Here at carwow, our duty is to find the right car for you right down to the last detail. We tell you the best trim and best engine to go for in our reviews but what about all the optional extras available. Which colour should you go for?
Should you spend extra on more equipment? Are those nice alloys worth the premium? Here’s a quick guide on the options you should go for and the ones you should avoid so you can make the most of your car and keep its value healthy.
Colours & Paint Types
Whichever car you are looking for, there are usually a wide range of colours to choose from. In fact, some luxury car companies such as Aston Martin would gladly paint your car in the exact same colour as your favourite T-Shirt using special colour scanning technologies.
So what are the perfect colours that will help keep the value of your car? Well, it all depends on the type of motor you’re after. If you are looking for a family car then colours such as silver, blue and black normally hold their value well as they are the most popular.
It’s a different story for sports cars and hot hatches on the other hand. In the past, a normal Ford Focus MK2 has plenty of colours available but the Ford Focus ST was only available in electric blue or orange. Everyone loves a red Ferrari. It is seen as a trademark to the Italian firm, even their F1 cars are red. The limited edition BMW 1 Series M Coupe was the only 1 Series available in orange making the paint work part of the identity of the car.
When it comes to everyday cars, controversial colours such as lime green, white, purple, pink and yellow won’t hold their value as well as a black, blue or silver car. The only trouble with Black paint is it’s a nightmare to keep clean!
Then you’ve got the types of paint. Standard non-metallic paint jobs are the cheapest but won’t age as well as metallic colours. Some car companies offer metallic as standard depending on the trim but companies such as VW may charge you along the lines of £500 to put metallic paint on an entry-level Golf. Some manufactures even offer unique Matte paint which looks very cool indeed but the slightest scratch will cost a small fortune to get rid of.
Everyone may think that the bigger the better but that’s not always the case. Take the BMW Z4 for instance, some experts complained that the bigger alloys made the ride more uncomfortable and there is the extra cost of bigger tyres.
However, alloys are the ones to go for over standard steel wheels if you want to improve the value of your car by the time you sell it. Most mid range superminis and small family cars have them included in the package. Make sure you watch the kerbs of course!
Do note that by opting for larger wheels, it can dramatically increase the price of the tyres. Plus, some insurance companies charge more for bigger wheels, it’s worth getting a quote before you buy, try using carinsurance.org.uk
If you are in the market for a city car then you have to go for electric windows and remote locking. That’s right, some still don’t have those features as standard yet! In the case of the entry level Volkswagen Up, you have to pay £300 for a comfort pack which gives you remote locking and electric windows. Five or ten years from now, all cars should have those features as standard, so it’s worth the extra.
What you won’t get money back for is items such as Satellite Navigation and high end stereo systems and that can cost a lot on luxury cars. On a Porsche Cayenne, Sat Nav would cost you over £2000 and a Bang & Olufsen surround sound system in a Mercedes S Class can cost as much as a brand new city car! The chances are you won’t get your money back because there are so many aftermarket products like them out there for a lot less. The same applies for DAB digital radios although gradually they are becoming a standard feature.
Parking sensors may be worth adding to your car, especially there are quite a few cars which reviewers complained had limited rear visibility. Rear parking cameras may be useful to some too, especially for 4x4s and executives. Those features can be pricey though and there are cheaper aftermarket parking sensors in the shops.
Digital TV functionality is a complete waste of money though, especially since you can watch TV shows on the go with a mobile phone or tablet these days. In some cases, Digital TV functionality in your car can cost as much as £900! You could get a huge 3DTV for your home for that much!
Comfort & Practicality
If the budget is over the £25,000 mark then leather seats are a must, if you can afford it. There are many luxury cars and executives that are offering it as standard now, which means they will come as standard in many more cars in five or ten years time increasing the value of your car when you sell it then.
What’s not nice if you are in the market for a compact executive saloon such as a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C Class is that those two German manufacturers have the cheek to make you pay extra for fold down rear seats to extend the boot when they come free of charge on city cars.
Their boots might be big enough for your needs, of course but if you’re a fan of ferrying flat pack furniture from a certain Swedish warehouse though, then you’ll need them. You could always try and haggle to get them included.
As our guide on Automatic v Manual shows, there are pros and cons to each. In some cases you’ll lose the money for the automatic gearbox when you sell your car and there are buyers out there that don’t like them, but our guide shows they’re becoming more popular plus they can help engines be more frugal and faster plus some even have manual controls.
Whatever you fit on your car is down to you, obviously. Just realise you won’t always get your money back when you come to sell your car on!