 10.
The Upgrades and Add-ons That Increase A Car’s Value the Most
|1. Air conditioning||36.95%|
|2. Parking sensors||36.75%|
|3. Reversing/ parking camera||33.15%|
|4. Integrated Sat Nav||31.67%|
|5. Heated seats||27.24%|
|6. Phone charger/USB port||25.76%|
|7. Alloy wheels||20.84%|
|8. Cruise control||20.69%|
|9. Leather upholstery||18.52%|
|10. DAB radio||17.64%|
|12. Upgraded audio system and speakers||15.67%|
|13. Heated door mirrors||13.84%|
|14. High performance tyres||13.45%|
|15. Dusk and rain sensors||13.10%|
|17. Tinted windows||11.82%|
|18. Car mats||10.74%|
|19. Metallic paint||9.66%|
|20. Custom paint job/wrap||5.62%|
Unsurprisingly, the gadgetry upgrades most valued also include Bluetooth, USB ports, heated seats and parking cameras.
But, old faithfuls like metallic paint, a sunroof, high performance tyres, leather seats and alloy wheels all feature in the list of most valuable upgrades.
So, there you have it – a conclusive look into the most hated and most loved mods and upgrades.